Freshman Michael Bryson brought UC Santa Barbara (11-20 overall) back from 19 down with a career-high 29 points, but it wasn’t enough.
The University of Pacific knocked the Gauchos out in the first round of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim Thursday afternoon. The No. 2 seed Tigers (20-12 overall) jumped out to a 38-19 lead and lead 40-25 at the break.
Bryson went off in the second half, scoring 22 of his 29 points, making seven three-pointers. As a team, UCSB was 10-for-20 from the three-point line in the final 20 minutes.
With 1:52 remaining in the game, it was tied at 66. That would be the last time the Gauchos had a piece of the lead. Missed free throws and a last second shot at the buzzer were no good. The Tigers escaped and advanced to the semifinals in head coach Bob Thomason’s 25th and final season.
UCSB was in the game despite its leading scorer, sophomore Alan Williams, scoring only four points before fouling out in the second half.