The Anteaters (5-4) used . . .
The Eagles played catch up for most of the first half after surrendering a two-point lead early, but went on a 5-0 run to close out the first half and bring the score to within six, 33-27.
Redshirt senior Boubacar Toure led the Green and White with nine points in the half. The Dakar, Senegal native also grabbed eight rebounds, had two blocks and a steal in the first 20 minutes of play. Redshirt junior Ty Groce had seven points of his own.
Eastern was able to force UC Irvine into 12 turnovers, and scored capitalized off those turnovers with 16 points. The Anteaters forced EMU into seven turnovers that only resulted in six points for UCI.
The second half was not friendlier to Eastern as UC Irvine caught fire from downtown, shooting 50 percent in the second half to Eastern's 15.4 percent. The hot-shooting of the Anteaters sparked a 20-4 run that saw EMU down by 20 with five minutes left in the game.
Freshman Shamar Dillard hit back-to-back threes with two minutes left, but the Eagles were not able to come back. Toure finished the contest with 14 points and 12 rebounds for his eleventh career double-double, his third on the year. Junior Chris Barnes scored 10 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. Groce also finished the game with 10 points, going 5-of-9 from the charity stripe.
EMU was outshot in the contest, 30.5 percent to 49.1 percent from the field and 15.8 percent to 43.8 percent from three, as well as being outrebounded, 44-34.
The Eagles finished the day with 17 turnovers to UC Irvine's 15, and four steals to UCI's 10. The Green and White outscored the Anteaters in the paint 28-26 but were not able to get the ball moving, as they gathered only four assists to their 20.
The Eagles return home to the Convocation Center as they welcome Valparaiso University Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m.