Jan. 5, 2000
Los Angeles - The UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team has yet to lose in the 21st Century as they used a 20-6 run in the final seven minutes of the game to win at Loyola Marymount on Wednesday night, 73-63.
Senior guard Erick Ashe scored 18 points and junior guard LaRon Bryant added a career-high 15, including ten in the second half and seven during the games decisive second half run. Ashe, who fouled out with 5:05 remaining in the game, scored 16 of his points in the first half. He had his best shooting night of the season, making 7-of-12 shots overall and 3-of-7 from three-point range.
The Gauchos led 40-28 after the first half and when Adama Ndiaye made a pair of free throws to open the second half, the lead was up to a game-high 14 at 42-28. Then, UCSB went cold, failing to make a field goal for the next 11 minutes. With 8:38 left in the game, Bryant drilled one of his three-pointers to break the spell. At that point, the Gauchos needed Bryant's trey to reclaim the lead, 54-53.
The game also marked the return of senior point guard Larry Bell. Bell, who was reinstated to the team on Tuesday, did not start, but played 18 minutes and contributed seven points, two rebounds and a pair of steals. He made 2-for-3 from the field and 3-for-5 from the free throw line.
UCSB shot 40.7% from the game, only the third time this season they made 40.0% or better from the field. They were particularly hot in the first half, shooting 46.9%, but they let the Lions back into the game by making only 7-of-22 shots in the second half, a poor 31.8%. The Gauchos, however, used outstanding defense to stay in the game when they stopped making their shots. They allowed LMU to shoot only 35.6% for the game and they forced 21 Lion turnovers. UCSB produced a season-high 13 steals in the game and nine different players had at least one. Senior guard Derrick Allen had a team-high three steals and a season-best seven assists. Ashe and Bell each had a pair of steals.
The Gauchos, coming off of back-to-back games of 28 and 22 turnovers respectively, had only 13 against LMU.
In addition to Ashe's 18 and Bryant's 15, the Gauchos received nine points and three blocked shots from Ndiaye. Sophomore Mike Vukovich played only 11 minutes, but made 3-of-4 shots from the floor and finished with a team-high seven rebounds. Vukovich and junior Ross Carmichael combined for 11 rebounds, eight on the offensive end, in only 17 total minutes.
With the victory, the Gauchos are now 3-7 on the year. The win was also UCSB's first road win of the campaign. LMU drops to 1-11 with all 11 losses coming in succession, breaking the school record for consecutive losses.
The Gauchos return to action on Saturday, January 8 when they host St. Mary's College at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. The game will be UCSB's final tuneup before the start of Big West play on January 13 at North Texas.