January 20, 2008

Harris Scores Season-High 31 as Gauchos Win Second Straight with 75-60 Rout of Rival Cal Poly

Jan. 19, 2008

Box Score

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Alex Harris scored a season-high 31 points, and James Powell added 20 as UC Santa Barbara won its second straight game, 75-60 at Cal Poly on Saturday night.

Harris, who was suffering from a cold, scored 17 of his 31 points in the second half as UCSB (14-4 overall, 3-2 in the Big West) pulled away from the Mustangs (6-11 overall, 1-4 in the Big West) after leading by nine at halftime. The Gauchos scored the first four points of the second half, including a baseline jumper by Harris, to take a 13-point lead, 37-24. The advantage never fell into single-digits the rest of the way.

Santa Barbara took its biggest lead, 62-42, with 7:27 to play in the game, but Cal Poly used a 12-3 run to close to within 11, 65-54 with 2:35 left. Harris,however, answered with a three-pointer from deep in the left corner to make it 68-54 and that essentially sealed the win.

Although the Gauchos struggled with their two-point shooting in the first half, making just 3-of-21, they were on fire from three-point territory, hitting 7-of-14. Powell, who scored 20 for the second straight game, helped boost UCSB's first half fortunes by making a trio of three-pointers. He had 11 points at the break. Forward Ivan Elliott, who finished with just six points, made both of his three-point attempts, also in the first half.

UCSB finished the game with a 37.7% field goal percentage overall, but it made 10-of-20 from beyond the three-point arc. Cal Poly, on the other hand, shot 42.6% overall, but could hit just 2-of-19 from outside the three-point arc, 10.5%.

"We did a pretty good job of harassing their shooters tonight," said Gaucho head coach Bob Williams. "They really killed us with three-pointers last year and we were determined that the same thing wouldn't happen this year. Alex (Harris) made some big shots when it looked like they were going to make it close, and that was key too."

UCSB also outrebounded the Mustangs, 39-30. Nedim Pajevic had a game-high six rebounds. Justin Joyner and Powell each had five assists to lead the way in that category.

Cal Poly was paced by Trae Clark and Lorenzo Keeler who each tallied 12 points.

The Gauchos return home on Thursday, Jan. 24, to host Pacific in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.