SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Travis Niesen had 23 points and 14
rebounds to lead Santa Clara to a 63-61 victory over UC Riverside
in the first round of the Cable Car Classic on Wednesday night.
Rickey Porter scored 22 points to lead UC Riverside (0-9), which
dropped its 13th straight dating to last season. The Highlanders
are off to their worst start since their first season in 1954-55.
The Highlanders lost their previous eight games by an average of
Santa Clara will play Bucknell, a 63-57 winner over Boston
University, in Thursday's championship game. BU plays UC Riverside
in the third-place contest.
Niesen converted a three-point play with 5 1/2 minutes left to
play to give Santa Clara a 60-48 edge and complete a 24-10 run over
a 10-minute span.
The Broncos held off a late charge from UC Riverside, which
scored 15 of the final 18 points to draw within the final margin
heading into the final minute.
Porter had a final shot for the Highlanders but missed a 3-point
attempt with time running out.
The Highlanders led 23-16 late in the first half, their largest
lead of the season against a Division I opponent. UC Riverside held
a 13-point halftime edge against Division III Puget Sound last
UC Riverside led 31-30 at halftime.