IRVINE, Calif. - Pacific's Jack Williams scored a career-high 17 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds, but UC Irvine scored 40 points in the paint, leading to a 72-65 win Saturday evening inside the Bren Events Center.
UC Irvine (2-2) got 20 points from Ioannis Dimakopoulos on 9-of-13 shooting, with eight of the made shots in the lane. Tommy Rutherford added 11 points, while Jaron Martin and Max Hazzard each scored nine. Spencer Rivers scored all eight of his points in the first 20 minutes.
T.J. Wallace scored eight points in the loss and now has 937 in his four-year career, 63 shy of becoming the 27th member of the 1,000-point club in program history.
UC Irvine shot 50.9 percent (27-of-53) from the floor and totaled nine blocks.
"When you're playing a team like (UC) Irvine, their role players really hurt us," Pacific coach Damon Stoudamire said. "Rutherford was the toughest big on the floor tonight.
"It was tough because it was so close, but we're going to learn from this. It was a winnable game. We'll get better, go back and work on things we didn't do well."
The Orange and Black shot 31.1 percent (19-of-61) from the field and made a season-high 20 free throws (20-of-30). The Tigers outrebounded UC Irvine 13-9 on the offensive glass, including four by Williams.
Pacific (1-2) made seven 3-pointers, extending its streak to 888-straight games with at least one made trey, good for eighth best in NCAA Division I.
The Anteaters trailed early before a 9-0 run in a two-minute span opened up an 11-4 cushion. Pacific scored eight of the next 10 points, as a Lampkin old-fashioned three-point play made the score 13-12.
The Tigers turned five Anteater turnovers into seven points through the first eight minutes of play.
A Taylor 3 and Wallace layup with under a minute to play gave Pacific its first lead, 30-29, since the 17:26 mark, but Rivers canned a 28-foot trey as time expired to give UC Irvine a 34-32 upper hand at intermission.
In a first period that featured five lead changes, Taylor led all scorers with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Williams added nine points, surpassing his career-high of eight from the first two games this season. Taylor and Williams were each 2-of-3 from behind the arc.
After allowing nearly 50 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, Pacific's defense clamped down early in the second half, as UC Irvine hit only three of their first nine buckets before the home team began to heat up from the field, building a 46-35 edge.
The Tigers answered the Anteaters 12-2 run with a 15-4 spurt to tie the game at 50 after Williams' fourth made trey. However, UC Irvine countered with six-straight points to take the lead for good.
Pacific hosts Wyoming on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Tip-off inside the Spanos Center is set for 7 p.m. PT.