March 7, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AP) -Alex Harris scored 25 points, Ivan Elliott scored 16 and UC Santa Barbara defeated Cal State Northridge 77-66 Thursday night to clinch a share of the Big West Conference regular-season title with one game to play.
Harris and Elliott combined for 11 field goals in 22 attempts, and Harris made 12 of 16 free throws for the Gauchos (22-7, 11-4). They need only win at eighth-place Long Beach State on Saturday to earn the top seed in the conference tournament.
UCSB was the preseason favorite.
Deon Tresvant led Northridge (19-9, 11-4) with 25 points, and Josh Jenkins scored 12.
The Matadors can wrap up a share of their first regular-season title, the No. 2 seed in the tournament and only their sixth 20-win season in 50 years with a victory Saturday against sixth-place Cal Poly.
The top two seeds earn byes into the tournament semifinals.
James Powell scored 12 points, including a turnaround from the top of the key that put the Gauchos back up by double digits after Tresvant's six in a row cut the lead to eight.
UCSB shot 47 percent from the field and held the Matadors to 40 percent.