Jan. 26, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara used an inspired defensive effort, particularly in the first half, to end a brief two-game home losing streak with a 60-45 Big West win over UC Davis Saturday.
The Gauchos (15-5 overall, 4-3 in the Big West) held the Aggies (8-12 overall, 2-5 in the Big West) without a point until a Dominic Calegari tip-in almost eight minutes into the game. UCSB was having its troubles offensively as well, and led just 10-0 when Calegari got Davis on the scoreboard with 12:14 to play.
The Aggies first basket of the game sent them on a mini 9-3 run that cut the Santa Barbara lead to 13-9 with 4:58 left in the first half. Sparked by the play of reserve guard Jordan Weiner, however, the Gauchos finally came alive on the offensive end, using a 14-4 surge over the final 4:33 of the half to take a 27-13 advantage into the locker room. Weiner came off the bench to hit a pair of three-pointers in the waning minutes of the half. Alex Harris, who finished with a game-high 14 points, also made a three-pointer during the rally, and Chris Devine, who had 12 points, scored five, including a three-point play to start the stretch.
"Jordan kind of got us going at the end of the first half," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "I think I've been too conservative in using my bench at times, and tonight I felt it was important to limit the minutes of some guys. Our bench did a great job tonight, giving us very good minutes, and Jordan was a big part of that."
Both teams got their offense going a bit more in the second half, but the Gaucho lead never dropped below nine and climbed as high as 18 at 60-42 with 56 seconds to play.
"For the second straight game we really didn't get much going offensively in the first half," Williams said. "That concerns me a little bit, but I thought tonight we were really diving for balls and flying around on both ends of the court. "
The Aggies finished the game at 34.8% overall and just 22.7% from three-point range. The Gauchos made 48.9% of their shots overall, but only 31.6% from three-point territory. Also, after turning the ball over nine times in the first half, they had just two in the second half to finish with 11.
Reserves Nedim Pajevic and D.J. Posley also played solidly off the Gaucho bench. Pajevic had six points, four rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes, while Posley had six points and a rebound in 14 minutes. Ivan Elliott led UCSB with six rebounds to go along with eight points.
Davis was led by Mark Paynee who had 13 points and nine rebounds. Vince Oliver had 11 points, and reserve center Michael Boone had the best game of his career with nine pints, eight rebounds and five blocke shots.
UCSB will play its next game on the road as it travel to UC Riverside on Wednesday, Jan. 30, for a 7:00 p.m. game against the Highlanders.