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Martin, Nelson help UC Irvine reach Big West title game

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 11, 2017 at 12:20 a.m.

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jaron Martin scored 18 points and Luke Nelson 14 as UC Irvine rallied late in the game to regain the lead and defeat Long Beach State 62-57 in a Big West Conference semifinal on Friday night.

The top-seeded Anteaters (21-13) will play No. 2 seed UC Davis (21-12) in the title game Saturday.

UC Irvine shot 25 of 54 from the field (46 percent) and Martin had three of the team's five 3-pointers. The shooting was enough to offset Long Beach State's seven 3-pointers, as the Roadrunners were 21 of 66 (32 percent) and committed 10 turnovers.

UC Irvine had five steals, blocked 10 shots — Jonathan Galloway with five — and scored 15 points off turnovers and led 32-20 in the paint. There were 11 lead changes in the contest and Long Beach surged ahead after an 8-0 run to take the lead, but the Anteaters answered with a 7-0 run to hold a 49-46 edge with 7:31 left and led from there.

Justin Bibbins led the Roadrunners (15-19) with 15 points.

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