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UC Irvine rolls to blowout win against CSUN

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IRVINE — The UC Irvine men’s basketball team has plenty of challenging games left on its schedule, so a decisive win against a struggling squad was a welcome one.

Devin Tillis had 18 points in 17 efficient minutes to lead a balanced effort as UC Irvine rolled to an 81-56 rout of Cal State Northridge on Saturday night at the Bren Events Center.

Tillis, a 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore forward, shot 7 for 8 from the field, including 4 for 4 from 3-point range, as the Anteaters (14-7 overall, 7-2 Big West Conference) shot 50% from the field, 9 for 20 from 3-point range and led by as much as 34 points.

Dawson Baker added 12 points and Andre Henry had 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting to go with five rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Dean Keeler added 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting in 16 minutes.

Atin Wright had 19 points to pace the Matadors (4-18, 1-10), who shot just 31% (18 for 58) from the field and 3 for 16 from behind the arc. Cam Slaymaker had 12 points, De’Sean Allen-Eikens contributed eight points, four rebounds and three steals and Fidelis Okereke added 11 rebounds. CSUN had just four assists and 16 turnovers.

The Matadors scored the first basket of the game but found themselves trailing 21-7 less than nine minutes into the game. CSUN got within 31-24 by halftime, but DJ Davis started the second half with a 3-pointer then Tillis added a layup.

After a Northridge free throw, the Anteaters went on an 8-0 run capped by a Tillis 3-pointer to open a 44-25 lead with 16:40 left and UCI cruised from there. A pair of Baker free throws extended the margin to 75-41 with 3:35 left.

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UCI enjoyed a 30-20 advantage in points in the paint, an 18-7 margin in points off turnovers and a 12-6 edge in fast-break points. UCI coach Russell Turner used all 13 of his available players (10 scored) and played 11 of them for at least 14 minutes, resulting in a 37-21 advantage in bench points.


UC Irvine plays at UC San Diego on Thursday night before a game at Long Beach State next Saturday (Feb. 4). CSUN hosts UC Santa Barbara next Saturday (Feb. 4).

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