Santa Barbara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Alan Williams recorded a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds as the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos narrowly beat out the UC Riverside Highlanders, 55-54, in Big West Conference action at the Thunderdome.
Taran Brown chipped in 10 points and five rebounds for UC Santa Barbara (17-7, 8-3 Big West). The Gauchos connected on just 31.4 percent of their field goals in the game. The win was the fifth in six games for Santa Barbara.
Taylor Johns netted 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double for UC Riverside (8-18, 3-9), adding five blocked shots to his resume. Lucas Devenny came off the bench to score 10 points and pull down eight boards. Austin Quick hit a 3-point jumper as time expired to pull the Highlanders within one point in the loss, which was the fourth in a row for UC Riverside.
Neither team shot well in the first half. Santa Barbara connected on 34.8 percent of its tries in the frame, but went 13-of-15 from the free-throw line. UC Riverside hit 33.3 percent from the floor, including 0-of-9 from 3-point range and 4-of-8 from the charity stripe. Santa Barbara held a 31-20 lead at the midway break.
The Highlanders made a push to get back in the contest in the second half, hitting 50 percent of their attempts and going 4-of-8 from distance. The Gauchos shot a dismal 28.6 percent in the period, and were outscored, 34-24, by Riverside. The 11-point halftime lead was enough to hold UCSB up to victory, though.
Santa Barbara had the edge from the free-throw line, 19-10, and outrebounded Riverside, 37-32. The Highlanders had the advantage in bench points, 18-7.