Jan. 29, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Jordan Weiner's three-point attempt with just under three seconds left in the game bounced off the back of the rim as UC Santa Barbara dropped a heart-breaking 72-70 Big West decision to visiting Cal State Northridge on Thursday night.
With 43 seconds to play, UCSB forward Jaimé Serna made one of two free throws after being fouled by Willie Gallick. Serna's free throw pulled the Gauchos (8-12 overall, 2-6 in the Big West) into a tie with the Matadors (8-10 overall, 5-3 in th Big West).
Following a timeout, Northridge got the ball to point guard Josh Jenkins. Jenkins drove into the key and drew two defenders. Jenkins found Vincent Cordell slashing to the basket and Cordell drove in for a lay-up to give his team a 72-70 lead with 11 seconds left, setting-up the final attempt by Weiner.
"I thought Jordan (Weiner) had an open look at the basket," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "We had four options on the play and I told the guys that if they had an open look at a three, take it. The ball just didn't go in."
There were eight lead changes in the see-saw game. The Matadors led by as many as eight points, but the Gauchos never led by more than three. UCSB's last lead of 66-65 came on a Chris Devine free throw with 2:34 to play. A slam dunk in transition by Tremaine Townsend followed by a steal and lay-up from Rodrigue Mels gave Northridge a three-point edge, 69-66.
Weiner, who finished with six points, hit the second of his two three-pointers with 1:41 left to tie the score at 69-69. On the Matadors next possession, Mels missed a three-point attempt, but the Gauchos turned the ball over on the ensuing trip down the court. With 57 seconds to play, Northridge's Kenny Daniels made one of two free throws after being fouled by James Nunnally. The free throw gave the Matadors a one-point edge, 70-69. Serna tied the score at 70 on a free throw with 43 seconds left.
"I thought we really played hard," Williams said. "We didn't always play well, but we played hard. I was disappointed that we had 18 turnovers. This team can't win when it has 18 turnovers. We just don't shoot the ball well enough or rebound on the offensive glass well enough."
UCSB, which shot 41.5% for the game, was led by Devine who had his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 boards. James Powell seemed to shake a shooting slump, finishing with 14 points and making all four of his three-point attempts. Serna added a career-high 11 points. He also had four assists.
Northridge, which outrebounded the Gauchos 40-32, was paced by Daniels who had 14 points. Tremaine Townsend had 13 points and nine rebounds. Jenkins and Mels each added 13 points.
UCSB is off on Saturday, but hits the road next weekend with games at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Feb. 5 and UC Irvine on Saturday, Feb. 7. Both games will tip-off at 7:00 p.m.