Nov. 7, 1999
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team opened the exhibition season with an 83-68 loss to the Mount Gambier Pioneers Sunday afternoon at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara. Jermaine Brown led the Pioneers with 17 points and Jason Sedlock added 13 points and 14 rebounds. The Gauchos were led by sophomore forward Mike Vukovich who had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
UCSB jumped out to a quick start, taking an early 7-0 lead on a pair of two-point buckets by senior guard Erick Ashe and a three-pointer by freshman forward Mark Hull, but Mount Gambier ultimately took the lead at 14-13 and the Gauchos never led again.
The Gauchos outscored Mount Gambier 18-11 to open the second half, tying the score at 53-53. From that point, however, the Pioneers went on a 20-3 run to take a commanding 75-58 lead with only 4:06 remaining. UCSB was able to cut the lead to 13 at 81-68, but they never got closer.
Vukovich, who redshirted last season, had his 11 points and 13 rebounds in only 24 minutes of play. He was only 3-of-8 from the field and 5-of-9 from the free throw line, but he had five offensive rebounds. In addition to his double-digit effort, Ashe had 11 points. Senior point guard Derrick Allen had ten points, five assists, three steals and six rebounds. LaRon Bryant, a junior tranfer from American River Junior College, hit 3-of-6 shots from the field overall, including 2-of-4 from three-point range, to finish with ten points.
The Gauchos struggled offensively, shooting only 39-percent from the field and committing 19 turnovers. Mount Gambier, on the other hand, shot 50-percent and had 30 assists. UCSB won the battle on the boards, 40-39.
UCSB played without senior starting guard Larry Bell, sidelined until mid-December with a broken bone in his right foot. In addition, 6-foot-9 junior forward Ross Carmichael, a transfer from Texas Tech, does not become eligible until the end of Fall Quarter.
Santa Barbara will play its final exhibition game on Thursday, November 11 when they host the Lithuanian National Team in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos open the regular season on Saturday, November 20 when they host 13th-ranked Stanford, also at 7:00 p.m. at the Thunderdome.