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UC Irvine jumps out early, beats UT Rio Grande Valley 85-74

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) Max Hazzard scored 15 of his 23 points in the first half as UC Irvine jumped out early and cruised to an 85-74 victory over UT Rio Grande Valley on Thursday night.

The Anteaters opened on a 14-1 run, built a 36-19 halftime lead and led by 20 points with about five minutes left. Hazzard hit four 3-pointers in the first half and finished 6 of 7 from distance.

Evan Leonard added 14 points for UC Irvine (12-4). Elston Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Robert Cartwright chipped in with 11 points.

Tyson Smith scored 16 points and Greg Bowie II added 13 to lead UT Rio Grande Valley (8-8). The duo made six of the Vaqueros' seven 3-pointers.

UC Irvine (12-4) snapped a two-game skid and opens Big West Conference play hosting UC Davis on Jan. 10. UTRGV has lost four of its last five and begins it Western Athletic Conference schedule at Cal Baptist on Saturday.

Updated January 4, 2019

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