Dec. 18, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Senior Casey Cook scored 14 points and tied his career-high with 12 rebounds, and senior guard Chrismen Oliver had ten points and career-highs of seven assists and five steals, to help UC Santa Barbara end a four-game losing streak with a 55-46 win over visiting Montana on Saturday night.
Cook scored ten of his points in the first half to help the Gauchos assume a 25-19 lead over the cold shooting Grizzlies at halftime. Montana, which made just 31.0% of its field goals in the game, hit only 4-of-17 in the first half, 23.5%. Guard Kevin Criswell made a three-point basket to open the scoring, but the 3-0 lead was the biggest advantage Montana would have all night. Cook made a lay-up to give UCSB an 8-6 lead with 12:55 remaining in the first half and the Gauchos never trailed again.
Santa Barbara jumped out of the gates quickly in the second half, outscoring Montana 7-3 over the first five minutes to take a ten-point lead, 32-22. The Grizzlies, however, kept the game within reach by going on an 8-1 run that cut the lead to 33-30 with 13:14 to go in the game. The 8-1 run was capped by a three-point basket from Corey Easley, who finished with a team-high 12 points. Montana would get no closer as the Gauchos responded with a Glenn Turner hook shot, a lay-up off of a follow by Joe See, and a three-pointer by See to reclaim a double-digit lead at 40-30 with 10:01 remaining. The Grizzlies got as close as four in the waning minutes, but never really challenged again.
UCSB's had its best defensive effort of the season in the win. In addition to limiting Montana to 31.0% shooting overall, they held the Grizzlies to just 6-of-25, 24.0%, from inside the three-point arc. Also, the Gauchos equaled a season-high 13 steals in the game.
Although the defense was the key, the Gauchos' offensive struggles continued. UCSB shot just 33.9% from the field, including 27.6% in the second half, an a dreary 13-of-26 from the free throw line.
The double-double was the second of Cook's career. He also had three assists and three steals. Cameron Goettsche never got on-track offensively, taking just two shots in 21 minutes, he did have a season-high nine rebounds. Josh Davis, the team's leading scorer entering the game, attempted just five shots, making two, and scoring nine points. He did have a season-high seven rebounds. See also tied his season-high with nine points.
UCSB improves to 2-4 on the season. Montana drops to 4-5. The Gauchos return to action on Wednesday, December 22, when they travel to the University of San Diego for a 7:00 p.m. game.