IRVINE, Calif. -- Luke Nelson scored a career-high 28 points and UC Irvine held on for a 61-58 win over Long Beach State Thursday.
UC Irvine (15-9, 6-2 Big West) led 58-54 with less than 2 minutes left, and held off a late rally from Long Beach State (9-13, 5-3).
Tyler Lamb's 3-pointer cut the lead to 58-57 with 1:24 remaining, but Nelson answered with 44 seconds left to extend the lead to 60-57.
Nelson made 1 of 2 free throws with 7 seconds remaining to put the Anteaters up 61-58, and Lamb's last-second 3-point attempt bounced off the rim.
Nelson was 5 of 8 on 3-pointers and the lone UC Irvine scorer in double figures. Mamadou Ndiaye had eight points, 10 rebounds and a Big West single-game record 11 blocks.