SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Chase Tapley scored 23 points, including 12 straight during a pivotal second half run, and No. 17 San Diego State made 10 of its first 12 three-point attempts, en route to an 84-70 win over visiting UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night. The Aztecs finished the game at 11-of-17 from beyond the arc with Tapley making six.
The Gauchos (3-5) were led by Kyle Boswell who scored a career-high 23 points and had a career-high seven three-point baskets, in just 10 attempts. The seven three-pointers by Boswell were the most by a UCSB player since Mark Hull drained eight against Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2002 and it gives him 11 in his last two games.
Alan Williams finished with 18 points and a team-high six rebounds before fouling out with 2:11 to play, while Taran Brown had 16 points, including four three-pointers of his own, before fouling out with 5:31 left. Also for the Gauchos, Nate Garth had a career-high nine assists.
The Aztecs (7-1), who will become a member of the Big West Conference in 2013-14, won for the 54th time in their last 58 home games despite allowing the Gauchos to score 70 points and shoot 47.4% overall, both opponent season highs. It also marked the first time this season that a SDSU opponent made above 40.0% from the field.
"That is a very, very good basketball team," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams of the Aztecs. "They can beat you in so many ways, on both ends of the court. We saw tonight what they are capable of from the outside when they really crank it up."
Early in the second half, Tapley made three-pointers on a three straight possessions and was then fouled while shooting a fourth and made three free throws, the Aztecs had a 12-0 run and had transformed a 52-37 lead into a 64-37 advantage with 15:10 to play. At that point, they had made 10-of-12 shots from outside the arc.
Boswell made his fifth of seven three-pointers to complete a 21-6 Gaucho run and shrink the margin to 70-56 with 6:21 to play, but UCSB didn't get any closer and wound up losing by that 14-point margin.
"Kyle was really feeling it tonight," Williams said. "Some of the shots he made were from really, really deep. We've always known what he was capable of and tonight wasn't surprising."
The Aztecs set the tone early in the game. Trailing 5-4 in the opening minutes, SDSU reclaimed the lead 6-5 on a free throw line jumper by Jamaal Franklin. The next Gaucho possession, Williams committed his second foul with 17:14 to play in the first half, forcing him to the sidelines.
With Williams on the bench and UCSB committing several turnovers, the Aztecs continued to build on Franklin's basket by scoring 12 more consecutive points, stretching their lead to 18-5. The run ended when Gaucho freshman Sam Beeler, a San Diego native, scored on a sweeping left handed lay-up. Beeler finished the game a perfect 4-for-4 from the field with eight points and five rebounds.
SDSU stretched the lead to 19 at 33-14 before UCSB started to peck away.
Despite his two fouls, Williams returned to the court and immediately scored on an inside power move. He finished the first half with 10 points. Fueled by Williams and Boswell, who made three of his three-pointers and scored 11 first half points, the Gauchos crept to within 41-29 with 1:53 to play, but a tip-in by Skylar Spencer and a three-pointer by Xavier Thames gave SDSU a 46-29 lead at the break.
The Gauchos finished the game 12-for-29 from three-point range, 41.4%. The 12 threes were a season-high. After making 10 of their first 12, the Aztecs finished 11-for-17, 64.7%. UCSB also had 15 turnovers, leading directly to 25 SDSU points. The Gauchos had just four turnovers in the second half.
The Gauchos will now be off for final examinations, which are next week. UCSB returns to action on Dec. 15 to host San Diego Christian at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. Tickets are available from the ticket office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.