Jan. 29, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Senior guard Branduinn Fullove and the UC Santa Barbara basketball team rebounded from their worst loss of the season with a home win over UC Riverside on Thursday. Fullove rebounded figuratively, the Gauchos rebounded literally.
Fullove, who scored just one point in UCSB's loss at Pacific on Saturday, tallied a game-high 19 points and had a game-high five assists in the Gauchos' victory over the Highlanders. As a team, UCSB (11-6 overall, 5-3 in the Big West) responded to the loss by outrebounding UCR (6-10 overall, 3-5 in the Big West) by a 45-19 count. The 26-rebound margin was the widest of the year for the Gauchos.
Santa Barbara jumped-out to a quick start, scoring the first 11 points of the game, eight by Fullove, but after a timeout, Riverside went on a 9-0 run to cut the gap to 11-9 with 14:13 remaining in the first half. Sophomore guard Joe See stopped the Highlander momentum by coming off the bench and drilling a three-pointer the first time he touched the ball. The Gauchos led the entire first half and went into halftime with a 29-26 advantage.
After UCR guard Kevin Butler made one of two free throws at the outset of the second half to cut the UCSB lead to 29-27, the Gauchos went on a 17-4 spurt to open things up, 46-31. The lead never dipped below 11 after that and at one point it reached 20, 66-46.
By halftime, UCSB had already outrebounded UCR 22-11. In the second half the Gauchos dominated the boards even more as they outrebounded the Highlanders 23-8.
"We really went hard to the glass tonight," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "I think that was indicative of the overall effort we had. Branduinn (Fullove) was outstanding. Tonight he stepped-up and really helped dictate our play."
Fullove also also had three rebounds and a pair of steals in his 24 minutes. In addition, he did not turn the ball over. Cameron Goettsche had ten points and seven rebounds, while Jacoby Atako added eight points. Leading the way on the boards were senior forwards Bryan Whitehead and Bray Skultety who each had a season-high nine rebounds. The game also marked the return of junior forward Casey Cook, who missed the last three games with a small tear in his right quadriceps muscle. Cook played 12 minutes and had four points and two rebounbs.
UCSB made 49.0% of its field goal attempts, including 56.0% in the second half. The Gauchos attempted a season-low six three-pointers, making three. Riverside made just 39.2% of its field goals, including 7-of-28 (25.0%) from three-point range. The Highlanders were led by Butler who had 13 points and six rebounds. Forward Nate Carter added 12 points.
The Gauchos return to action on Saturday, January 31 when they host Cal State Fullerton in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.