Jan. 20, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Trae Clark scored 19 points to lead a trio of Cal Poly players in double-figures as the Mustangs handed UC Santa Barbara its second straight home loss, 71-61 on Saturday night.
The Gauchos (11-6 overall, 3-2 in the Big West) also struggled with Cal Poly's (9-8 overall, 2-3 in the Big West) zone defense, particularly in the first half, when they shot just 30.8%. UCSB trailed 37-28 at halftime and never pulled closer than six in the final 20 minutes.
The Mustangs, which received 14 points from Tyler McGinn and 12 points from Titus Shelton, had their biggest lead of 15 points at 54-39 with 11:40 remaining in the game. The Gauchos held Cal Poly scoreless for the next six minutes, but could shave just eight points off the lead. Paul Roemer scored on a driving lay-up and was fouled with 5:59 left to pull UCSB within seven, 54-47, but he missed the free throw and Shelton scored on a lay-up at the other end to extend the edge to 56-47 with 5:29 left.
After the Mustangs extended the lead to 11 on a pair of free throws from Derek Stockalper with 3:40 to play, the Gauchos got a lay-up from Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté and a lay-up and a free throw from Chris Devine to make it 58-52. On the defensive end, Alex Harris fouled Cal Poly guard Dawin Whiten, but Whiten missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw. UCSB rebounded and with a chance to cut the lead in half, missed a three-point attempt. The Mustangs responded with a lay-up from Stockalper and the rest was history.
The win was Cal Poly's first at the Thunderdome against a Bob Williams-coached Gaucho team. The loss was UCSB's second in a row and third in the last four games.
Harris led Santa Barbara with 19 points, but he missed his first nine shots from the field and finished just 4-for-16. He did made 10-of-12 free throws. Devine had 12 points, but he also struggled with his shooting, making just 2-of-7 from the field. Cecil Brown had 10 points. Ivan Elliott lead the Gauchos with 11 rebounds and they did have a 42-28 rebounding advantage for the game.
UCSB committed just 12 turnovers, but had just five assists. Cal Poly had a season-low five turnovers and finished the game at 44.6% shooting. The Mustangs, who came into the game shooting below 60.0% from the free throw line, made 13-of-16, 81.3%.
The Gauchos travel to Cal State Northridge for a Big West game on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7:00 p.m.