Dec. 3, 2005
LOS ANGELES - The road has not been friendly to UC Santa Barbara this year and on Saturday night, the Gauchos' road struggles continued in a 77-60 loss at Loyola Marymount. The loss was UCSB's third in a row.
The Gauchos jumped-out to an 18-11 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first half, but then they went ice cold. LMU outscored UCSB 27-6 the remainder of the half to take a commanding 38-24 halftime edge. The Gauchos made just 8-of-30 shots in the first 20 minutes, a miserable 26.7%. The Lions, who had shooting problems of their own in the early going, finished the half at 13-for-29, 44.8%.
UCSB jumped out of the blocks quickly in the second half as senior guard Josh Davis scored the first four points, two from the free throw line and two more on a lay-up after a nice feed by sophomore forward Chris Devine. But with the score 38-28, LMU went on another run, this one was 16-4, to claim an insurmountable 22-point lead, 54-32. The Gauchos never pulled closer than 17 the rest of the way.
Although UCSB finished the game at 37.5% from the floor, many of its successful shots came in the final minutes with the game long-since decided.
LMU was led by forward Matthew Knight who had 20 points and 12 rebounds. Guard Jon Ziri, who entered the game with just three three-point baskets on the season, scored 16 points and made 4-of-8 shots from three-point range. He made three of his three-point baskets in the decisive first half. Overall, the Lions made a season-high nine three-point shots.
The Gauchos were paced by Alex Harris who finished with 15 points and five rebounds. Devine and Davis each tallied 13 points and Cecil Brown had 10. Devine, Davis and Brown combined to make 14-of-20 shots, 70.0%, but he rest of the team made just 7-of-36, 19.0%. Devine added six rebounds to lead UCSB. Santa Barbara was also outrebounded on the night, 44-35, and it had just six assists to go with 17 turnovers.
The Gauchos will return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 7, when they host Pepperdine at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. UCSB is 2-0 in home games this season.