Nov. 8, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- James Powell scored 20 points, hauled in five rebounds and made four steals to lead the UCSB Gauchos in a 70-52 exhibition victory over the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros.
Powell made six out of his nine field goal attempts and was six of seven from the line in 26 minutes of play. Chris Devine added 14 points and three steals for the Gauchos, who finished with 17 steals on the night.
"It's a huge part of our team. Defensively we want to create turnovers, we want to get out in transition," said Gaucho head coach Bob Williams.
Jerrell Smith had a team-high 14 points and six rebounds in a losing effort for the Toros. Rodney Yearby pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to go with 10 points, and Tim McGrath scored seven points off the bench.
The Gauchos jumped out to a quick 11-0 lead early in the game, and had their largest lead of the half when they held a 32-12 advantage with 8:57 remaining. The Toros would cut the deficit to 41-29 at halftime, after the Gauchos started committing some untimely fouls.
"We ran on empty there for a little while," said Williams. "It showed when we started reaching and grabbing and weren't moving our feet as well."
The Gauchos did not have a field goal in the first five minutes of the second half, until Powell shot a jumper with 14:02 remaining to give his team a 46-33 lead. From that point forward UCSB ran their offense efficiently, building the lead up to 65-40 with 6:35 remaining. From there, the team buckled down defensively and cruised to a 70-52 victory.
Both teams turned the ball over frequently, with the Toros finishing with 27 turnovers and the Gauchos with 24. However, the Gauchos managed to score 23 points off turnovers compared to the Toros' 14.
UCSB's first regular season game will be on Friday, Nov. 14 when they play host to Cal State Los Angeles. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Thunderdome.
-- UCSBGauchos.com --