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Brooks Scores 36; UC Irvine Wins

November 29, 1986|MIKE PENNER | Times Staff Writer

The intention of the NCAA's newly adopted three-point shot rule was, of course, to help out the little guy. But after UC Irvine's season-opening 109-101 victory over Nebraska Friday night, the Cornhuskers came away shaking their heads and wondering just where all this charity stops.

At 5-11, Irvine guard Scott Brooks was the smallest player on the Crawford Hall floor. But from 19-9--three-point territory--Brooks was able to take control of the game as no 7-foot rim-eater can.

Setting a school record for most points by a guard, Brooks hit 10 of 19 field goal attempts and 5 of 12 three-point tries en route to a career-high 36 points.

Twenty-six of them came in the second half, during which the Anteaters trailed by as many as nine points (65-56). But, in less than seven minutes, Brooks reeled off 15 points to drastically rearrange the game.

Irvine went to score more points in a single game than it had since the 1983-84 season, when the Anteaters outran New Mexico State, 110-78.

Irvine Coach Bill Mulligan studied all the big numbers on the postgame stat sheet and mused, "Boy, Brooks had a lousy first half."

Nebraska took a 50-48 lead in the second half, went on a 10-4 spurt to open things up . . . but failed to shut down Brooks.

"Fantastic, unbelievable," was Mulligan's assessment of his senior guard's performance. "There was a time last year when Brooks sometimes just disappeared. It was because he'd get tired.

"The one thing I learned you can't do is play him too much. He played 34 minutes tonight, which is pressing it. When he's not tired, he can be an unbelievable player."

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