Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 9:52 pm | Fair 53º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Santa Barbara Athletic Round TableThe LabAmerican Riviera Bank

Gauchos’ 2nd-Half Outburst Sends Montana State Packing

Alex Harris and James Powell put up the points to break a halftime tie and lead UCSB to a 76-61 win.

Tied at the half and playing flat, UCSB  needed its ace, senior guard Alex Harris, to step forward. He did — right to the free-throw line where he drilled 15 of his game high 29 points. Playing without inside presence Chris Devine, the Gauchos needed rebounds as well, and again Harris complied with eight. The effort led UCSB to a 76-61 victory over Montana State  on Saturday at the Thunderdome.

The Gauchos’ offense was largely dormant in the first half and the rugged Bobcats clawed to a 30-30 draw at intermission. But when play resumed, Harrris drew fouls, James Powell  got hot (15 points), Ivan Elliot  (11 points) splashed from the distance, and Nedim Pajevic  (12 points) produced from midrange to stretch out a lead. UCSB’s signature defense was stifling all night, forcing 21 turnovers. The Gauchos had only 10 turnovers, and just three in the second half.

Dos Pueblos grad Phil Friesen played superbly in his return home, scoring 16 for Montana State in 31 minutes of action. Divaldo Mbunga, a native of Angola led the Bobcats with 17 points and a near pin on a hapless Gaucho who was taken to the floor, and kept there, after a scramble for a loose ball. No foul was called but players and ultimate fighting fans all seemed more enthused from then on.

Next Up for the Gauchos

UCSB hosts UNLV at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos and Runnin’ Rebels have not played at the Thunderdome since UNLV left the Big West Conference in 1996. 


Montana State outrebounded the Gauchos 38-30, an edge the Bobcats have been enjoying against opponents all season. But the relentless UCSB defensive pressure did its magic, producing a host of offensive opportunities. Two breakaway slam-dunk efforts, born of that great defense, bounced out of the rim, but did not deflate the Gauchos’ effort.

UCSB is now 5-1 on the season and sporting a three-game winning streak. Devine, who was home in his native Alaska to attend the funeral of a close friend, is expected back for UCSB’s game against UNLV on Tuesday.

UCSB will continue its homestand on Tuesday, Nov. 27, when it hosts UNLV in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >