Anchorage — A big first half carried Northeastern University past UC Riverside 61-52 Wednesday night at the Great Alaska Shootout at Sullivan Arena.
It was a tale of two halves. The Huskies dominated the first half with 48 percent shooting and near-perfect execution, getting 11 assists on 12 baskets en route to a 38-20 lead.
"It was a pretty complete first half," coach Bill Coen said.
The second half belonged to UC Riverside, which outscored Northeastern 32-23 to make a game of it.
Although the Highlanders never managed to make it a one-possession game, they trimmed Northeastern's lead to five, 57-52, with Chris Harriel's 3-pointer with 64 seconds left.
Northeastern of the Colonial Athletic Association sank four of six free throws down the stretch to hold off Riverside of the Big West Conference. For the game, Northeastern was 19 of 25 from the foul line while Riverside was 3 of 4.
"We didn't take it up very hard, and when you don't take it up very hard you don't get fouled," Riverside coach Jim Wooldridge said.
Quincy Ford's 14 points and Joel Smith's 11 led the Huskies, who got points from eight players and rebounds from 10.
Josh Fox led the Highlanders with 14 points.
"We didn't play well together in the first half," Wooldridge said. "And they broke our back."
Riverside's comeback was fueled by Robert Smith, the team's only senior, who furnished five points in an 11-3 run that narrowed the gap to 49-40 midway through the second half.
UC RIVERSIDE (52) -- Smith 3-7 0-0 8; Fox 6-11 2-2 14; Harriel 3-11 0-0 8; Quick 1-4 0-0 3; Patton 4-10 1-2 9; Guinn 0-1 0-0 0; Johnson 1-2 0-0 2; Jones 0-0 0-0 0; Devenny 4-4 0-0 8; Boddie 0-1 0-0 0; Totals 22-51 3-4 52.