UC Riverside tops Merced 63-53 for coach Patrick's first win
Eric Rwahwire scored 11 points with eight boards and Menno Dijkstra added 10 points for the Highlanders (1-3), who shot 50 percent to the Golden Bobcats' 37.5 percent but gave up 13 points on 17 turnovers.
Trailing by as many as 17 points, the Golden Bobcats closed to 55-50 on Aaron Laflin's layup with 4:29 to play after the Highlanders went scoreless for nearly 2½ minutes in the second half. Gilliam's free throws and Rwahwire's 3 pushed the lead to 11 and the Highlanders hung on.
Rwahwire's layup put the Highlanders up for good, 11-9, and they led by as many as 10 en route to a 34-26 halftime lead.
Raphael Durr scored 15 and Ryan Haywood 13 for the Golden Bobcats (4-1), whom the Highlanders bested last season 91-46 for their largest margin of victory.