Red Hot Fullerton Overcomes Ice Cold UCSB, 81-60

Devearl Ramsey (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Devearl Ramsey (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton weathered a furious second half rally by UC Santa Barbara to end the visiting Gauchos' six-game winning streak, 81-60 on Thursday night.

The Titans (7-13 overall, 3-2 Big West) shot 62.1% and took a commanding 48-31 lead at halftime. But after seeing the lead expand to 55-36 on a Kyle Allman jumper with 16:10 to play, UCSB (14-4, 3-1) used a 9-0 run to close to within 55-45 on a driving layup by Devearl Ramsey with 12:48 left in the game. 

The teams traded baskets over the next six minutes and when Ramsey made a three-pointer at the 6:54 mark, the Fullerton advantage was down to 63-56. Following a three-point play by Jackson Rowe to push the lead back to 66-56, JaQuori McLaughlin made a pair of free throws to make it 66-58 with 5:53 on the clock. 

That's when Fullerton put the game away. Consecutive layups by Dominik Heinzl and Rowe stretched the gap to 70-58, then three straight layups by Khalil Ahmad, one of which he was fouled on and made the free throw, made it an 11-0 run and an insurmountable 77-58 lead with 2:48 to play. 

UCSB didn't make another field goal the rest of the way and, in fact, went without a field goal after Ramsey made his final three-point basket with 6:54 left in the game.

The Titans shot 55.2% for the game and they made 28 of their 45 shots from inside the three-point arc, 62.2%. They also made 13-of-14 free throws, 92.9%. On the other hand, Santa Barbara shot a season-low 33.3%. 

Ramsey led the Gauchos with 16 points, making 5-of-13 field goals overall and 3-of-6 from three-point territory. JaQuori McLaghlin had 11 points and a career-high eight rebounds and Jay Nagle added 10 points, making 3-of-5 three-point attempts, all in the first half. 

Allman paced Fullerton with 21 points including 13 in the first half. Ahmad finished with 19, 13 in the second half. Austen Awosika and Rowe each added 12 and the latter also had a game-high 12 rebounds. 

UCSB travels to Long Beach State on Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. game against the 49ers. The game will be carried live on ESPN3/Watch ESPN.