Feb. 15, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara blew-open a close game with a 29-4 run that ended the first half and opened the second, and the Gauchos cruised to their fourth straight win, 64-37 over visiting Cal Poly on Wednesday night. The four-game winning streak is the longest of the year.
With 10:09 remaining in the first half, Mustang guard Chaz Thomas made a long three-point shot to tie the game at 15 apiece. However a baseline jumper by UCSB's Cameron Goettsche with 7:08 left in the half ignited a 15-0 rally and spurred the Gauchos to a 32-19 lead at the break.
Santa Barbara (11-11 overall, 4-6 in the Big West) began the second half in the same fashion that it ended the first, outscoring Cal Poly (7-15 overall, 5-5 in the Big West) 12-0. Guard Michael Chambers, who scored six points in the 12-0 stretch, ended the run when he was fouled after scoring on an acrobatic lay-up in traffic. Chambers made the free throw to give UCSB a 44-19 advantage with 16:42 left in the game. Mustang guard Trae Clark scored his team's first second half bucket on a short turnaround in the lane with 16:28 to go, cutting the gap to 44-21.
At no point in the second half did UCSB's lead dip below 18 points. The largest lead of the game was 29, 64-35, in the waning seconds.
"Although I didn't think we had a great offensive rhythym tonight, I thought we played hard and, for the most part, played well defensively," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "I like the fact that we had just 10 turnovers after having nine in our last game. As a team, we are handling and protecting the ball better than at any time this year."
Cal Poly meanwhile, was led by Derek Stockalper who had seven points. No Mustang had more than two field goals in the game and they made just 21.3% of their shots, including 18.2% in the second half. Guard Dawin Whiten, who scored 24 points when Cal Poly defeated UCSB on Jan. 21, missed all nine of his field goal attempts, including six from three-point range, and went scoreless. The 37 points were the fewest scored by the Mustangs since they tallied just 35 against Boise State in December of 1994. It was the fewest points allowed by the Gauchos since they gave-up 36 to Westmont College on Dec. 10, 2003.
UCSB will return to the court on Saturday, Feb. 18, when it travels to San Jose State for a non-conference game that will tip-off at 4:30 p.m. The game is part of Bracket Buster Saturday, but it will not be televised.