IRVINE — Andre Henry scored a season-best 14 points and all 15 UC Irvine players scored as their game against NAIA-level Life Pacific was the mismatch it was expected to be in a 116-54 victory on Monday night at the Bren Events Center.
Henry shot 6 for 7 from the floor and matched his season-high with five rebounds. Fellow UCI reserves JC Butler and Chazz Hutchison (nine rebounds) added 10 points apiece while starters Bent Leuchten and Devin Tillis also scored 10 apiece.
Ofure Ujadughele had nine points including hitting a 40-footer as time expired, Emilis Butkus had seven points, five rebounds and three steals, and Pierre Crockrell added six points, six assists and seven rebounds as UCI (4-1) shot 67% from the field (50 for 75) and outrebounded its significantly smaller opponent 55-12.
UCI had a 17-14 lead about six minutes into the game then went on a 14-0 run to take control. San Dimas-based Life Pacific closed within 40-30 with 2:59 left in the first half, then the hosts went on a 9-0 run and went to the locker room with a 52-33 halftime lead.
The second half became a glorified practice as UCI outscored its guests 64-21. The final stats were, as expected, all tilted heavily in favor of UCI. The Anteaters had an 82-14 advantage in points in the paint, a 20-0 advantage on fast-break points and a 20-4 margin on second-chance points. The UCI reserves scored 78 points.
“We did what we were supposed to do tonight, we raised our level defensively,” UCI coach Russell Turner said. “We were not very sharp in our first six minutes and I felt like it was very comparable to how we played at Pepperdine (a 64-55 loss on Saturday) in some ways, just in terms of our overall engagement.
“Credit to our guys who came off the bench and really picked the intensity up. There were a lot of guys who performed well tonight and that it is my message to the team – there are going to be nights where we are going to need to rely on everybody.”
Kyler Villareal scored 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting and Adam Vasquez had 14 points.to lead Life Pacific (0-2), which shot 35.6% (21 for 59) overall.
No UCI starter played more than 21 minutes (three of them played 15 minutes or less), 10 Anteaters played at least 10 minutes and all 15 played at least 6:45 in the blowout.
UCI travels to the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, where the Anteaters will face Nicholls State on Friday at 4 p.m.