Tate George made two free throws with five seconds left Monday night to give defending champion Connecticut a 73-72 victory over California in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament at Hartford, Conn.
George scored nine points in the last 2:25 as Connecticut (18-12) rallied from a six-point deficit to advance to the quarterfinals.
Behind Leonard Taylor, who scored 22 of his 32 points in the second half, Cal turned a 30-30 halftime tie into a 44-38 lead with 13:59 left. The Bears (20-13) held the lead until George scored in the lane to put Connecticut ahead, 62-61, with 4:41 remaining.
Baskets by Keith Smith and Hartmut Ortmann put Cal back in front, and it was 70-64 when George started his run. He made a jumper, converted a steal into a three-point play and made two free throws to cut the deficit to 72-71 with 56 seconds left.
After Bryant Walton missed a free throw with 31 seconds left, Connecticut worked the clock down. George drove the baseline with five seconds left, was fouled and made the two free throws.
Cliff Robinson had 26 points for Connecticut.
Ohio State 85, Nebraska 74--Grady Mateen tied his career high with 20 points and four other Buckeyes scored in double figures at Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio State (19-14) led, 43-37, at halftime and put the game away with a 15-3 run early in the second half.
Nebraska finishes 17-16.
Alabama Birmingham 64, Richmond 61--Reginald Turner scored 24 points and Barry Bearden made two free throws with seven seconds to play to preserve the Blazers’ victory at Richmond, Va.
Alabama Birmingham (20-11) broke a 57-57 tie and led for good when Andy Kennedy made a three-point shot with 57 seconds left. Richmond (21-10) closed within a point with eight seconds left on two free throws by Mike Winiecki, but Bearden was fouled on the inbounds play and put the game away with his only points of the game.
St. Louis 73, Wisconsin 68--Roland Gray and Charles Newberry scored 17 points each to help the Billikens (25-9) win at Madison, Wis.
Wisconsin finishes 18-12.
Villanova 76, Penn State 67--Tom Greis scored 24 points and Gary Massey added 21 to lead the Wildcats at Villanova, Pa.
Villanova is 20-13, Penn State 20-12.
Michigan State 79, Wichita State 67--Todd Wolfe scored 18 points and Steve Smith added 16 as the Spartans advanced at East Lansing, Mich.