SEATTLE, Wash. – When Washington ran out to a 10-0 lead to begin its game against UC Santa Barbara on Sunday it looked like the Huskies might have an easy time of it, but that wasn't the case as the Gauchos fought back to take the lead late in the second half before falling, 67-63.
UCSB (6-2), which entered the game with a five-game winning streak, outscored the Huskies (6-2) 21-16 over the final 17 minutes of the first half to transform a 10-0 score to 26-21 by halftime and set the tone for a tense second half.
Amadou Sow began the second half with a basket, cutting the gap to 26-23, but the Huskies used an 8-2 run to push the lead back to 34-25.
A three-pointer by Jay Nagle and a free throw line jumper by Christian Terrell sandwiched a missed shot by Washington to make the score 34-30 with 14:40 left. A pair of Noah Dickerson free throws made it 36-30, but back-to-back threes by Ramsey and Nagle tied the score for the first time since tip-off.
Following a free throw by Sow to give UCSB its first lead of the game, 37-36, Matisse Thybulle drained back-to-back three-pointers to make it 42-37 with 10:54 to play. A free throw by Ami Lakoju carved the lead to 42-38, but an old fashioned three-point play by Dickerson completed a 9-1 run and the Huskies were back in front, 45-38 with 10:05 remaining.
Once more, however, the Gauchos fought back.
Ar'Mond Davis made an acrobatic layup, Christian Terrell hit a pair of free throws and JaQuori McLaughlin, like Davis a native of nearby Tacoma, hit his first three-pointer of the game to cap a 7-0 run and tie the score at 45 apiece with 8:16 left.
Hameir Wright made 1-of-2 free throws to give Washington a 46-45 edge, but Davis responded with a three-pointer in the right corner to give UCSB its first lead, 48-46. A pair of free throws by Dickerson tied it at 48 with 7:20 left.
Another three by Thybulle made the score 51-48. A pair of turnovers by the Gauchos were taken advantage of when Dickerson scored on a slam dunk and Wright scored on a short bank to stretch the lead to 55-48 at the 5:58 mark.
Davis responded with his second three-pointer of the game and then UCSB got a stop. On the other end, McLaughlin was fouled and made one of two free throws to narrow the deficit to 55-52 with 4:56 to play.
Jarriesse Blackmon missed a pair of free throws and Wright responded by making a pair for Washington giving his team a 57-52 lead, but the Gauchos weren't finished yet.
Another hanging layup by Davis was followed by a defensive stop and another three-pointer from the left corner by Davis, tying the game at 57-57. A free throw by Carter and another pair of free throws by Dickerson gave the Huskies a 60-57 advantage. McLaughlin responded with a tear drop inside the lane to make it 60-59. A Dickerson turnover was followed by Jay Nagle making 1-of-2 free throw attempts, tying the score at 60.
Jaylen Nowell drained a fall away from the right baseline and was fouled. He missed the free throw and the score was 62-60 with 1:13 to play. A miss on the other end by Sow was rebounded near the corner by Nowell who was fouled by McLaughlin. Nowell made both free throws to give his team a 64-60 lead with 29 seconds to play.
Davis hit a mid-range jumper to give him a team-high 20 points with 18 seconds to play. Dickerson was then fouled intentionally with 16 seconds left on the clock. He made 1-of-2 free throws to make the score 65-62. The Huskies intentionally fouled Ramsey with 11 seconds to play and the UCSB point guard hit 1-of-2 to cut the gap to 65-63, but Nowell was intentionally fouled with 7 seconds left and he made both free throws for the 67-63 final score. Davis missed a three in the waning seconds.
UCSB had a difficult time solving the Washington zone early in the game, but finished at 41.5% overall. The Gauchos made a season-high eight three-point baskets and shot 40.0% from outside th arc. The Huskies finished at 42.0% overall but hit just 5-of-21 from three-point range, 23.8%.
Santa Barbara hurt itself by making just 11-of-21 free throw attempts and turning the ball over 17 times.
"You can't go 11-of-21 from the line and turn the ball over 17 times and expect to win many games," said head coach Joe Pasternack. "That being said, I was proud of the way we fought back and battled for 40 minutes."
Davis finished with 20 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. He also added a career-high three assists and a steal. He also made a season-high three three-point baskets. Ramsey had 12 points and made a pair of threes. Freshman Jay Nagle tied his career-high with nine points, including a pair of three-point baskets. He also had a career-high six rebounds. McLaughlin had eight points, a team-high five assists and two steals.
Dickerson had game-highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Nowell added 17 points. Matisase Thybulle had 13 points, including a trio of three-pointers all in the second half, to go along with six steals.
The Gauchos will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.