Feb. 1, 2007
DAVIS, Calif. - Freshman guard Justin Joyner scored seven of his 12 points during a 14-3 run to open the second half and junior forward Chris Devine had 19 points and 10 rebounds as UC Santa Barbara overcame a sluggish first half to win for the ninth time in 11 road games this season, 66-48 at UC Davis.
UCSB (14-6) trailed the Aggies (4-16) 24-23 at halftime, but junior forward Ivan Elliott made a lay-up at the 18:50 mark of the second half to give the Gauchos the lead for good, 25-24. Devine scored on a driving lay-up and made a free throw to make it 28-24. After a 14-foot jumper by Aggie guard David Carter cut the lead to two points, Joyner responded with his first three-point basket of the game off of a kick-out from Devine to give Santa Barbara a 31-26 edge.
The Gauchos, who played stifling defense in the second half, forced a UC Davis turnover and senior guard Cecil Brown capitalized by making a slashing baseline lay-up. Following a media timeout, Joyner made a free throw line jumper with 14:48 left to give UCSB a 35-26 lead and then after Aggie forward Thomas Juillerat made one of two free throws, Joyner made a floating jumper in the lane with 14:04 left to cap the 14-3 run and give his team a 37-27 lead.
"The first five or six minute of the second half were huge for us," said Gaucho head coach Bob Williams. "We played with more urgency on both ends of the floor and we took advantage of our opportunities. Justin (Joyner) really sparked us in those first few minutes and that really created opportunities for the rest of the guys."
At the 10:56 mark, the run had grown to 19-5 as Devine made a short jumper from the baseline to give UCSB a 44-29 lead and the Aggies never got the lead under double-digits the rest of the way. The Gauchos finished the game on an 8-2 stretch to win going away.
"I liked the way we finished them off," Williams said. "We jumped out to the 10 point lead in the second half and didn't let them get back into it."
Santa Barbara won despite leading scorer Alex Harris suffering through his worst shooting performance of the season. Harris, the Big West's leading scorer, made just 1-of-13 shots from the field, including 0-for-6 from three-point range. He did make 9-of-10 from the free throw line to finish with 11 points.
Devine finished the game at 8-of-10 from the floor and it was his fifth double-double of the season. Joyner scored in double-figures for the fourth time this season and the third time in as many games, making 5-of-9 shots overall and 2-of-4 from three-point territory. He also had seven rebounds. Elliott scored seven points and blocked one shot before fouling out, but he also tied his career-high with 12 rebounds. Guard James Powell came off the bench to make 4-of-6 shots and score nine points.
Juillerat and Kyle Brucculeri shared team-high honors for UC Davis with 10 points. The Aggies, however, made just 32.8% of their shots overall and 28.1% in the second half. They scored just 24 second half points. In addition, they made just 4-of-26 three-point attempts, 1-of-14 in the second half.
UCSB shot just 43.4% from the field, but it made 48.3% in the second half. The Gauchos also won the battle of the boards, 42-33, and hit 18-of-22 shots from the free throw line, 81.8%.
Santa Barbara returns home on Thursday, Feb. 8 to host UC Irvine in a 7:00 p.m. Big West game at the Thunderdome.