IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Max Hazzard knocked down four 3-pointers and scored 16 and UC Irvine earned a wire-to-wire 69-49 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night to take over first place in the Big West Conference.
Evan Leonard scored 13 and Eyassu Worku added 11 points and five assists for the Anteaters (15-15, 10-4), who moved a half-game in front of the Gauchos (20-7, 9-4) and UC Davis in the conference race.
Although UC Irvine shot just 41 percent from the floor, it held UC Santa Barbara to 32 percent shooting, including just 4 of 16 from 3-point range. The Anteaters won for the seventh time in their last eight games and handed the Gauchos their second consecutive loss after an eight-game win streak.
Hazzard sank three 3s and scored 13 in the first half to help UC Irvine take a 37-19 lead at intermission. Gabe Vincent scored 11 of UCSB’s first-half points. The Gauchos got no closer than 13 points in the second half.
Vincent paced UCSB with 17 points, while Max Heidegger scored 11 but took 14 shots to get there.