Jan. 26, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. -
Sophomore guard Tyler Les hit four three-pointers, the seventh time this season he's made at least that many, but UC Santa Barbara picked up 21 points from senior Orlando Johnson on Thursday night as the Gauchos downed the Aggies 86-59 in a Big West Conference game at The Pavilion.
UC Davis, playing without starting guard Ryan Howley (injury) and standout Josh Ritchart (ill) and dressing just nine players, fell to 1-18 overall with the loss and 0-7 in the Big West. UCSB improved its overall mark to 10-7 and its conference record to 5-2.
Les finished with 16 points for UC Davis, senior Eddie Miller had 13 and freshman Tyrell Corbin had 11 points and a career-best six steals. Johnson finished with four three-pointers on his way to his 21 points while adding six assists. Jaime Serna added 18 points for UCSB and Alan Williams scored 14 while completing the double-double with 12 rebounds. Kyle Boswell came off the bench and finished with 12 points and James Nunnally had 11.
The Gauchos shot nearly 60 percent in the first half and finished at 54.7 percent after making 35 of 64 shots. UC Davis was held to just 37.5 percent from the floor and was outrebounded 45-23. UCSB had 17 of their boards on the offensive glass.
"I thought Santa Barbara did a good job of hitting their offensive boards and we did a poor job of defensive rebounding to open the game," said Aggie coach Jim Les. "We just couldn't come up with that first rebound which led to some easy put-backs for them which kind of got them rolling offensively."
Behind a pair of three-pointers from Tyler Les whose 52 three-pointers this season moves him within five of the single-season top-10 list, UC Davis enjoyed a pair of early leads, the last one coming 6-4 just under two minutes into the game. Johnson countered with back-to-back treys of his own as the Gauchos rattled off eight in a row for a 12-6 lead.
Corbin's three-point play helped UC Davis score the next five to make it 12-11 but that would be as close as the Aggies would get the remainder of the game as the Gauchos built their lead, going up 25-15 on Greg Somogyi's basket in the paint with 11:17 remaining.
Les hit a three-pointer three minutes later to bring UC Davis back to within 30-20 but the Aggies responded with nine straight points, opening a 39-20 advantage with 5:47 left until halftime. UCSB, which scored 24 points in the paint in the first half, led 48-29 at the break.
The Aggies climbed to within 18 points three times in the second half but the Gauchos gradually extended their lead while shooting 50 percent from the floor.
"I thought (us getting good shots) kind of went in spurts," said Les. "When we executed our offense and made the simple play, I thought we did some good things. I thought there were times when we forced the issue a little bit and shot it a little bit quick. I thought that led to some rushed possessions."
Miller hit a pair of three-pointers and had five assists for UC Davis while Corbin also contributed five assists. The Aggies had just 13 turnovers, their fewest in the last four games.
Johnson added six assists in his effort for the Gauchos and Williams had nine offensive rebounds.
UC Davis, which has lost 15 straight games, will be back in action on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Cal Poly. The Mustangs lost at Pacific on Thursday, 61-51.