Deon Tresvant scored 31 points, including 23 in the second half, as Cal State Northridge rallied from 12 down to hand UCSB its first home loss in eight games this season, 88-84, on Saturday night.
Tresvant made 10-of-17 shots overall and seven of 11 from three-point range, but in the final 20 minutes he was particularly hot, drilling seven of eight shots overall and five out of six from three-point range. The Matadors (10-3 overall, 2-0 in the Big West Conference) trailed UCSB (12-3 overall, 1-1 in the Big West) by as many as 12 points on two occasions in the second half, the last coming at 66-54 with 11:35 remaining in the game.
“I thought we actually did a good job of contesting his shots,” Gauchos guard Alex Harris said of Tresvant’s offensive explosion. “He got on a roll and it seemed like he couldn’t miss. By the end of the game, we were playing him man-to-man, almost a box-in-one.”
Tresvant led an outstanding second half offensive assault by Northridge. After shooting 35.3 percent in the first half, the Matadors made 17 out of their 25 second half shots, 68 percent. The Gauchos also shot the ball well, making 50.9 percent overall, but they did not have much success from three-point range, making four-for-15 and missing all nine attempts in the second half.
Northridge took its first lead of the second half, 74-73, when Jonathan Heard made a layup with 7:01 to play. Harris responded for UCSB by hitting a baseline jumper, but on the other end, Tresvant was fouled by Gauchos guard James Powell and he made both free throws to give his team a 77-76 edge. UCSB trailed from then on.
Led by Chris Devine, UCSB took a six-point lead into halftime. Devine finished with a season-high 24 points, including 17 in the first half.
Harris, the Big West’s leading scorer, had 25 points, including 16 in the second half. Powell added 13 and Ivan Elliott had 11 for the Gauchos.
For the Matadors, Heard and Paul Wayne each had 12 points, while point guard Josh Jenkins had 10 to go with his nine assists.
UCSB was paced in rebounding by Devine and Elliott, who had eight apiece. Powell tied his career-high with six assists. In addition to his offensive explosion, Tresvant led Northridge with seven rebounds and four steals.
The Matadors forced UCSB into 20 turnovers, including 14 in the first half. The Gauchos forced 16 turnovers in the game.
UCSB will return to action Thursday at UC Irvine. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
Bill Mahoney is UCSB‘s assistant athletics director.