UC Riverside beats UC Santa Barbara
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP)—Kyle Austin scored 13 points, including a key rebound and free throw in the closing seconds, as UC Riverside outlasted UC Santa Barbara 71-69 on Sunday.
Riverside, the preseason pick to finish last in the Big West, improved to 2-0 (9-4 overall) in conference for the first time.
Chris Devine led Santa Barbara (2-0, 6-8) with 24 points. Fellow forward James Powell added 11 but his apparent game-winning 3-pointer as time expired was late and waved off.
Riverside scored 14 unanswered points early in the second half to erase a 44-32 deficit at the break. The Highlanders held Santa Barbara to four second-half field goals, but the Gauchos kept pace by hitting 27 of 31 free throws.
Santa Barbara’s Jaime Serna was fouled scoring inside with 9 seconds left to cut the lead to 71-70, but he missed the ensuing free throw. Austin rebounded, was fouled, and hit 1 of 2 free throws with 3.6 seconds left.