Sept. 3, 2007
VICTORIA, B.C. - Alex Harris scored 28 points, Ivan Elliott added 12 and UC Santa Barbara used a newly-installed trapping, pressure defense to force the University of Victoria into 26 turnovers, en route to a 74-64 exhibition win at the University of Victoria on Monday night. It was the initial game of UCSB's five-game tour of British Columbia.
The Gauchos were playing their first game after just 10 days of practice and it showed in the first 23 minutes as they fell behind 42-33 three minutes into the third quarter. A Harris three-pointer, however, sparked a 21-10 rally to end the quarter, giving UCSB a 54-52 advantage entering the final frame.
In the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, the Gauchos outscored the Vikes 15-5 to take their biggest lead of the game, 69-57. At that point, they had gone on a 36-15 run. Victoria narrowed the margin to 69-62 on a follow by Mitch Gudgeon and a three-pointer from the corner by Brandon Dunlop with 3:50 remaining, but that was as close as it would get.
Santa Barbara forced 15 of the 26 turnovers in the second half. Also the Gauchos, who were outrebounded 27-22 in the first half, turned the tables in the second, grabbing 24 rebounds to 12 for Victoria, finishing with a 46-39 advantage.
"We're putting in a new pressure defense and while we have a long way to go, I think it disrupted them in the second half," said 10th-year head coach Bob Williams. "Even though it was an exhibition, we continued to play very hard and I was happy with that. Both teams were tired in the second half, but I thought our guys really hung in there."
Williams was also pleased with the performances of Harris and Elliott.
"Al is such a good offensive player," he said. "He is very difficult to stop. You get to the end of the game and look at the stat sheet and he's scored 28 points. Ivan was all over the place tonight. He had nine rebounds, but he got his hands on so many more."
Senior forward Chris Devine also had nine rebounds to go with nine points.
Victoria was led by Dunlop and forward Tyler Hass who each had 14 points.
The Gauchos and Vikes will play again on Tuesday night in a game that will tip at 7:00 p.m.