Wednesday, April 25 , 2018, 11:20 pm | Fair 54º

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College Basketball

UCSB Comeback Falls Short at Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO – A late-game push was not enough for UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, as Cal Poly survived the comeback effort with a 66-60 decision at the Mott Athletics Center.

For the second consecutive game, Jasmine Ware led the Gauchos with 14 points after going 6-11 from the floor and 2-3 from three-point range. Three other Gauchos reached double figures in the game, as Onome Jemerigbe netted 11 points, while Chaya Durr and Makala Roper added 10 points each. Jemerigbe also led the team in the assist column with five, while Roper finished with four.

UCSB won the rebound battle 38-25, as Durr paced the team with eight followed by Ware's six.

While the game came to the wire, the Gauchos dug themselves in a hole in the first half after giving up 14 turnovers. Overall, UCSB gave up possession 24 times with 13 from steals, as Cal Poly scored 19 points with those opportunities.

The Gauchos (11-18, 8-7) found themselves down 37-24 at the halftime break and only shaved two points off the deficit by the beginning of the fourth quarter, as they trailed 51-40. However, UCSB worked their way back into contention with a 16-6 run through the first 8:13 of the period.

Taylor Farris played a feature role in the stretch with seven points, as she finished on a pair of lay ups and hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to put the Gauchos within two at 55-53. It was the sophomore's first three-pointer in conference action and just her third one overall this season.

Roper delivered the Gauchos' other triple of the run after Coco Miller hauled in her rebound and found the sophomore in the left corner.

Defensively, the Gauchos stifled the Mustangs by forcing them into nine missed shots, including a pair of lay up tries, and four turnovers. On their end of the floor, UCSB controlled the ball well and allowed just two points from three turnovers in the quarter.

After Farris made it a two-point game, Mustang senior Beth Balbierz responded with a three-pointer of her own, draining a wide-open shot from the top of the key, pushing the Gauchos back by five points with 35 seconds left.

Durr then responded right back with a lay up with 23 seconds left, as the Gauchos used their final timeout. After UCSB used up their three fouls to give, they forced Cal Poly (14-14, 7-8) to close the game at the line where the Mustangs went a combined 6-6 in the final 20 seconds of the game.

By the time the Gauchos held their last possession, even Roper's final three-pointer with two seconds remaining proved to be too little too late.

The Gauchos will be back in action next Thursday at Hawai'i for their regular season finale.

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