September 4, 2007

UCSB Can't Overcome Ice-Cold Shooting, Drops Second Game of Canadian Tour, 73-61 at Victoria

Sept. 4, 2007

Box Score

VICTORIA, B.C. - Playing without senior forward Ivan Elliott who sprained an ankle on Monday night, UC Santa Barbara had offensive problems in the first quarter and could never battle all the way back, losing a 73-61 exhibition game at the University of Victoria on Tuesday night. The game was the second of five for UCSB on its tour of southern British Columbia.

The Gauchos did not make a field goal until there was just 2:30 remaining in the first 10-minute quarter, falling behind 20-9. UCSB hit just 2-of-10 from the field in the first quarter. Also, making matters worse, an already thin frontline got even thinner in a hurry when senior forward Nedim Pajevic committed his second foul just 1:33 into the game.

The Vikes were led in the decisive first quarter by forward Mitch Gudgeon who had seven points. He finished with 13 for the game. Devine had six of UCSB's nine first quarter points and he also finished with 13.

The second quarter started out in much the same fashion. Victoria's Robbie Kinnear scored on a lay-up and Gudgeon scored on a follow to put the Gauchos in a 24-9 hole. At that point, senior guard Alex Harris went to work. He made a floating lay-up and a pull-up 19-footer to cut the gap to 24-13. After a UCSB stop, Harris made a lay-up and was fouled. He hit the free throw and it was 24-16 Vikes.

Harris then stole the inbounds pass, got the ball to a slashing Justin Joyner who went in for a hanging bank shot to complete a 9-0 run, making it 24-18 Victoria.

The Vikes responded with a 7-0 run of their own. Forward Tyler Hass made a 14-footer from the left side of the key, Kinnear scored on a lay-up and then guard Isiah Pasquale scored on a baseline drive. After another UCSB miss, guard Brandon Dunlop was fouled and made one of two free throws to give his team a decisive 31-18 advantage.

Nedim Pajevic scored his first basket on a short hook shot to make it 31-20, but forward Mike Berg responded with short hook of his own and a turnaround from the right side of the key to make it 35-20.

Back-to-back hoops by Harris and Pajevic cut the advantage to 35-24, but the Vikes scored the final five points of the half, including a follow by forward Mike Hull and a pair of free throws in the final seconds by Kinnear.

At one point, because of foul trouble and the injury to Elliott, UCSB was playing with a lineup that included James Powell, Nick Quick, Jordan Weiner, Paul Roemer and Nedim Pajevic.

UCSB stepped-up the defensive pressure in the second half and after the Vikes opened-up a 44-26 lead, the Gauchos went on a 15-4 rally to end the quarter and edge closer at 48-41. Devine had five points in the quarter while Harris and James Powell each had four. Harris finished with a game-high 20 points.

The Gauchos never got closer than seven points in the fourth quarter.

After Victoria scored the first basket, Joyner made a bank shot from the side of the key to make it 50-43. Kinnear responded with a short jumper from the side of the lane to make it 52-43. After a swooping lay-up by Harris narrowed the lead to 52-45, the Vikes scored four consecutive points, two by Gudgeon on a press-breaking lay-up and a pair by Ryan MacKinnon on a baseline drive.

Pajevic made a short turnaround jumper with 4:40 remaining to pull UCSB to within seven for one last time, 56-49. The Vikes went on a 13-3 surge to extend the lead to an insurmountable 69-52. Tyler Hass scored six of the points in the run. He finished with a team-high 18 points.

The Gauchos rallied in the final minute to close the game to its final 73-61 score.

Santa Barbara got back into the game because of defensive pressure. The Gauchos forced 14 turnovers in the third quarter and 31 for the game, but they were outrebounded on the night by a whooping 47-24 margin and outshot by the Vikes, 53.1% to 32.2%.

"I thought we played hard, but didn't really compete," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "I don't think our mental preparation was very good and it showed in the rebounding."

The Gauchos, 1-1 on their tour, will take two days off before returning to action on Friday, Sept. 7, when it plays Simon Fraser in Burnaby, B.C.