Jan. 26, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Jonathan Heard scored 15 points, Calvin Chitwood added 14 and visiting Cal State Northridge forced UC Santa Barbara into 25 turnovers to record a 59-46 victory on Thursday night.
The Matadors' (8-8 overall, 2-3 in the Big West) swarming defense helped them to a 25-16 lead at halftime, but the Gauchos (7-10 overall, 1-5 in the Big West) used a 13-2 run at the start of the second half to take their first and only lead of the game, 29-27. The UCSB rally was capped by a thunderous dunk on an inbounds by junior forward Glenn Turner.
Northridge responded to Santa Barbara's rally. Heard made a lay-up to tie the score at 29 apiece and Chitwood made a baseline jumper to give his team a 31-29 edge. The Matadors never relinquished the lead again and Mike Efevberha's lay-up with 12:54 to go in the game ended a 13-3 run that gave them a 40-32 edge. The Gauchos would pull to within five one more time (40-35), but Northridge would respond again to lead by as many as 16 at 57-41.
Efevberha, the Big West's leading scorer, did not play in the first half for Northridge. He did, however, score 11 points in just 13 minutes in the second half.
UCSB was paced by Cecil Brown and Chris Devine who each had 10 points. Turner had seven points and nine rebounds in just 13 minutes. The Gauchos not only had a season-high 25 turnovers in the game, but they also shot just 34.7% from the field, their lowest mark in a Big West game this season. Santa Barbara did win the rebounding battle by a 40-25 margin.
The Gauchos 1-5 start in league play is their worst since the 1982-83 season.
UCSB will host Pacific on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast by Fox Sports Net West.