Nic Moore connected on a shot from beyond the arc with seven seconds remaining in regulation to lift the SMU Mustangs to a 67-65 decision over the California Golden Bears in the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament at Moody Coliseum.
Moore finished with 11 points for the Mustangs (26-9), who will advance to the semifinals to face Clemson at Madison Square Garden. Markus Kennedy recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
Jabari Bird paced California (21-14) with 20 points, while Justin Cobbs tallied 18 points and seven assists. David Kravish posted 12 points and eight boards in the loss.
SMU took a 32-29 lead into the intermission after it shot 40 percent from the floor and outrebounded the visitors, 22-13, in the opening 20 minutes of the contest. The Golden Bears trailed at the break despite hitting on 44.4 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half.
The Mustangs extended their lead to seven in the opening minute of the second period, but California refused to go away and managed to even the score at 50 with 8:50 showing on the game clock. Nick Russell made a layup with 36 seconds left before the final buzzer to give SMU a 64-62 advantage, but the Golden Bears answered as Cobbs knocked down a 3-pointer to give the visitors a one- point edge. On the Mustangs' final possession, Russell found a cutting Moore, who then converted the go-ahead triple while fading away towards the right sideline. California quickly moved the ball down the floor, but Cobbs's last second attempt from beyond the arc fell off the mark.
SMU outscored the Golden Bears, 30-20, in the paint and also, 16-0, in second chance points. The Mustangs improved to 18-1 at Moody Coliseum with the victory.