SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Payton Moore drove for a contested layup with two seconds remaining as Rice overcame a 22-point deficit to knock off UC Santa Barbara 82-81 on Saturday afternoon.
Trey Murphy III drained 5 of 8 from deep to finish with 18 points and Moore totaled a career-best 16 for Rice (4-1) which trailed 47-27 at the break.
UC Santa Barbara led 81-80 before Rice’s Robert Martin rebounded a Max Heidegger miss and the Owls tore downcourt. Moore took a pass and cut in from the right wing, weaving through two defenders for the winning basket.
The Owls were behind 64-42 with 12:09 left in the game. They trailed 76-63 until Murphy drained a 3 and followed with a dunk to close to 76-68 with 5:11 remaining. Chris Mullins followed with a layup, Drew Peterson dropped in two free throws and Martin had a layup to put Rice within two,76-74 with 3:16 remaining.
The Gauchos finally scored again when Amadou Sow had a layup for a 78-74 advantage with 2:19 left to play.
Heidegger had 21 points for UC Santa Barbara (1-2).