Feb. 5, 2005
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
When Utah State shot 65.4% in the first half of its game at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night, you had to figure they couldn't keep it up.
They couldn't. They got better.
After hitting 17-of-26 shots in the first half, the Aggies made 15-of-19 in the second and cruised past UCSB, 80-50.
Utah State (17-5 overall, 8-3 in the Big West) finished the game at 71.1%, the highest field goal percentage ever recorded against UCSB (8-12 overall, 5-7 in the Big West). They also made 10-of-15 shots from three-point range, 66.7%, and they outrebounded UCSB, 33-16.
"The final 36 minutes were a humbling experience," admitted UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "We couldn't defend them. They really had their way with us, and that what was so humbling."
The Gauchos actually jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the first three minutes of the game, but that's when Utah State took over, outscoring UCSB 42-18 to end the half.
The Aggies picked-up where they left off in the second half, outscoring Santa Barbara 15-6 in the first 6:40 to take an insurmountable 61-34 lead. After falling behind by 27, the Gauchos never got closer than 23 the rest of the way and they trailed by as many as 33 at 80-47.
Senior forward Spencer Nelson led the assault for Utah State with 19 points, six rebounds and nine assists. He made 8-of-11 shots from the floor. Freshman guard Jaycee Carroll, who made eight three-point baskets in the first meeting between the schools on January 6, scored 17 points, hitting 6-of-9 shots overall and 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. Nate Harris had 14 points, making 6-of-8 shots, and he had a game-high nine rebounds. Jason Williams had 12 points and he made all five of his field goal attempts.
UCSB was led by guard Josh Davis who had 13 points and a team-high five rebounds. Freshman guard Alex Harris had 11 points, making all three of his attempts from three-point range. Sophomore forward Glenn Turner had nine points, the second-highest total of his career.
As a team, the Gauchos had just seven defensive rebounds and 16 overall. UCSB made a respectable 42.3% of its shots in the first half, but the Gauchos hit just 31.0% in the second half to finish at 36.4%.
UCSB will have just one game next week. The Gauchos travel to UC Davis for a 7:00 p.m. non-conference game on Thursday, February 10. The game will be a return for head coach Bob Williams, who guided UC Davis to an NCAA National Championship in 1998.