Feb. 14, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Chris Devine scored a career-high 29 points, including two free throws with 7.3 seconds to play, breaking a 66-66 tie and leading UC Santa Barbara (10-13 overall, 4-7 in the Big West) to a come-from-behind 68-66 win over visiting Cal Poly (6-16 overall, 3-9 in the Big West) on Saturday night.
Devine scored 12 of UCSB's last 18 points over the final seven minutes of the game. His free throws capped a frenzied final 1:26 that began with Mustang forward Titus Shelton making one of two free throws to give his team a 66-64 lead.
Shelton's missed attempt was rebounded by Cal Poly's John Manley. Following a timeout, the Mustangs ran a play for Lorenzo Keeler who missed a jumper from about 10 feet. Keeler rebounded his own miss and then missed a lay-up that was rebounded by the Gauchos' Jaime Serna with 55 seconds left.
UCSB got the ball in the left corner to freshman James Nunnally. Nunnally drove towards the left side of the lane and pulled-up. He turned and found senior Paul Roemer open and Roemer nailed a jumper from 12-feet out on the baseline, tying the score at 66-66.
After a timeout by the Gauchos, Cal Poly got the ball to Shelton in the post. He took a couple of dribbles and then threw a pass, intended for Keeler, towards the sideline. Nunnally, who was denying Keeler on the attempt, saved the ball from going out of bounds and got it to Will Brew, Jr. Brew brought the ball over midcourt and called UCSB's final timeout with 24.4 seconds to play.
The Gauchos got the ball into Brew out of the timeout. After dribbling some time off the clock, the freshman drove the lane and dumped the ball to Devine, who was fouled by Shelton going up for the lay-up with 7.3 seconds left. After he made the first free throw, the Mustangs burned their final timeout. Following Devine's second free throw, Cal Poly had one last chance, but a three-point attempt by Keeler at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.
"This is the first time that I've been in that situation," said Devine of the opportunity to win the game with a late shot. "I really wanted to take the shot tonight and I'm glad I was able to come through."
In addition to Devine's 10-for-16, 29-point performance, four UCSB freshmen combined for 31 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, and three blocked shots. Greg Somogyi had 10 points, making 5-of-6 shots, six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Nunnally had nine points, four rebounds, a career-high four assists, one steal, and a blocked shot. Brew finished with eight points, two rebounds, and three assists, while Serna had four points and a game-high seven rebounds.
As a team, the Gauchos shot 46.4%, but needed to shoot 59.1% on 13-of-22 in the second half to do so. They trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half.
The Mustangs were led by Chaz Thomas and Keeler who each had 19 points. Shelton finished with nine points and six rebounds.
UCSB has now won two straight games. The Gauchos remain at home and will host Pacific on Wednesday, Feb. 18 in a 7:00 p.m. game. The contest against the Tigers will be the final Coke Family Pack Night of the season. For just $40.00, fans can get four tickets, four t-shirts, four hot dogs, and four Cokes. Tickets are available from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB, or online by clicking here.