The movie title Arctic Tale could be applied to UCSB’s performance against Pacific in men’s basketball Thursday night at the Thunderdome. Ice-cold shooting doomed the Gauchos in their bid for a third consecutive Big West victory. Pacific led by as many as 21 points in the second half and downed the Gauchos 71-58.
Chad Troyer had a hot hand for the Tigers. The 6’4″ junior forward scored a career-high 27 points, knocking down six 3-pointers in nine attempts. A couple of his bombs were from 25 feet or farther.
UCSB led 17-14 with six minutes remaining in the first half but went scoreless the rest of the period, as Pacific took a 26-17 lead. The Gauchos made only 24 percent of their shots in the opening 20 minutes. They did better in the second half (41 percent), but the Tigers were unstoppable, making 75 percent of their shots (12-for-16).
“We got frustrated when we missed our shots and broke down at the defensive end,” UCSB coach Bob Williams said. “When you’re not shooting well, you have to be tough on defense.”
The Gauchos’ top three scorers – Alex Harris (15), Chris Devine (14), and James Powell (13) – went a combined 13-for-38 (34 percent) from the floor.
Pacific took a 57-36 lead on a Troyer triple with 5 Â½ minutes remaining. UCSB reduced the margin to nine (67-58) with 52 seconds on the clock but did not score again.
The Gauchos (14-5, 3-3 Big West) will host UC Davis at 7 p.m. Saturday. Pacific (14-5, 5-1) goes to Cal Poly with a solid hold on second place in the conference.
UCSB women 62, UC Davis 53, OT: The Gauchos (11-6, 6-0) took over sole possession of first place in the Big West with the overtime victory at Davis. Senior guard Jessica Wilson made the most of her homecoming to the Sacramento area by scoring 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. UCSB frittered away a 33-21 halftime lead but outscored the Aggies 14-5 in the extra period. Following another road game Saturday (4 p.m. at Pacific), the Gaucho women will return home Thursday, January 31, against UC Riverside, which dropped to 5-1 in the conference with a loss at Cal State Fullerton.