SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A little over a week ago, UCSB traveled to UC Davis and handed the Aggies their first home loss in 20 games. On Saturday afternoon, the tables were turned as the Gauchos fell 71-54 at the Thunderdome, ending their eight-game winning streak and their school record 11-game season-opening home winning streak.
"To their credit, they played great defense, especially in the first half," said UCSB head coach Joe Pasternack. "But really, we just didn't play today. We'll look at film and see what went wrong and fix things."
The Gauchos (20-6 overall, 9-3 in the Big West) struggled from the start against a Davis team that beat Cal Poly in triple-overtime on Thursday night.
After Gabe Vincent made a baseline jumper to start things, they missed 17 of 24 shots the rest of the first half. At halftime, they were shooting just 32.0% as a team, but trailed just 34-29.
"We just couldn't get into a rhythm today," Vincent said. "As a team we've been playing so well, but today it just wouldn't happen for us."
The Aggies (18-9, 9-4) bumped the lead to 44-35 on a lay-up by Rogers Printup with 12:51 left, but Vincent nailed a three-pointer and Leland King II scored on a lay-up to cut the gap to 44-40 with 12:18 remaining,
But the Gauchos would get no closer as Davis used a 23-6 run over the next seven minutes to blow the game open at 67-46. The run was capped by a long three-point basket from A.J. John.
Santa Barbara would get no closer than 15 the rest of the way.
The Aggies were led by T.J. Shorts II who hit 9-of-10 field goal attempts to finish with a game-high 20 points. He also added six assists. As a team, they made 28-of-51 field goal attempts, 54.9%.
The Gauchos never heated up, finishing 19-of-57 overall, 33.3%, and 6-of-21 from outside the three-point arc, 28.6%. Their 54 points were a season-low for at team that leads the Big West in scoring.
UCSB hits the road for its next two games, traveling to UC Irvine on Thursday, Feb. 22 and CSUN on Saturday, Feb. 24. The game against the Anteaters will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised by Fox Sports Prime Ticket. The game at Northridge is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. tip and will be aired on ESPN3.