Spi­ral­ing UH faces soar­ing Irvine

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - SPORTS - By Brian McInnis bm­cin­nis@starad­ver­tiser.com

Closer Catcher/ third base­man Out­fielder

UC Irvine’s five-game los­ing streak back in De­cem­ber was one of the best things that could’ve hap­pened to the Anteaters.

Gone were guard Luke Nel­son, the 2016-17 Big West player of the year, and fel­low first-teamer Jaron Martin, and it showed. The young ’Eaters played one of the tough­est non­con­fer­ence sched­ules in the coun­try and were con­sumed by squads like Ne­vada, Mon­tana and Saint Mary’s.

“Rather than frac­ture, point fin­gers, we used the ad­ver­sity we ex­pe­ri­enced to come to­gether and grow stronger, be tougher,” Irvine coach Rus­sell Turner said in a phone in­ter­view Wed­nes­day. “I’m hop­ing that’s some­thing that ben­e­fits this team down the line this sea­son and down the line in these guys’ ca­reers. Be­cause the dif­fer­ence be­tween win­ning and los­ing is a pretty fine line. You know, our team this year has shown some of that.”

That’s es­pe­cially

HOOPS,

PHO­TOS BY JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARAD­VER­TISER.COM

Dy­lan Thomas: Kekai Rios: Dy­lan Vchulek:

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