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College Basketball

UCSB Stumbles Down Stretch, Loses to Iona

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - After playing Iona to a virtual standstill over the first 30 minutes, UC Santa Barbara stumbled badly down the stretch and fell in the first game at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic, 73-57.

When Clifton Powell, Jr., made his second three-point basket of the game with 10:28 remaining, the Gauchos (1-8) trailed just 53-52, but the Gaels (8-3) finished on a 20-5 run to blow the game wide open and cruise to the victory.

"We talked about being tough enough to close out games, but we're just not there," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "This has happened several tims this year and we've got to get tougher to finish games off."

Schadrac Casimir made one of this three three-point baskets to start the game-ending stretch for Iona. Then, after Ami Lakoju made 1-of-2 free throws for UCSB, Deyshonee Much made his fifth three-pointer of the day to push the lead to 59-53 with 8:41 on the clock. Powell missed a shot and Tyrell Williams responded with a short jumper to make it 61-53. On the other end, Gabe Vincent was called for a charge and Jordan Washington hit a hanging jumper to give his team its first double-digit edge of the game, 63-53 at the 7:28 mark.

Max Heidegger drove the lane and made short shot to cut the gap to 63-55 with 7:18 left, but Iona scored the next six points to build an insurmountable 69-55 lead.

The Gauchos missed nine of their last 10 field goal attempts and seven of their last eight free throw attempts to help aid the Gaels' cause.

"It's very difficult to ovecome that kind of shooting," Williams said. "Good teams take advantage of that and they (Iona) did."

UCSB finished the game at 33.9% shooting overall from the field. The Gauchos entered the game shooting just over 25-percent from three-point range and actually made 5-of-14, 35.7%. They struggled in a big way, however, from the free throw line where they finished a mere 10-of-22, 45.5%.

Vincent made 3-of-5 three-point attempts and paced the Gauchos with 13 points. Powell and Jarriesse Blackmon each added a career-high 11 points and Jalen Canty tallied 10. Blackmon hit a team-best 5-of-8 field goal attempts and collected four rebounds off the bench.

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