Dec. 13, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Chris Devine led the way with 15 points and James Powell added nine of his 14 in the second half as the UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team never trailed in their 81-61 win over Loyola Marymount at the Thunderdome on Saturday night.
The Gauchos, who have won four of their last five games, improved to 5-4 on the season scored a season-high 81 points. The Lions dropped to 0-9.
UCSB moved the ball exceptionally well in the game recording a season-high 23 assists..
"I was happy with our team's ball movement tonight," head coach Bob Williams said. "We played very unselfish basketball in this game and I'm pleased with our 23 assists."
UCSB held short-handed LMU to only 26 first half points with tough defense. The Lions were also playing without their top scorer and rebounder Vernon Teel due to a broken right foot.
Devine, who sat out the Gauchos last game against Utah Valley with a sprained ankle, tallied nine of his 15 in the first half. UCSB, which attempted 17 three-pointers against the Lions zone defense in the first half, led 35-26 at the break.
The lead stretched to 46-28 with 16:28 left in the second half on a Powell three-point jumper three feet off the line.
UCSB held its biggest lead at 71-49 with 4:18 remaining in the game as Paul Roemer hit a free throw. For the game, the Gauchos made just 13-21 from the line.
Santa Barbara shot 46.9% for the game, but nailed a hefty 61.9% in the second half. LMU, meanwhile, was limited to 40.8% for the game, including 34.8% in the first half.
Junior forward Jesse Byrd once again led the Gauchos in rebounds with nine in just 17 minutes of play. He also had eight points. Freshman Jaimé Serna was 4-of-5 from the field and also had eight points to go along with five rebounds. Junior guards D.J. Posley and Paul Roemer each had five of the team's 23 assists.
For the Lions, LaRon Armstead scored 16 points and collected seven rebounds while sharp-shooter Corey Counts scored 14, including three three-point baskets. Ashley Hamilton returned to the line-up tonight from an injury recording eight points and three rebounds for LMU's depleted bench.
The Gauchos return to action when they travel to Ogden, Utah to play Weber State on Wednesday, Dec. 17.