UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UCSB could not overcome the absence of injured star point guard Ajay Mitchell as they opened the season with an 82-76 loss to Portland State.
The Gauchos committed 18 turnovers without the reigning Big West Player of the Year running the offense while the visiting Vikings had just seven.
The Gauchos were without several other injured players such as guard Ben Shtolzberg and forward KK Tong.
The game was tied at 40 at the half but Portland State built up a 63-53 lead with just over 9 minutes to play.
UCSB immediately responded with a 10-1 run.
Auburn-transfer Yohan Traore, who had 11 points in his Gauchos debut, made a shot in the key and junior Cole Anderson followed with a three-pointer.
Anderson scored a game-high 21 points.
Ariel Bland cut the deficit to three with an inside bucket.
He had a game-high 13 rebounds along with 9 points.
Matija Belic drilled a stepback three pointer and the Gauchos were within one at 64-63.
With just over five minutes left, the Gauchos bench was hit with a technical foul for taunting following an Evans Kipruto basket and UCSB down 68-67.
The Vikings hit both free throws and that started a 7-0 run and UCSB never recovered.
With a short bench already both Anderson and senior Josh Pierre-Louis(16 points) were cramping up in the second half.
Both had to be treated on the sidelines before returning on the court.
Portland State had five players score in double-figures led by Jorell Saterfield who had 14 points.
The Vikings are now 2-0 to start the year.