Pepperdine finishes strong vs. UC Riverside, 69-66

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- Stacy Davis scored 23 points and hit a pair of crucial free throws in the final seconds Wednesday night as Pepperdine fought off a late second-half rally by UC Riverside and won 69-66.

The Highlanders, trailing by as many as 11 early in the second half, climbed back to tie up the score 63-63 with 33.7 seconds remaining. Davis went to the line and made both free throws, giving Pepperdine a two-point buffer as the Highlanders took possession. UC Riverside missed its shot and Niko Skouen finished strong for the Waves (2-0), shooting 4 of 4 free throws in the final seconds.

Nick Gruninger went to the line for the Highlanders (0-2) with 2.8 seconds remaining. He made his first free throw and purposely missed his second, but was unable to get a shot off before the buzzer. Chris Harriel led UC Riverside with 15 points.