Gauchos Garner Big West Crown in Dramatic Fashion

March 8, 2008

Box Score

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- Alex Harris and Chris Devine each made a free throw with less than a second remaining in overtime to give UC Santa Barbara a 70-68 victory over Long Beach State on Saturday.

The Gauchos' (23-7, 12-4) win gives UC Santa Barbara the Big West Conference title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament that begins Wednesday.

With the score tied at 68-68 and 1.8 seconds remaining in overtime, Justin Joyner threw a inbounds pass three-quarters of the length of the court to Devine. Devine caught the pass, turned to shoot and was fouled with .3 seconds left.

Devine missed his first free throw and the 49'ers immediately called a timeout. However, Long Beach State did not have one left. The referee assessed the 49'ers with a two-shot technical foul. Harris made the first of two free throws, but missed the second. Devine then went back to the line and made his second free throw giving the Gauchos a 70-68 lead.

Greg Plater's 3-pointer attempt fell short as the game ended.

Harris was 6-of-11 and led UC Barbara with 21 points and Devine added 17 points for the Gauchos.

Donavan Morris scored a career-high 33 points but fouled out with 2:40 left in overtime. Cornel Williams scored 14 points and Plater added 10 for the 49'ers, who dropped their seventh game in a row.

Still, Long Beach State (6-24, 3-13) qualifies for the conference tournament.