Gauchos Dig Themselves Out of First Half Hole But Can't Close the Deal in 54-50 Loss at UC Riverside

Jan. 27, 2005

Final Stats

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara overcame a 13-point first half deficit at UC Riverside on Thursday night, tying the score at 50-50 on a Josh Davis three-pointer with 1:57 left in the game, but the Highlanders scored the final four points to send the Gauchos to their second straight loss, 54-50.

Following the three-pointer by Davis, the Highlanders responded. Guard Steve Williams got free inside the key near the baseline, made a short bank shot and was fouled by UCSB's Alex Harris with 1:31 to go. Williams missed the free throw and Harris scrambled for the rebound. In the frontcourt, UCSB got the ball to guard Joe See at the free throw line extended on the right side. See drove down the side of the lane and was whistled for a charging foul with 1:02 remaining.

On the defensive end, UCR's Larry Cunningham went in for a lay-up on the left side, but Gaucho forward Cameron Goettsche met him at the rim with a spectacular block. Davis retrieved the ball for UCSB, but with 42 second left, Chrismen Oliver took a three-pointer from just in front of the Gaucho bench. The ball rimmed out and then bounced high off the backboard. Williams came down with the board for the Highlanders.

After a timeout, UCSB went for a steal, and ultimately committed an intentional foul on Justin Bell with 16 seconds remaining. Bell missed the first free throw, before making the second to give UCR a 53-50 edge. The Gauchos called another timeout and with four ticks left on the clock, Michael Chambers missed a three-pointer from about three feet above the key. Rickey Porter collected the rebound, was fouled by Chambers, and made one of two free throws to ice the game.

UCSB shot a miserable 25.9% in the first half to fall behind by 13. The Gauchos trailed 28-17 at the break, but used a 55.6% second half to get back in the game. The two areas that UCSB could not overcome were a 44-24 Riverside rebounding edge, an a poor 12-of-22 performance from the free throw line.

Oliver finished with 15 points to lead UCSB. Goettsche had 14 points, but just three rebounds. Davis had 12 points and team-high six rebounds. One bright spot for the Gauchos was the fact that they had a season-low five turnovers.

Riverside, which is now 7-10 overall and 3-5 in Big West play, was paced by Cunningham who had 16 points.

UCSB, now 7-10 overall, and 4-5 in the Big West, has lost two straight overall and eight straight on the road. The Gauchos will remain on the road for a 5:00 p.m. game at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night.