Smith-Williams shot eight of 13 from the floor, hitting five of seven from three-point range as well as seven of eight from the free-throw line. She also had two assists and two steals in 40 minutes of action.
The Anteaters (9-4, 1-0 in conference) won their first conference opening game since 2007 when they beat Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
UCI, which shot 45.2% (19 for 42) from the floor, scored 18 points off 16 Highlander turnovers.
The 'Eaters will play at Cal State Fullerton Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Vanguard 79, Houghton 48
COSTA MESA — Chelsea Alfafara scored 22 points to lead the Lions in the nonconference game Friday.
Molly Pfohl had 20 poinst and 12 rebounds, while Sarah Boyd had 10 assists and nine points for Vanguard (7-3). Alfafara hit seven of her 12 three-pointers.
The Lions outrebounded Hougton of New York, 48-34. Leigha Bednar contributed seven points and seven rebounds for Vanguard.