MBK: Williams returns in Gaucho loss to Riverside

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara’s Alan Williams scored 12 points and had 11 rebound in a solid return after missing seven games with a shoulder injury, but a late comeback attempt wasn’t enough as UC Riverside narrowly defeated the Gauchos on Thursday night, 64-62.


UCSB (13-12 overall, 6-5 in Big West) took 35-33 on a three-pointer by Michael Bryson with 16:46 remaining in the second half, but the Highlanders (13-13, 6-6) used a decisive 19-2 run to take a 52-37 lead with 8:40 left and never looked back.

John Green, who finished with a team-high 17 points, scored on a lay-up with 14:54 to play, pulling the Gauchos within 38-37, but then they went scoreless until a pair of Williams free throws with 8:17 to play ended the drought and made it 52-39.

UCSB crept within 58-51 with 4:18 on the clock when Bryson and Gabe Vincent made back-to-back three-pointers. The Highlanders responded by making four straight free throws and still led 62-53 when Bryson made his third three-pointer of the game to make it 62-56 with 2:32 left.

The Gauchos’ final rally came after Riverside’s Austin Quick made one of two free throws and Bryson dunked on the other end, making it 63-58. After Jaylen Bland missed a pair of free throws, Vincent was fouled on a rebound and hit a pair of free throws with 52 seconds left and it was 63-60.

On their next possession, the Highlanders ran the clock down before Nick Gruninger drove baseline and was called for a charge when Vincent stood his ground and was sent to the floor with 18.4 ticks left on the clock.

UCSB’s next possession ended in a miss on a lay-up by Harmon, but it was followed by a Green put-back with 6.1 remaining to make it 63-62. The Highlanders’ Bland was fouled and made just one free throw, but a three-point attempt by Eric Childress at the buzzer bounced off the rim and the game was over.

Bryson finished with 13 points while DaJuan Smith was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and had 10 points. Bland and Johns each scored 21 points to lead Riverside.

The Gauchos will play their penultimate road game of the season on Saturday when they travel to Cal State Fullerton for a 5:00 p.m. game against the Titans. The game will be aired on ESPN3.


  1. GeeWillikersWally says

    What’s Ben Howland doing next season ?

    • George Simkiss says

      New Head Coach of Gauchos Basketball . Restore the pride of the PIMM era. Out with the era of complacency !!!