It also gave them little reason to question the confidence that emerged from the decisive thumping of three-time defending conference champion UOP, according to UCI Coach Pat Douglass.
"This was not a game we wanted to overlook," said Douglass, whose team doused any hint of complacency by seizing a 10-0 lead.
The Highlanders (3-16, 0-6) never trailed by fewer than six. Down, 22-16, with 3:38 left in the first half, Riverside saw UCI reel off 10 straight points to reestablish firm command.
UCI scored the first five points after intermission to claim a 37-20 edge, then answered a five-point Highlander run with a 15-0 burst of its own to create a 52-23 bulge.
It was a continuation of the good fortune that has followed since Douglass settled on a starting five of center Darren Fells, wings Nic Campbell and Adam Templeton, off-guard Patrick Sanders and point guard Michael Hunter.
"I think it's a good combination," Douglass said of the starting lineup he debuted in Stockton. "Sanders [who has played primarily forward and wing] has been the key. He has to guard a guard. But that allows us to have two, possibly three shooters [Campbell, Templeton and Hunter], so it's really stretching the defense. Add to that the inside play of Darren and Pat and our overall size is pretty good. I like [the lineup]. It's one we want to have."
Douglass said the win at Pacific could be a turning point in the Anteaters' season, which began a critical stretch Thursday with the first of three straight Big West home games.
UCI, now tied for fourth with Cal State Northridge, plays host to third-place Cal State Fullerton Saturday night at 7.
The Titans were defeated, 95-85, Thursday at Long Beach State, which shares the conference lead with UC Santa Barbara, both at 3-1.