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Santa Clara 63, UC Riverside 61

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.

John Bryant scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half and
added 17 rebounds for the Broncos (6-4), who improved to 4-1 at
home. Mitch Henke added 10 points.

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
19.5 points.

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
week.

UC Riverside led 31-30 at halftime.