LOS ANGELES – UC Santa Barbara made a season-high 13 three-point baskets, including eight in the first half, but it wasn't enough as 16th-ranked UCLA overcame a six-point deficit en route to an 89-76 win at Pauley Pavilion on Tuesday night.
Alan Williams led the Gauchos (3-3) with a game-high 23 points, but it was the three-point assault by Kyle Boswell (5), Michael Bryson (3), Zalmico Harmon (3) and Taran Brown (2) that kept them in the game throughout the first half and into much of the second half. Santa Barbara finished 13-of-26 from outside the three-point arc, 50.0%.
With 8:21 to play in the game, Williams made 1-of-2 free throws for UCSB, tying the game for the last time at 65. A three-pointer from the right corner by Bryce Alford with 8:13 to go gave UCLA (8-0) the lead for good and sparked a 14-2 run that put the game out of reach. A lay-up by Jordan Adams capped the rally with 2:57 to play and the score was 79-67.
"I thought we ran out of gas a little bit," said Gaucho head coach Bob Williams. "They are so long and athletic and really make you work for everything. In the end, they just had too many weapons."
UCSB essentially used the same five players – Williams, Boswell, Bryson, Brown and Harmon – for the entire second half.
The Bruins, who were led by Jordan Adams with 22 points and Kyle Anderson with 21, outscored the Gauchos from the free throw line 27-7. The teams each made 28-of-53 shots from the field, 52.8%.
"The shooting wasn't the issue," Coach Williams said. "The free throw line and the turnovers were the real difference in the game, and UCLA's great length and their 1-2-2 three-quarter court press going back to a man, bothered us."
UCSB equaled its season-high with 17 turnovers while UCLA had just seven.
The teams played a see-saw first half with the Gauchos leading by as many as six (38-32 with 5:22 left) and the Bruins leading by as many as five (on three occasions) and when Eric Childress' tear-drop shot rolled off the rim at the buzzer, the game was tied at 42.
Boswell finished with 18 points and five assists, while Bryson had his first career double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Williams added eight rebounds to his 23 points. Brown finished with 11 points and Harmon had nine.
"I wanted to get into a rhythm early and look for my shot," Boswell said. "It opens things up for Al (Williams) down low. I had a fun time, but we just fell short at the end."
"Even though we led during certain points of the game, there are no moral victories for this team," said Alan Williams. "We have Cal on Friday and we need to get back to the gym. I know that in the second half I have to deliver, and I missed a few 'cheapies,' however I was able to knock down a couple of shots."
UCSB returns home to host Cal on Friday, Dec. 6. The game will mark the first time the Golden Bears have played in Santa Barbara since the inaugural game at the Thunderdome in 1979.