Dec. 19, 2007
MUNCIE, Ind. - Chris Devine and Alex Harris scored 22 points apiece, and UC Santa Barbara made 12 out of 19 three-point field goal attempts, as the Gauchos won their eighth consecutive game, 79-52 at Ball State on Wednesday night.
UCSB (10-1) jumped out to an early 24-7 lead and never looked back. Ball State (0-10) could never get closer than 10 the rest of the way. Forward Ivan Elliott hit a pair of three-point baskets and Devine scored eight points as the Gauchos jumped to their commanding early lead.
Santa Barbara led 35-20 at the half and then outscored the Cardinals 12-4 to open the second half to go ahead 47-24. The lead slipped to as low as 17 midway through the half, but never below that.
For the third straight game, UCSB was on fire from three-point range as it hit 12-of-19. In the last three games, the Gauchos have hit 33-of-52 from beyond the arc, 63.5%. Reserve guard Jordan Weiner led the three-point attack by making 4-of-5 in just eight minutes, finishing with a career-high 12 points. Harris hit 3-of-6 and Elliott was a perfect 2-for-2.
While he did not make a three-point basket, Devine had his best offensive game of the year, making 9-of-10 shots and finishing with a season-high 22 points. Elliott added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Gauchos. Guard Justin Joyner was scoreless for UCSB, but he had a game-high six assists and no turnovers.
"After the first few minutes tonight, I thought we were very good," said head coach Bob Williams. "For the most part, we took good shots and played hard. It was kind of a business-like approach for us, but in the last 35 minutes or so, we did a lot of things right."
Ball State was led by guard Peyton Stovall who had 18 points on 7-of-11 from the field overall and 3-for-4 from three-point range.
UCSB forced 20 turnovers by the Cardinals, marking the seventh time this season that an opponent has had 20 or more turnovers.
The eight-game winning streak is the Gauchos' longest since the 1988-89 season when they won 11 in a row. The 10-1 start is also the best since that same season when they began with a 15-1 record.
UCSB will remain on the road for its next two games, including a game against top-ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Saturday. The Gaucho-Tar Heel contest will tip-off at 10:00 a.m., Pacific Standard Time.