Jaron Martin and Luke Nelson had 14 points each on Thursday night and Ioannis Dimakopoulos sank a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left to help UC Irvine hold on, 66-62 over UC Santa Barbara.
The Anteaters (10-9, 3-0 Big West) led by 15 early in the second half before allowing the Gauchos (2-12, 0-2 ) to close within two on J.D. Slajchert’s free throws with 1:33 left. UC Irvine then hauled in consecutive offensive rebounds near the end of the shot clock to extend its possession before Dimakopoulos’ free throws made it a four-point lead.
Gabe Vincent’s 3-point attempt missed with six seconds to go and UC Santa Barbara didn’t get another shot.
Vincent finished with 15 points, Slajchert and Eric Childress added 12 each, and Clifton Powell scored 10.
The Anteaters won their fifth straight while the Gauchos dropped their third in a row.