MBK: Boswell scores 27, but Gauchos fall in OT

LOGAN, Utah – Kyle Boswell tied career-highs with 27 points and seven three-point baskets but it wasn’t quite enough as visiting UC Santa Barbara lost a 77-71 thriller to Utah State in overtime at the Basketball Travelers Classic on Friday night. The loss ended a three-game winning streak.

Boswell, who won Friday night’s game against Troy when he it a three-pointer with eight seconds left, made his final triple against the Aggies (8-2) from deep in the left corner with 22 seconds left in the game to give the Gauchos (6-4) a 65-63 lead.

After a timeout, Utah State worked its offense to get a shot for Preston Medlin who missed a jumper from the right side with seven ticks left on the clock, but Kyle Davis got the weakside rebound and tipped the ball in with just over six seconds left to tie the score at 65. A floater by Zalmico Harmon missed at the buzzer and the game went to overtime.

“Kyle’s three was clutch,” said Gaucho head coach Bob Williams. “Give them credit, they answered with a good rebound and put-back and then they played a good overtime.”

UCSB took a 68-66 lead early in the overtime as the teams traded 1-for-2 free throw efforts from Ben Clifford, Alan Williams and Boswell.

With 2:39 to play, Spencer Butterfield made a three from above the top of the key to give the Aggies a 69-68 lead and they never trailed again. Jalen Moore made a reverse lay-up and Butterfield made a lay-up of his own to complete a 7-0 run and give Utah State a 73-68 advantage with 56 seconds left.

The Gauchos pulled back within three on a short jump-hook by Alan Williams with 14 seconds left, but got no closer.

UCSB led for much of the second half, taking a game-high 10-point lead at 49-39 on a steal and lay-up by Aamahd Walker at the 10:34 mark, but the Aggies scratched back and tied the score when Butterfield scored five straight points on a three-pointer and a steal and lay-up with 1:44 remaining.

Marcel Davis’ free throw gave Utah State a 63-62 lead with 44 seconds to play, setting the stage for the taught ending of regulation.

Butterfield finished with a game-high 31 points and 10 rebounds. Alan Williams added 23 points and nine boards for the Gauchos who were playing without second-leading scorer Michael Bryson. Bryson, who averages over 11 points per game, had his back tighten-up before the game and was unable to go.

As a team, UCSB had just five turnovers in the game while Utah State won the rebounding battle, 40-29.

The Aggies jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Santa Barbara went on a 12-0 run to claim a 12-5 edge. The Gauchos led for much of the first 20 minutes, but Utah State ended the half on a 7-0 to claim a 31-29.

UCSB stayed in the game early despite shooting just 32.4%, the Gauchos had a mere one turnover and trailed just 31-29 at halftime. Boswell kept UCSB in the game by making 4-of-6 three-point attempts in the first half.

“That was a very exciting basketball game,” Coach Williams said. “It was very intense and I hope we grow from it, but right now the guys are pretty down and we’ll need to get back after it tomorrow.”

UCSB will play its final game of the tournament when it takes-on Western Illinois on Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at Utah State.