Jan. 5, 2004
IRVINE, Calif. -
Senior guard Branduinn Fullove scored 17 points and sophomore guard Cecil Brown added 15 to help UC Santa Barbara bounce back from one of its most disappointing losses of the season with one of its most impressive victories, an 84-77 road win at UC Irvine.
On Saturday, UCSB dropped a 63-62 decision at Long Beach State. In that game, the Gauchos led by as many as 21 points in the second half before losing on a three-pointer at the buzzer. In Monday's win over the Anteaters, a three-point basket by sophomore guard Joe See gave Santa Barbara a 35-34 edge with 2:06 to play in the first half and the Gauchos never trailed again, building the lead to as many as 12 points late in the second half.
See and fellow sophomore Cameron Goettsche each finished with 11 points. In all, seven UCSB players scored seven or more points in the win.
"This team showed a lot, responding to Saturday's game the way it did," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "We came out and had a good practice yesterday and then we executed well and played hard tonight. I'm proud of our guys. This was a big win on the road and to do it short-handed made it even better."
The Gauchos played without sophomore guard Josh Davis who was suffering from the flu and stayed at the hotel as his teammates recorded the win.
Monday's game was really two different games. On the one hand, the teams played a first half that saw them combine for 18 fouls and nine free throw attempts. In the second half, things slowed down considerably as the Gauchos and Anteaters committed 31 fouls and attempted 51 free throws. In fact at one point inside the final ten minutes, UC Irvine scored 11 straight points and 16 of 18 from the free throw line. UCSB hit seven of its final eight free throws to seal the win.
After allowing the Anteaters to shoot 51.6% in the first half, the Gauchos tightened-up in the second half limiting UCI to 37.5%. On the other side, UCSB hit 50.0% for the contest, including 8-of-16 from beyond the three-point arc. Also, the Gauchos had just nine turnovers, a big drop from the 21 that they suffered on Saturday at Long Beach State.
"We took care of the basketball tonight," Williams said. "As a team, we were patient and sort of let the game come to us."
UC Irvine also had four players score in double-figures. Sophomore guard Mike Efevberha led the way with 23, while senior center Adam Parada added 16 points, nine reobunds and five blocked shots.
The win was UCSB's fourth straight in the series between the schools. The Gauchos improve to 7-4 overall and 1-1 in league. The Anteaters drop to 6-5 overall and 1-1 in the Big West.
Santa Barbara will have another key league contest on Thursday night when it hosts defending Big West Tournament champion Utah State at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.