November 25, 2006

Unbeaten San Diego State Outlasts Gauchos, 76-72

Nov. 25, 2006

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Guard Brandon Heath scored 29 points, including 23 in the second half, to lead visiting San Diego State (7-0) to a come-from-behind 76-72 win over UC Santa Barbara (4-1) on Saturday. Alex Harris had 21 to lead the Gauchos.

Heath, the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year in 2005-06, showed why in the second half as he helped the Aztecs overcome an eight-point UCSB lead. In fact, with the Gauchos leading 48-40, Heath made a long three-pointer and was fouled. Hit the free throw to cut the lead in half, 48-44.

The Gauchos recovered from the four-point play to build another seven point lead, 55-48, on a three-point play by Harris with 9:46 to go. But San Diego State went on a 10-0 run to jump in front, 58-55 with 4:56 to go. The Aztecs led the rest of the way and every time UCSB challenged, it was Heath who answered as he scored 12 points in the final 3:46.

UCSB was handcuffed in the second half as it suffered from foul trouble. James Powell, who finished with 16 points, committed his fourth foul with more than 16 minutes remaining and went to the bench. Chris Devine, who finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, committed his fourth with about 10 minutes to go and he too went to the bench.

Aztec forwards Jerome Habel and Mohamed Abukar each scored 14 points, while Lorrenzo Wade added 13.

For the Gauchos, Justin Joyner joined Harris, Powell and Devine in double-figures with a career-high 11. He nailed a pair of three-points baskets, his first two os the season. Harris had six assists and four rebounds to go with his team-high 21 points. It marked the fifth straight game in which he had 20 or more points.

As a team, UCSB shot 50.9% overall and San Diego State made 49.1% of its shots.

The Gauchos return to the hardwood on Wednesday, Nov. 29, when it hosts Loyola Marymount in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.