Gauchos Improve to 3-1 on Canadian Tour with 102-56 Blowout of Trinity Western

Sept. 8, 2007

LANGLEY, B.C. - Alex Harris scored 21 points while redshirt freshmen Sam Phippen and Jordan Weiner added 15 and 14 respectively, as UC Santa Barbara improved to 3-1 on its exhibition tour of Canada with an easy 102-56 win at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., on Saturday night.

The Gauchos blew the game open early with a 25-5 run that transformed a 6-4 deficit into a 29-11 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter. The Spartans were able to cut the deficit to 30-19 at the end of the first quarter and then 30-21 early in the second but UCSB put the game out of reach with a 17-6 rally, taking a 47-27 lead at half.

With the score 51-31 two minutes into the second half, the Gauchos went on yet another run, outscoring Trinity Western 14-0 over a four minute span to assume a 34 point lead, 65-31. The Spartans never got closer than 30 the rest of the way.

Playing a stifling, pressure defense, Santa Barbara forced Trinity Western into 39 turnovers. All 10 Gauchos had at least one steal, led by Harris and Weiner who had four apiece. In the first four games of their trip, they have forced opponents into 123 turnovers. In addition to Harris, Phippen and Weiner, James Powell (14) and Chris Devine (12) scored in double-figures. The Gauchos shot 59.4% for the game, their highest mark on the trip, and they limited the Spartans to 37.7%, the lowest figure by an opponent.

The most noteworthy play of the game came with just under two minute to play when Harris stole a ball and went in for a would-be slam dunk. As he attacked the rim, a pair of Trinity Western defenders went up with him. Harris was fouled and when he was, he was pushed off-balance. He fell hard to the floor on his back, hitting his head. Harris was unable to attempt his free throws and was replaced by Weiner. The senior guard and Big West scoring champion walked to the bench under his own power while Weiner made both of the free throws.

Lance Verhoeff led Trinity Western with 17 points while Luke Robinson added 14.

UCSB will wrap-up its five game trip on Sunday night when it travels to New Westminster, B.C., to play Douglas College, which beat Boise State and narrowly lost to Marquette earlier in the week.