MBK: Shorthanded Gauchos fall short of UC Davis, 70-64

DAVIS – Shorthanded UC Santa Barbara gave an outstanding effort on Thursday night at UC Davis, but in the end Corey Hawkins was just too much as the Aggies won 70-64.

The Gauchos (10-10 overall, 3-3 in Big West), playing without leading scorer and rebounder Alan Williams and starting point guard Zalmico Harmon, stayed in the game against the Aggies (15-4, 5-1) by living from the outside as they hit nine three-point baskets.

Bryson made four three-pointers and finished with 18 points while Vincent hit three and tied his career-high with 15. In fact, UCSB took a five-point lead, 55-50, when Bryson made his final three-point basket with 9:55 left in the game, but the play of the duo was not enough to overcome the performance of Hawkins who made 6-of-8 three-point shots and finished with 28 points.

“He was outstanding tonight,” said Gaucho head coach Bob Williams of Hawkins. “He made some big shots at times when they really needed them and that’s the mark of a great player.”

Santa Barbara took its final lead of the game on a three-pointer by T.J. Taylor that made the score 58-55 with8:12 remaining. The Aggies used a 6-0 run, capped by a lay-up by Neal Monson to edge in front 62:58 with5:41 left, but a pair of free throws by Bryson made it a two-point game, and then a driving lay-up by Eric Childress tied the game for the last time at 62 with 1:43 on the clock.

On its next possession, UC Davis ran a pick-and-roll and J.T. Adrenrele hit the lay-up and then the free throw after he was fouled to give his team a 65-62 advantage. A Gaucho turnover followed by two Hawkins free throws stretch the lead to 67-62 and it never got closer than 67-64 the rest of the way.

“We did some good things tonight,” Williams said. “But we had too many turnovers in the second half and those were just too much to overcome.”

UCSB finished with 12 turnovers, nine of which came in the final 20 minutes.

John Green finished with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds, while Childress had four points, six rebounds and three assists before fouling out. Taylor made a pair of threes and finished with six points and three assists.

Neal Monson made 6-of-8 field goals and all four free throw attempts to finish with 16 points for the Aggies, who hit 16-of-19 free throws overall as compared to the Gauchos’ 7-of-12.

Alan Williams missed his third straight game with a right shoulder injury and he will miss at least another week. Harmon was sidelined with the flu and his status for Saturday’s game at UC Irvine is up in the air.

The Gauchos travel to UC Irvine on Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. game against the Anteaters, who, like the Aggies, are 5-1 in Big West play.