Jan. 25, 2001
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
UC Irvine senior forward Sean Jackson hit a three-point basket ten seconds into Thursday night's game against UC Santa Barbara and the Anteaters never looked back, defeating the Gauchos at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara, 66-56.
Jackson's quick three-pointer was just the beginning of UCI's long-distance assault. The Anteaters made nine three-point baskets in just 19 attempts in the first half to take a 36-25 advantage into halftime. In fact, after UCSB's Mike Vukovich hit a jump hook to make it 3-2 UCI, the Anteaters scored the next six points, on three-pointers by guard Malachi Edmond and forward Ben Jones to build a seven-point lead and UCSB never pulled closer than four the rest of the game.
Vukovich opened the second half scoring by making a pair of free throws to close the gap to single-digits at 36-27, but over the next five minutes, the Gauchos were outscored 10-3 to fall behind by 16, 46-30. the Anteaters built the lead to as many as 20 points (56-36) with 9:02 remaining, before UCSB rallied, cutting the advantage to nine points at 62-53 with 2:46 to go. The Gauchos never got closer than nine and ultimately lost by ten, 66-56.
Jackson finished with 20 points and he nailed a career-high six three-pointers for UC Irvine. As a team, the Anteaters made 12 treys. UCSB was paced by freshman guard Branduinn Fullove who had ten points and a career-high 11 rebounds for the first double-double of his career. Fullove also led the team with three assists. As a team, the Gauchos made only 19-of-58 shots from the field, a dismal 32.8%. UCSB did win the battle of the boards, outrebounding the Anteaters 47-38. In addition to Fullove's ten points, LaRon Bryant, playing for the first time in six games, scored eight. Freshman Casey Cook had six points and eight rebounds.
UCSB, which has lost four games in a row, is now 5-11 overall and 2-4 in Big West play. UCI, which has won ten games in succession, is now 14-2 overall and a perfect 6-0 in league play.
The Gauchos return to the hardwood on Saturday, January 27 when they host Cal State Fullerton in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. Following that contest, they hit the road for games at Long Beach State (February 1) and at Pacific (February 2).