BIG WEST MEN’S BASKETBALL: One That Got Away
It was Super Bowl Thursday at UCSB’s Thunderdome.
A basketball showdown against UC Irvine had all the feel of a football scrum in which a controversial non-call led to the Gauchos’ 66-62 overtime defeat to UC Irvine.
Jonathan Galloway’s put-back slam on a ball that had bounced high above the basket sent the game into the extra period. His physical, offensive rebounding then led to Max Hazzard’s two three-pointers and the Anteaters’ ultimate victory.
“It’s two really physical teams,” UCSB coach Joe Pasternack said. “Their physicality at the end won out.”
Television replays of Galloway’s rebound dunk with 29 seconds left in regulation appeared to show basket interference.
“He was on the rim there,” Pasternack said, although when asked if his basket should have been disallowed, he added, “I have no idea … I haven’t seen (the replay) yet.”
The road victory was the ninth-straight in Big West play for Irvine (18-5, 6-1), giving it firm footing atop the league standings. The loss was the first this season at the Thunderdome in 10 home dates for UCSB (15-5, 4-2).
“We were able tto sustain a high level of play throughout the second half and overtime, and make enough plays to win,” Irvine coach Russell Turner said. “That was a heck of a college basketball game, the type that we expect in the Big West … and Santa Barbara is good.”
Irvine, which got out-rebounded 21-13 in the first half, turned the tables on the backboards the rest of the way, getting 31 of the remaining 49 missed shots. Galloway got six of his nine rebounds in the final 51/2 minutes.
The Anteaters also held UCSB to 33.8 percent shooting which included just 6-for-22 from three-point distance.
UCSB missed nine of its first 10 field-goal attempts and three of its free throws. All the Gauchos had to show for the first eight minutes was a long three-pointer by Max Heidegger and a foul shot by Ar’Mond Davis. Heidegger, however, would shoot 0-for-8 from three the rest of the game.
A short jumper by Colin Welp put Irvine ahead 13-4. Welp scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half.
But the Gauchos bounced back with rebounding. Amadou Sow and Jarriesse Blackmon scored off put-backs and Devearl Ramsey took a pair of defensive rebounds to the other end for baskets to put them ahead 18-15.
The Gauchos surged ahead by as many as six points, 27-21, on a three by JaQuori McLaughlin, who finished with 12 points, although Hazzard’s three helped Irvine tie the game by halftime, 28-all. Hazzard led all scorers with 15 points.
UCSB fell behind by six points, 39-22, after another 1-for-10 shooting performance to start the second half.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well and they probably had a lot to do with it,” Pasternack said. “They’re one of the top defensive teams in the country.”
But Ramsey rallied the Gauchos, with his running bank tying the score at 47-all with 5:18 remaining. He finished with 11 points.
The Gauchos took the lead back on a basket by Amadou Sow, who scored 11 of his 13 points after halftime. Each time they would push ahead, Irvine pushed back — the last time after Sow had muscled for a put-back after his own miss.
“Amadou, I thought, had a really good second half,” Pasternack said.
After Galloway’s put-back slam, Ramsey missed a mid-key jumper, and the game went into overtime.
Just like the first two periods, the Anteaters jumped ahead in the extra period, this time on Hazzard’s two quick threes on second-chance opportunities. They never looked back from there.
“For the most part, I thought our guys really battled for the entire game,” Pasternack said.