MBK: Vincent finds his touch, leads UCSB over USF

SAN FRANCISCO – Gabe Vincent scored a season-high 18 points, all in the first half, UC Santa Barbara jumped out to a 28-point lead and then held on for a 68-61 win at the University of San Francisco on Wednesday night.

Vincent, who really struggled offensively through the first three games, had no such trouble against the Dons. He made 4-of-6 three-point attempts and 7-of-10 overall in the first half.

“When Gabe gets it going he can be pretty special,” said head coach Bob Williams. “He wasn’t making shots in the first few games, but he’s one of the guys I know will ultimately snap out of it and get it rolling and that’s what happened in the first half.”

The Gauchos (2-2) saw USF (3-2) close the gap to just seven points three times late in the game, including the end, but the Dons got no closer.

Michael Bryson added 15 points, including two key late put-backs late in the game to squelch San Francisco runs, as well as a team-high eight rebounds.

“Those were two huge baskets,” Williams said. “Michael showed great anticipation and quickness to get to those rebounds and they were really big.”

Mitch Brewe had 12 points off the bench for UCSB. Brewe and Sam Beeler combined for 18 points on 6-of-10 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

“This is a road win and we’ll take it,” Williams said. “The second half wasn’t pretty but we held on and that was very important for us.”

After making 5-of-10 shots from three-point range in the first half, the Gauchos missed all 10 of their attempts in the second half. Conversely, the Dons were 0-for-8 in the first half and 5-for-13 in the second half.

Another key contributor for UCSB was freshman Maxwell Kupchak who played a career-high 16 minutes while scoring four points and grabbing a pair of rebounds. John Green struggled with his shot as he made just 3-of-13 field goal attempts, but he had nine points and six rebounds. Also, like Bryson, Green scored a pair of important baskets late.

USF was led by Tim Derksen who finished with a game-high 21 points and eight rebounds. He scored 13 of his 21 in the second half.

The Gauchos will return to action on Sunday, Nov. 29 when they travel to Tempe, Ariz., to take-on their third Pac 12 opponent of the year, Arizona State. The game will tip-off at 2:00 p.m. (PST) at Wells Fargo Arena.