Gauchos Hang On to Defeat Cal State Los Angeles in Their Season-Opener, 64-55

Nov. 14, 2008

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Chris Devine scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the final 6:37 as UC Santa Barbara held off a second-half comeback by Cal State Los Angeles, 64-55, in the season basketball opener for both schools.

Devine made 6-of-9 shots and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, which included a pair of crucial putbacks down the stretch. James Powell added 16 points and seven rebounds while freshman Jaime Serna added seven rebounds.

The Gauchos, who led by as many as 25 points, took a 39-21 advantage into halftime after shooting 53.8 percent. But they went cold in the second half, making just 28.6 percent overall and missing all seven of their three point attempts.

Christofer Hart scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half to rally the Golden Eagles. Leland Jones' basket trimmed UCSB's margin to 49-45 with 7:05 left. But the Gauchos pulled away from there, with Devine scoring their next seven points.

The game marked the debut of four freshmen for the Gauchos. In addition to Serna, who had four points, two assists and a steal to go along with his seven rebounds, guard Will Brew, Jr., had five points and an assist, wing James Nunnally had five points, an assist and a blocked shot, and center Greg Somogyi had two points, two rebounds, and a pair of blocked shots.

As was the case in its exhibition win over Cal State Dominguez Hills, UCSB had turnover troubles against Cal State Los Angeles. The Gauchos committed 22 miscues against the Golden Eagles. On a positive not, after being outrebounded in the exhibition game, Santa Barbara won that battle on Friday night, 41-30.

UCSB returns to action on Monday, Nov. 17 when it hosts former Big West rival Utah State in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. Plenty of tickets are available from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, at the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on Campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB, or online by clicking here.