Nelson's 29 lead UC Irvine over UC Riverside 84-68
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) Luke Nelson had 18 of his career-high 29 points in the first half on Saturday night and UC Irvine cruised after the break to beat UC Riverside 84-68.
Mamadou Ndiaye had 12 points and seven rebounds and Jaron Martin added 11 points as UC Irvine won its third straight since a 78-53 loss to No. 1 Kansas.
The Anteaters (13-5, 2-0 Big West) had a 43-29 lead at halftime, opened the second with a 5-1 run and led by at least 12 throughout the second half. They pulled away before the midpoint of the first half with an 11-2 run.
Nelson made 4 of 5 from 3-point range and UC Irvine made 8 of 12 while shooting 27 for 48 overall.
Jaylen Bland was 5 of 9 from 3-point range with 20 points to lead the Highlanders (9-9, 0-2). Taylor Johns and Secean Johnson added 15 points each.