Daman Starring and Will Davis II nearly teamed up to carry UCI to victory, but couldn't make enough defensive stops against an explosive Fullerton team. (Zotcubed)

After a blistering start in the first half led to a 15 point lead and a seven point margin at halftime, UCI succumbed to a constantly running Titan offense in the second half, losing 100-94.

Two huge Titan blocks ultimately sealed the game for Fullerton late: DJ Seeley blocking Daman Starring’s layup after Starring had stolen the ball and seemingly had an easy breakaway basket, and Orane Chin stuffing Will Davis II on a dunk in a crucial must-score situation for UCI.

Afterwards on KUCI, Mark Roberts tried to give his usual positive spin, but Coach Russell Turner basically cut Roberts off after a while and expressed how disappointed he was in himself and the team that they couldn’t come up with more defensive spots down the stretch. He also refused to indulge Roberts in talk about the team being entertaining to watch or “keeping it close,” and emphasized that they needed to establish a winning culture at UCI. Strong words of leadership from Turner.

Good offensive games for Starring, who regained his shooting touch with 22 points on 8-11 shooting from the field, Davis II, who took advantage of an undermanned Titan frontcourt by scoring 20 points, and Adam Folker who was perfect from the floor with 11 points and six rebounds. Without Omoke, the Titans were able to find a decent replacement with seldom-used Sedric Martin, who had by far his best game of the season with 14 points.

With the loss, UCI drops  to 9-15 overall, 5-6 in the Big West, good for a four-way tie for 4th place.