Dec. 29, 1999
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team dropped its second straight game Wednesday night, edged 57-48 in the Thunderdome by visiting BYU. Senior guard Erick Ashe led the Gauchos in scoring, tallying 15 total points on 4-of-10 shooting from the floor and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe.
UCSB opened up an early 8-0 lead on the visitors, but BYU responded with an 8-0 run of its own immediately thereafter. Both teams were plagued by poor shooting in the first half, with the Gauchos hitting 7-of-20 and the Cougars connecting on just 8-of-29. BYU went into the lockerroom with a 21-16 advantage. UCSB also produced 15 first half turnovers, leading to the five-point BYU Couger advantage.
The Cougars opened up the game a little in the second stanza, clawing their way to a 43-31 edge with 8:52 remaining, their biggest lead of the night. However, a three-point play by Ashe followed by two Ashe free throws after a BYU foul in the backcourt brought the Gauchos within four points, at 49-45 with 1:42 left on the game clock. Three Gaucho fouls yielded three Cougar free throws on six attempts down the stretch to give BYU a 52-47 lead with 50 seconds to play. Senior guard Derrick Allen then took a pass from junior center Adama Ndiaye and hit a layup to bring UCSB to within five, but that was as close as the Gauchos would come in crunch time.
Ndiaye added 13 points of his own and was also the Gauchos' leading rebounder, pulling down seven caroms. Mekeli Wesley paced BYU, pouring in 24 points. Todd Christensen added 13 points for the visitors. UC Santa Barbara dropped to 2-7, while BYU improved to 9-2. UCSB will hit the road in a week for a Wednesday, January 5 game at Loyola Marymount. The Gauchos' next home action will come January 8, when they host St. Mary's for a 7:00 p.m. Thunderdome matchup.