January 4, 2009

UC Riverside Rallies Past Gauchos, 71-69

Jan. 4, 2009

Box Score

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Kyle Austin scored 13 points and Javon Borum added 12 as UC Riverside rallied and then held on to defeat visiting UC Santa Barbara on Sunday afternoon, 71-69. Chris Devine tied his season-high for the Gauchos with 24 points.

Gaucho freshman Jaimé Serna scored and was fouled on a follow with 8.5 seconds left, making the score 70-69, but he did not make the free throw and Austin rebounded for the Highlanders. He was fouled intentionally and made the first of two free throws before missing the second. The rebound was knocked out of bounds by UCSB, giving the Gauchos one final chance.

Will Brew, Jr., got the ball in to James Powell. Powell dribbled into the frontcourt but his three-point basket was after the buzzer and UCSB dropped to 6-8 overall and 0-2 in the Big West.

The Gauchos got the lead to 46-32 early in the second half, but the Highlanders took the defensive intensity to a different level, forcing UCSB into eight turnovers in the first eight minutes and using a 17-2 run to claim a 49-48 advantage. Borum made three three-pointers during the rally. As a team, Riverside made 6-of-9 three-point attempts in the second half and UCSB committed 11 of its 15 turnovers in the final 20 minutes.

The Gauchos, after making 16-of-30 first half shots, hit just 4-of-17 in the second half, 23.5%. They stayed in the game at the free throw line by making 17 out of 20 - 85.0 - in the second half. UCSB finished 27-of-31 for the game, 87.1%.

The first half was a display of contrasts as UCSB rode the inside presence of Chris Devine to a 44-32 lead. The senior from Eagle River, Alaska had 16 points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes, and he was the driving force as the Gauchos made 16-of-30 shots overall while attempting just two three-pointers. The Highlanders, on the other hand, was 10-of-27 overall from the field and 5-of-12 from three-point range.

In addition to his 24 points, Devine finished with a team-high eight rebounds. James Powell struggled with his shooting again, making just 3-of-11 overall, but finished with 11 points.

The Gauchos return home for two before embarking on another three-game road stretch. On Thursday, Jan. 8, UCSB hosts UC Irvine in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The game will be a Coke Family Four Pack night and fans can get four tickets, four sodas, four hot dogs, and four t-shirts for just $40.00.

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