IRVINE, Calif. (AP)— Brett Lauer scored a career-high 14 points and Kevin Bland added 15 points to lead host UC Irvine to a 70-51 nonconference victory over Utah State on Saturday at the Bren Events Center.
Lauer sank a 3-pointer with 5:26 left in the half to end an Anteaters scoring drought that lasted almost seven-and-a-half minutes. Lauer?s basket started a 14-0 run that gave Irvine (2-1) the lead at 26-22 at the 3:20 mark.
Irvine lost an early lead when Utah State (2-3) took advantage of the Anteaters? shooting woes and went on a 13-0 run to take a 20-12 lead with 6:20 left in the first half.
Lauer sank another 3-pointer and hit a leaner to start and end a 9-2 run that Irvine used to build a 10-point lead at halftime.
Utah State was able to cut its deficit to six points at 44-38 when Desmond Stephens made a pair of free throws with 11:37 left in the game. The Aggies weren?t able to get any closer as they went seven minutes without a field goal.
The Anteaters sandwiched a 19-7 run between Lauer?s third and fourth 3-pointers to take a 21-point lead at 66-45 with 4:05 left in the game.
Utah State guard Jacyee Carroll led all scorers with 23 points.
Irvine center Darren Fells made his first appearance of the season after being suspended the first tow games of the season for personal misconduct. Fell scored four points.