November 13, 2006

Balanced Gauchos Improve to 2-0 as They Roll to 88-56 Road Win at Montana State

Nov. 13, 2006

Box Score

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Alex Harris scored 21 points and Ivan Elliott added 14 to lead UC Santa Barbara to an 88-56 win at Montana State Monday night. The Gauchos also got 12 points apiece from James Powell and Chris Devine, with the latter leading an early surge that put the game away early.

Devine scored eight of UCSB's points as the Gauchos (2-0) made their first eight shots from the field and built a 19-1 lead less than four minutes into the game. After a timeout, the Bobcats (0-2) scored four straight to cut the lead to 19-5, but back-to-back three-point baskets by Trevor Bing and Paul Roemer pumped the advantage up to 25-5 with 12:21 remaining in the first half.

In the next 6:13, Montana State mounted a rally that culminated with 6:08 to go in the half when Erik Rush made a lay-up and was fouled by Santa Barbara's Emmanuel Bidias a Moute. Rush made the free throw to make it 33-19, but the Gauchos outscored the Bobcats 11-7 the rest of the way to take a 44-26 halftime lead.

UCSB continued to pour it on early in the second half. Harris, who scored 15 points in the second half of the Gauchos season-opener against San Jose State, scored 12 points in the first 4:24 of the second half against the Bobcats. The junior guard from Alameda, Calif., capped his outburst with a lay-up and a free throw to give UCSB a commanding 63-28 lead. Harris scored one more basket the rest of the way to finish with his 21 points overall, 14 in the second half.

Midway through the second half, Santa Barbara let-up somewhat and Montana State went on a 17-4 rally to pull to within 71-50 with 7:51 left in the game. However, after a media timeout, the Gauchos used a lay-up and three-pointer from Powell and a short jump-hook from freshman center David Massey to extend the advantage to 78-50 with 6:18 to go. The Bobcats never pulled closer than 25 the rest of the way and, in fact, went scoreless for the final 4:20.

UCSB beat Montana State in virtually every aspect of the game. The Gauchos outshot the Bobcats overall (57.9% to 32.7%), from three-point territory (35.3% to 22.7%) and from the free throw line (94.1% to 53.6%). They also had more rebounds (37-30), fewer turnovers (15-13) and more steals (9-2).

Harris not only finished with a game-high 21 points, he also had four rebounds and a career-high five steals. The 21-point effort was the second-highest total of his career. He had 25 in the season-opener against San Jose State. Devine and Powell tied for team-high honors with five rebounds. Powell, a freshman guard from Glendora, Calif., also had three assists and a pair of steals. Elliott made 5-of-6 shots en route to his career-high 14 points. He also had three rebounds and two blocked shots. Sophomore forward Tom Garlepp had nine points, three rebounds and career-high five assists. All but one Gaucho player made at least one field goal and they all scored. Montana State was led by guard Casey Durham who made a trio of three-point baskets and scored 13 points.

The 32-point win was UCSB's largest margin of victory in a road game since they handed St. Mary's a 79-37 defeat on Dec. 19, 1992.

The Gauchos will remain on the road for two more games before returning home. UCSB will play at UNLV on Friday, Nov. 17 in a 7:35 p.m. game.

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