Cory Dixon's layup with 15.3 seconds left lifted New Orleans to a 72-68 victory over San Jose State on Friday night in each team's opener.
Trailing by 12 points with 6:39 to go in the first half, the Privateers took their first lead on Rarlensee Nelson's free throw with 6:30 left in the game.
Lovell Cook scored 12 of his team-high 20 points in the second half as the Privateers shot 66.7 percent from the field, compared to 33.3 percent in the first half. Nelson scored 12 points.
Facing a four-point deficit following a 3-pointer by San Jose State's 's D.J. Brown with 2:40 left, Nelson completed an 8-for-8 night at the line with two free throws. The Spartans scored with 1:22 remaining for their final points.
Cook dunked with 48 seconds left before the Spartans' missed jumper led to Dixon's play.
The Spartans' James Kinney scored 23 points.