ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Alan Williams had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Michael Bryson hit two free throws with nine seconds left to help No. 2 seed UC Santa Barbara beat seventh-seeded Cal Poly 54-50 in the opening round of the Big West Conference tournament Thursday night.
Cal Poly (13-16), the defending tournament champion, trimmed its deficit to 52-50 with 1:57 left on a jumper by Brian Bennett, but wouldn't score again.
Bryson's free throws made it a four-point game before he corralled a missed a 3-pointer by Cal Poly's Reese Morgan to seal it.
The Gauchos closed the first half with a 10-2 run, taking a 27-22 lead into the break, and never trailed again.
Bennett led the Mustangs with 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting.