Montana St. 72, UC Santa Barbara 61

Montana St. 72, UC Santa Barbara 61

Published Dec. 22, 2009 12:44 a.m. ET

Junior guard Erik Rush had 17 points and career highs of nine rebounds and seven assists as Montana State pulled away in the second half for a 76-64 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Friday night.

Rush and senior forward Branden Johnson each had 13 points in the second half for the Bobcats (6-4), who notched their first win in 10 tries against the Gauchos. Junior guard Danny Piepoli added 14 points for the Bobcats, who led 34-29 at intermission.

Sophomore forward James Nunnally had 13 points and six rebounds for UC Santa Barbara (4-3), which lost its third straight after opening with four wins. Sophomore forward Orlando Johnson scored 12.

Montana State opened the second half with a 10-3 run for a 44-32 lead with 15:11 to play. Johnson scored the Bobcats' first 13 points of the half on four 3-pointers plus a foul shot.