Jan. 24, 2002
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
Jerry Green, the 2001 Big West Player of the Year, scored 22 points, including the first ten in the second half, to lead UC Irvine to an 81-70 win over UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night at the Thunderdome.
Green, who was limited to two points on 1-for-6 from the floor in the first half, exploded in the second half, scoring 20 of his 22 points and nailing 6-of-10 shots from the floor, to help the Anteaters overcome a narrow 30-29 halftime deficit. Green led a second half offensive assault that saw the UCI score 52 points, make 64.3% from the field overall and 7-of-10 from three-point range. The Gauchos entered the game ranked third nationally in field goal percentage defense, but the Anteaters became the first team this year to make better than 50.0% of their field goals against UCSB, finishing at 53.7% overall.
UCSB led by as many as seven points in the first half, but troubles at the free throw line, 6-for-12 in the first half, limited them to a one-point halftime lead.
The Gauchos struggled offensively in the second half making just 34.6% from the floor. Sophomore Nick Jones, starting in place of Branduinn Fullove who was limited because of a severe contustion on his right thigh, led UCSB with a career-high 23 points. Mark Hull's struggles in games at the Thunderdome continued as he made just 3-of-12 shots overall and 2-of-10 from three-point range, finishing with ten. He did pull down a career-high nine rebounds. Adama Ndiaye had 14 points and a pair of blocked shots and Fullove finished with eight, but took just five shots.
The win gives UCI a two game lead over UCSB in the Big West. The Gauchos are now 11-6 overall and 5-3 in league while the Anteaters are 14-5 overall and 7-1 in the Big West. UCSB returns home on Saturday night to host Long Beach State in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.