Feb. 5, 2000
After trailing 2-0 on a basket by Idaho's Kaniel Dickens, the Gauchos went on 17-4 run to take a 17-6 lead and they never trailed again. Payton had six points in the run while Erick Ashe and Juliano Jordani added three-point baskets in the first half burst. The Vandals cut UCSB's lead to five at 23-18 with 4:23 left in the first half, but they never got closer than that.
Leading 32-24 at half, the Gauchos went on a 19-4 run to open the second half, culminating on a short jump shot in the lane by Adama Ndiaye, to take a 51-28 lead with 14:24 to go in the game. Idaho ultimately cut the lead to ten, 63-53, but the lead never dropped below double-digits.
Hull made 7-of-11 shots from the floor, bouncing back from a subpar 2-for-9 shooting performance in UCSB's Thursday night road win at Cal Poly. In addition to his 17 points, he added five rebounds, three assists and a career-high three steals. Payton continued to sizzle. After making 8-of-13 shots and scoring a career-high 27 in the win at Cal Poly, the junior guard made 5-of-8 shots from the field, including his only three-point attempt, in the win over Idaho.
While Ndiaye was limited to seven points on 3-of-12 from the field, he pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds and blocked three shots. Larry Bell scored six points, making all three of his field goal attempts, and passed off for a season-high nine assists. He also had two steals.
As a team, the Gauchos did it with defense...again. They limited the Vandals to 34.5% shooting from the field (19-of-55), had 12 steals and blocked four shots. Three Gauchos had three steals in the win. Derrick Allen and Erick Ashe each had three steals in the effort. Another bright spot was the play of freshman guard B.J. Ward who had seven points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, two assists, no turnovers and a steal in his 17 minutes.
With the victory, UCSB is now 8-11 overall and they have evened their Big West mark at 4-4. Since opening the league season with an 0-3 record, the Gauchos have rallied with four wins in their last five outings. The victory, coupled with losses by Pacific (at UC Irvine) and Cal State Fullerton (at home to Long Beach State), moves UCSB into second place in the Big West's Western Division.
The Gauchos return to action for a pair of home games next weekend. On Thursday, February 10, they will host Cal State Fullerton at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. On Saturday, they return to host UC Irvine in a 7:00 p.m. game.