RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Luke Nelson scored 21 points and UC Irvine beat UC Riverside 68-56 on Wednesday night.

Nelson was 6 of 16 from the floor including four from deep for the Anteaters (18-13, 11-4 Big West). Ioannis Dimakopoulos added 19 points and Jaron Martin had 14.

UC Irvine leads in the Big West and ends its regular season against UC Davis at home on Saturday. The Big West Conference Tournament starts on March 9.

After a slow second-half start for both teams, Martin and Nelson each hit 3-pointers and Jonathan Galloway followed with a three-point play to help push the Anteaters' two-point intermission lead to 48-34 with 12:25 to play. UC Riverside cut it to 57-50 with 4:04 left but the Anteaters surged 8-0 after that and a Nelson 3-pointer capped it for a 65-50 lead with 2:14 remaining and the Highlanders (7-20, 5-11) never threatened after that.

Secean Johnson scored 17 points with seven rebounds for the Highlanders.