Jan. 24, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Chad Troyer scored 27 points and made six three-point baskets to lead red-hot Pacific to a 71-58 win over ice cold UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night. The loss was the Gauchos second straight at home after opening the season with seven straight Thunderdome wins.
The game was low scoring throughout much of the first half, with the teams tied at 6-6 with nearly eight minutes gone. The Gauchos (14-5 overall, 3-3 in the Big West) took a 15-12 lead with 7:30 left in the first half, and led 17-14 with 6:10 remaining. From that point, the Tigers (14-5 overall, 5-1 in the Big West) outscored UCSB 12-0 to close the first half, hitting 5-of-8 shots from the field over the final six minutes to take a 26-17 lead at the break. Pacific limited the Gauchos to 7-of-29 shooting from the field in the first 20 minutes, including 0-for-7 to finish the half.
Santa Barbara opened the second half with a 9-3 run to pare the Tiger lead to 29-26 with just over 15 minutes to play. Pacific, however, went on a 9-1 surge of its own to reclaim a decisive 38-27 edge. Troyer made two of his three-pointers during what proved to be the decisive run. A trio of free throws, one by Chris Devine and a pair by Nedim Pajevic, cut the lead back down to eight, 38-30, but the Tigers responded again, this time with a game-clinching 19-6 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 57-36, with 5:34 remaining in the game.
A flurry of UCSB three-pointers and a handful of missed Pacific free throws allowed the Gauchos to pull within nine, 67-58, with 1:18 to play, but they would get no closer.
The visiting Tigers finished the game at 59.5% from the field overall, the highest percentage by a Santa Barbara opponent this season. They also made 9-of-19 shots from beyond the three-point arc and won the rebounding battle, 37-27. UCSB on the other hand, had its worst shooting game of the campaign as it hit just 7-of-29 first half shots, 24.1%, and 18-of-56 for the game, 32.1%. The Gauchos also struggled from three-point distance, going 8-for-26, 30.8%.
Senior guard Alex Harris, who was suffering from a sinus infection and did not practice during the week, led the Gauchos with 15 points. Devine had 14 points and James Powell added 13. Devine also became the 22nd player in school history to go past the 1,000 point mark. He now has 1,004. Ivan Elliott had a team-high nine rebounds. Anthony Brown had a double-double for the Tigers, finishing with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Gauchos remain home for four of their next five games, including a 7:00 p.m. game against visiting UC Davis on Saturday night at the Thunderdome.