Feb. 25, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Cecil Brown, playing possibly his final home game at UC Santa Barbara, scored 19 points, while Alex Harris had 15 and another senior, Cameron Goettsche, added 14, to lead the Gauchos past visiting UC Riverside, 81-71 on Saturday afternoon.
Brown, listed as a senior, could return for a sixth year in 2006-07. He missed two full seasons because of injuries and UCSB will petition the NCAA for another season of activity for its leading scorer.
If, however, today's game was his home finale, he made it a good one as he hit 7-of-13 shots from the field, all five of his free throws, and finished with a team-high 19. He also had five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Goettsche, who definitely played his final game at the Thunderdome, added six rebounds, two blocked shots, a steal and an assist to his line. He made 6-of-8 shots.
The Gauchos three other seniors also contributed. Josh Davis had seven points and a game-high three assists, Joe See four points and Michael Chambers had seven, three of which came on UCSB's only three-point basket of the game.
Santa Barbara had a 34-28 advantage at the half, but the Highlanders scored the first four points of the second half to pull within two, 34-32. After wholesale substitutions, the Gauchos responded with baskets by Davis and Goettsche to make it 38-32 and from that point on, the lead dipped to four points once, but never lower.
A jumper by Harris with 13:21 left in the game gave UCSB its biggest lead of the game, 50-38. Harris' 15 points equaled his second-highest total of the season. He scored 10 of his points in the second half.
The Gauchos finished the game at 50.0% shooting from the field overall. They made a season-low one three-point basket (1-for-10), but also had a season-low four turnovers. Riverside shot 44.6% for the game, including 35.7% from three-point range.
Highlander senior Rickey Porter led all scorers with 24 points. He had 16 points in the first half when he made 4-of-6 three-point attempts and all four of his free throws.
The win improves UCSB's overall record to 13-12. The Gauchos are 5-7 in the Big West and have won six of their last seven games overall. UCR falls to 4-21 overall and 3-10 in Big West play.
Santa Barbara will play on the road in the final regular season weekend of the season, traveling to Pacific on Thursday, Mar. 2 for a 7:00 p.m. game and then to Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Mar. 4 for a regular-season ending 4:00 p.m. game.