ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — T.J. Shorts II scored 15 points, including the clinching free throws with one second left, Joe Mooney had a career-high 15 points and top-seeded UC Davis edged eighth-seeded UC Riverside 70-66 on Thursday in the opening game of the Big West Conference Tournament.
AJ John added 13 points and Michael Onyebalu 11 for the Aggies (22-9), who face the lowest remaining seed in the first semifinal on Friday night.
Davis had runs of 12-0 and 7-0 in the last 10 minutes of the first half and led 35-24 at the break. The Highlanders (9-22) had 8-0 and 7-0 runs early in the second half and it was a two-point game near the midway point.
The Aggies stayed ahead the rest of the way and the lead was seven on two free throws by Siler Schneider with 52 seconds left. Davis was 8 of 10 from the line in the final minute, which was key because Riverside had three 3’s in that span, pulling within 68-66 on a Dominick Pickett trey with five seconds to go.
Chance Murray, who had two 3s in the final minute, led Riverside with 22 points.