A 3-pointer by Jared Rodriguez gave Idaho a 37-32 lead early in the second half before Worku hit a 3 and then assisted on another by Hazzard to cap a 10-4 run that gave the Anteaters a 42-41 lead with 16 minutes to play. Robert Cartwright made a jumper and then hit two free throws to spark an 8-0 spurt that made it a seven-point advantage about five minutes later and the Vandals trailed the rest of the way.
Rodriguez led Idaho with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including three 3-pointers. Cameron Tyson added 17 points.
UCI, which hit just 1 of 11 from behind the arc in the first half, hit 7-of-9 3s while shooting 67.7 percent from the field after the break.
IRVINE, California – Eyassu Worku scored 18 points and UC Irvine used a second-half spurt to top Idaho 86-68 in the season opener for both mens basketball teams on Tuesday.
John Edgar Jr. added 14 points and Jonathan Galloway grabbed nine rebounds for the Anteaters, who outscored the Vandals 56-34 in the second half after trailing 34-30 at halftime.
UC Irvine dominated Idaho in the paint (38-18) and in points off turnovers (15-4). The Vandals shot 46.3 percent from the floor compared to Irvines 54 percent.
The Anteaters also handled Idaho on the glass, outrebounding Idaho 42-22 and 15-6 on the offensive boards.
Idaho is replacing all five starters from last season. Trevon Allen, who saw significant time as a reserve last season for the Vandals, scored eight points on 2-of-12 shooting.