RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Chris Harriel scored 14 points, including nine in the all-important second half, to lead UC Riverside past visiting UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night, 54-45.
The Highlanders (6-20 overall, 3-11 in the Big West) and Gauchos (8-17 overall, 4-10 in the Big West) were tied at 20 after an ugly first half, but led by Harriel, Riverside was able to muster enough offense in the final 20 minutes to secure the win.
UCSB was led by sophomore Alan Williams who, despite an off night, had 15 points and 12 rebounds. It was his 12th double-double of the season, but he made just 4-of-18 shots from the field. Freshman Taran Brown added 12 points and Duke DaRe scored a career-high eight, all in the first half.
On a night when they were down to just eight total players, including six on scholarship, the Gauchos made just 14-of-54 shots overall, 25.9%, and 5-of-21 from three-point range, 23.8%.
UCSB tried to rally late. Trailing 50-39 with 1:30 to play, Brown and Michael Bryson made consecutive three-point baskets to shave the lead to 50-45 with 52 seconds remaining, but the game got no closer as Riverside's Robert Smith made four straight free throws to finish off the 54-45 win.
The Gauchos led 4-0 and 6-2 early in the first half, and then 24-21 in the opening minutes of the second half, but their last lead came at 32-31 with just over 13 minutes to play.
The Gauchos return home on Saturday, Feb. 23 to host Sacramento State in a Ramada World Wide BracketBuster game at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. Tickets for that game, and all home games, can be purchased from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.
UCSB is excited to offer an insane fan spectacular: One day, one ticket. A $10 ticket on Saturday gives fans access to the men's basketball game against Sacramento State, but also the women's game against Cal State Northridge, which will tip at 2:00 p.m., and the baseball doubleheader against the University of San Francisco, with first-pitch at 11:00 a.m.