The Sacramento State Hornets had a solid first half, but the wheels fell off after intermission as the UC Irvine Anteaters opened the second half with a 23-7 run and never looked back en route to a 79-53 win Saturday night at The Nest.
The Hornets (2-3) led 32-31 at halftime, then were outscored by the Anteaters (5-3) by a whopping 48-21 margin after the break.
UC Irvine shot 67.9 percent in the second half and 53.8 percent for the game. Sacramento State was just 8-for-30 after halftime en route to a 33.9 percent night. The Anteaters also used a big advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Hornets 44-29.
Chris McNealy led UC Irvine with 15 points, Luke Nelson added 14 and Alex Young had 12 points and six assists. Will Davis II led the Anteaters with nine rebounds and had two blocks, while 7-foot-6 freshman Mamadou Ndiaye blocked three shots.
Cody Demps scored 16 points for Sacramento State and Mikh McKinney had 10 points and three steals. Jordan Salley led the Hornets with seven rebounds and Dylan Garrity and McKinney notched three assists each.
Sacramento State visits UTEP in El Paso, Texas, next Saturday for a 6:05 p.m. Pacific tip.