The Utah State men’s basketball team didn’t miss a beat, or a shot, in its 80-50 massacring of the Gauchos on Saturday night.
The Aggies shot 71 percent from the field, the highest percentage a team has ever shot against a UCSB men’s basketball team, but shooting wasn’t the only thing Utah State did better than the Gauchos.
“They beat us every way possible,” UCSB Head Coach Bob Williams said. “There was not one element of the game that they did not play better, execute better, compete better or perform better, in every aspect of the game.”
Santa Barbara jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the early goings after freshman Alex Harris hit a runner in the lane, but Utah State would go on a 10-point run from that point and never trail again. The Aggies put the game far from the Gauchos’ reach by the end of the first half, surmounting a 46-28 lead before the break.
“I liked how we got out of the gate. I liked our first four minutes. I thought we played pretty well,” Williams said. “But you’re not tested very much in the first four minutes. The last 36 minutes is as humbling an experience I can remember having as a basketball coach.”
The second half wasn’t much better, as Utah State continued to shoot with exquisite precision (78.9 percent), dicing up a passive Gaucho man-to-man defense.
“I was very disappointed with the response in the second half,” Williams said.
Utah State came into the game shooting 53 percent from the field, but something about the Gauchos brings out the sharpshooter in the Aggies. Last time at Utah State, freshman Jaycee Carroll hit eight three-pointers, and on Saturday, Carroll continued to inconvenience Santa Barbara, netting five of his seven three-point attempts.
Aggie senior forward Spencer Nelson led the Aggies, boasting 19 points and six rebounds. Carroll’s five three-point buckets built his 17-point total, and junior Nate Harris ended with 14 points.
“They’re playing really, really well right now; there’s no doubt about it. They’re doing everything right at this stage, and they did it against four pretty below-average teams,” Williams said.
The UCSB players opted not to talk to the media after the 30-point loss.
The Gauchos return to action Thursday against Davis. The game will be the first trip back to Davis for Williams since he left for Santa Barbara.
“Davis isn’t even a league game; I don’t know if it’s good. We’ll see on Monday how we respond to this,” Williams said.