Jan. 16, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Mark Hull scored 16 points while Casey Cook added 14 points and seven rebounds, to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 77-59 Big West win over Cal State Northridge on Thursday night in Santa Barbara.
The Gauchos led by 16 points at half and then outscored the Matadors 17-4 in the first five minutes of the second half to build a 29-point lead, 56-27. Cal State Northridge used a 19-3 run of its own to cut the gap to 59-46 with 5:59 remaining, but the game never got closer than that.
UCSB's balanced attack and pressure defense proved too much to overcome for the Matadors. Overall, five Gaucho players scored in double-figures, with Branduinn Fullove (15), Jacoby Atako (11) and Cecil Brown (11) joining Hull and Cook. As a team, UCSB shot 54.8% overall and made a season-high 26-of-35 from the free throw line.
Northridge made just 20-of-56 shots from the field, 35.7%. The Matadors also committed 18 turnovers.
In addition to his 15 points, Fullove tied Cook for the team-lead in rebounds with seven. Atako played his best game of the season, adding making all three of his field goal attempts and adding seven assists and three rebounds to his 11 points.
"Playing at home was a great feeling," said Atako. "We've been on the road so much that we kind of forgot what it was like to play in front of our own crowd. I think we really fed off of them tonight."
Not only was it Atako's best all-around game of the season, it was also Cook's best game. His 14 points came on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. It was also his second double-figure scoring game in his last three outings. Hull, UCSB's leading scorer on the season, made 5-of-8 shots from the field overall and 3-for-6 from three-point range. His 16 points gives him 1,376 for his career and he needs just 24 to become the fourth player in UCSB history to hit the 1,4000 point mark.
UCSB improves to 6-9 overall and 3-2 in the Big West. Cal State Northridge, which was led by Joseph Frazier who scored 15 points and Ian Boylan who added 14, drops to 6-8 overall and 0-4 in league.
The Gauchos return home on Saturday, January 18 to host Pacific in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.