Nov. 28, 2009
LOS ANGELES - James Powell scored a season-high 21 points to lead five players in double-figures as UC Santa Barbara improved to 4-0 with an 89-84 win at Loyola Marymount on Saturday night.
Powell led an outstanding Gaucho shooting performance by making 7-of-10 shots overall and 5-of-7 from three-point range. As a team, the UCSB made 10-of-16 three-point attempts, 62.5%, and shot 56.0% overall, the best mark since the 2007-08 season.
"We were very good offensively tonight," said Santa Barbara head coach Bob Williams. "When you score 54 points in the second half, you are doing some things right."
Powell and Sam Phippen, who tied his career-high with 14 points, got the Gauchos off to a fast start. Phippen made a three-pointer to start the scoring and after a lay-up by Edgar Garibay, Powell made the first of his three-pointers. Phippen then made a mid-range jumper to give UCSB an 8-2 edge. But fueled by turnovers, the Lions went on a 19-8 run that was capped by a Kevin Young lay-up making the score 21-16.
UCSB used a 19-10 stretch over the final 9:32 of the first half to reclaim the lead at the break, 35-31.
The Gauchos remained in the lead for the early part of the second half, taking a 56-49 lead with 14:03 to play on a three-pointer by James Nunnally. LMU responded on a three-pointer and lay-up by Young and a lay-up by Given Kalipinde to tie the score 56-56 with 11:26 left.
Powell, however, responded again with a three-pointer, giving UCSB a 59-56 lead that it never relinquished. The Gauchos led by as many as 10 points, the last time at 80-70 with 3:14 remaining, but the Lions continued to claw back, pulling to within 85-82 with 48 seconds to play.
Orlando Johnson, who played as a freshman at LMU, made a pair of free throws to increase the lead to 87-82, but Vernon Teel went in for an easy lay-up with 15 seconds left to make it 87-84.
"I was not pleased with our defense tonight, particularly in the second half," Williams said. "We let them get by us and to the rim uncontested too many times. I was happy with the win, but not with the way our defense played."
Following Teel's lay-up, Powell made two more free throws to seal the 89-84 win.
In addition to Powell and Phippen, Nunnally (16), Johnson (16), and Jaime Serna (12) each scored in double-figures. Johnson, who made 8-of-10 free throws, also led the Gauchos with eight rebounds. As a team, UCSB outrebounded the Lions 39-26, but 21 turnovers kept LMU in the game.
"This was James' game," Williams said of Powell. "He really stepped-up tonight and his hard work paid off."
Powell had his best all-around game in two years. Not only did he score a team-high 21, he also had six rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Nunnally added seven rebounds and three assists and Serna had six rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
The Gauchos improved to 4-0 for the second time under Williams and the first time since 2006-07. LMU, which was led by Drew Viney who scored 25 and Young who had 20, drops to 2-5.
UCSB returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 1 when it hosts Santa Clara in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos will also host San Diego State on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 7:00 p.m. Great seats remain for each game.
P>Single game tickets and great deals on season tickets and Family Packs are still available. For more information click here.
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.