SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - For the second straight game, UC Santa Barbara men's basketball played a solid first half before unraveling in the second.
This time, they did so in spectacular fashion.
The Gauchos led 47-27 at halftime and stretched their lead to 22 points early in the second half before a stunning collapse as the Rice Owls stormed back for an 82-81 win on Saturday.
UCSB was outscored 55-34 in the second half as the defense could not stop Rice (4-1). Payton Moore converted a layup with just two seconds remaining to give Rice the win. Devearl Ramsey's half-court heave at the buzzer was off the mark.
Moore and Trey Murphy III led the Owls with 18 points each.
Max Heidegger had a game-high 21 points for the Gauchos (1-2), who suffered their second straight second half slump after a road loss to UCLA last Sunday.
Amadou Sow added 19 points and seven rebounds for UCSB, while Matt Freeman had 15 points, seven assists and five boards.
The Gauchos play at Pac-12 foe Oregon State on Wednesday night.