Kareem Nitoto's three-point play with 14.7 seconds remaining in overtime lifted seventh-seeded UC Riverside to a 70-66 victory over No. 2 seed Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in the first round of the Big West tournament on Thursday night.
Nitoto, who led all scorers with 23 points, made a layup and was fouled on the basket. He converted the free throw to give the Highlanders (12-18) a 68-66 lead.
The Highlanders (12-18) used a 14-0 run to take the lead in the first half but had to overcome the hot shooting of Shawn Lewis and David Hanson in the second. Lewis and Hanson each average 15.1 points per game for the Mustangs (15-15) but were held to a collective six points in the first half.
Lewis scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half. Hanson finished with 16, after netting four points in the opening half.
Cal Poly also improved in its outside shooting. The Mustangs were 1 of 9 from 3-point range in the first half but went 12 for 27 after the intermission.