Second Half Surge Leads Gauchos Past Harvard, 79-61

Nov. 10, 2007

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STANFORD, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (2-0) used a 23-4 run during a 6:30 span late in the second half to blow open a tie game and cruise to a 79-61 win over Harvard (0-2) in the second game of the Basketball Travelers Classic at Stanford on Saturday night.

Gaucho head coach Bob Williams believes that if his team is to experience success in 2007-08, it would need to close out games more decisively than it did in 2006-07 and for the second straight game, they did just that.

"We really settled into a rhythm in the second half," Williams said. "I thought we were rushing things and making poor decisions in the first half and early in the second half, but we played with a lot of energy late and made some big plays. I was happy with the way we closed things out tonight."

UCSB led for most of the first 36 minutes, but never by more than six points. With 7:53 remaining in the game, Crimson guard Jeremy Lin, who went to school across the street from Stanford at Palo Alto High School, made his third three-point basket of the second half to tie the score at 52-52.

That's when the Gauchos made their run.

Guard Justin Joyner responded to Lin's three with one of his own. After forward Ivan Elliott rebounded a Harvard miss, forward Nedim Pajevic was fouled going up for a lay-up and he made both the free throws, extending the lead to 57-52.

Following a timeout, the Crimson had three opportunities on the offensive end, but missed three straight shots. The third miss was rebounded by Gaucho guard Paul Roemer and he was fouled by Lin. UCSB got the ball in bounds and worked it to Pajevic on the baseline, about 15 feet out on the right side where he made a high-arching jumper to make it 59-52.

After another stop and rebound, Joyner threw a beautiful bounce pass on a backdoor to guard Alex Harris. Harris made a nice hanging lay-up in the key and was fouled on the play. He made the free throw to cap a 10-0 run and make the score 62-52 with 5:00 left.

Harvard scored the next three points on free throws, one by forward Evan Harris and two by guard Drew Housman. Housman, who finished with a team-high 18 points, pulled the Crimson to within 62-55 with 4:11 to play. UCSB responded with a 13-1 run to put the game away at 75-56 with 1:29 to play. Guard James Powell scored five of his eight points in the run while Harris and Elliott each added four.

The Gauchos played the final five minutes without three of their top players, Joyner, forward Chris Devine and guard D.J. Posley, all of whom fouled out.

For the second straight night, UCSB was led by Harris who had 24 points. He also tied for the team-lead with seven rebounds. Pajevic tallied a career-high 16 points and also had seven rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocked shots. Devine had 13 points. In addition to Housman's team-high 18, Lin added 15 for Harvard.

After they shot 50.0% in the first half, the Crimson was limited to 33.3% on 11-of-33 shooting in the second half. Conversely, after making just 40.6% in the first half, UCSB hit 18-of-30, 60.0%, in the second half. The Gauchos also forced Harvard into 22 turnovers while committing just 13.

Santa Barbara will play its final game of the Basketball Travelers Classic on Sunday afternoon when it takes on 20th-ranked Stanford at 3:00 p.m.

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