Nelson, UC Irvine beat UC Davis 79-49 for Big West title

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IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Luke Nelson hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and finished with 29 points to help UC Irvine beat UC Davis 79-49 on Saturday night to clinch the Big West Conference regular season title.

Jaron Martin scored 10 points, on 4-of-6 shooting, for UC Irvine (19-13, 12-4), which came in tied with the Aggies for first place in the conference standings.

Lawrence White's jumper gave UC Davis (19-12, 11-5) a 2-0 lead but Martin answered with a 3 to spark a 22-1 run and the Anteaters led by double figures the rest of the way. Nelson hit a 3-pointer and then back-to-back layups to make it 10-2, and his 3 with 10:43 left in the half capped the spurt.

Siler Schneider led UCD with 16 points, but shot just 6 of 17 from the field and made just 4 of 12 free throws. Brynton Lemar and White scored 10 apiece on combined 8-of-25 shooting.

UCI, which came in ranked No. 7 nationally in field-goal percentage defense (.384), allowed the Aggies to shoot just 31 percent from the field, including 3 of 15 from 3-point range, and held UC Davis 23 points below its season average (72.2).

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