Dec. 2, 2000
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. B.J. Ward hit a three-pointer to tie the score as the buzzer sounded to end regulation and the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos came back to defeat Westmont College in overtime, 57-50 on Saturday night.
Ward, who finished with a career-high 15 points for the game, also added six assists and he was fortunate to get the game-tying shot off.
With ten seconds remaining and the Warriors leading 45-44, LaRon Bryant missed a three-pointer that would have given the Gauchos a two-point lead. Westmont's Mitch Pierce came down with the rebound and threw an outlet to guard Corey Blick who, instead of running the clock out, went in for an open lay-up, which stopped the clock with just over three seconds left. Ward then took the inbounds pass and dribbled the length of the floor, pulled up near the top of the three-point circle and calmly drained the game-tying shot.
Westmont jumped out to a two-point lead in overtime when Robin Eley was fouled by Casey Cook and made a pair of free throws with 3:29 left in the game. UCSB then scored the next eight points,t he first six coming on a pair of three-pointers by Bryant and the final two on a lay-up by Mark Hull. After Pierce made one of two free throws for the Warriors, Ward made a lay-up with 0:34 remaining to make the final score 57-50 Gauchos.
Bryant joined Ward for game-high honors with 15. He hit 5-of-10 shots from three-point territory, including the two in overtime. Branduinn Fullove, playing for the first time since spraining his ankle in the season-opener at Pepperdine, made 3-of-6 shots and finished with six points and seven rebounds. Juliano Jordani led the team with ten rebounds. Hull struggled offensively, scoring only four points, but he did have seven rebounds and three assists.
Blick led the Warriors (4-2) with 16 points. Westmont, however, shot only 30.3% for the game. They did outrebound the Gauchos, 44-42.
UCSB is now 1-4 on the year. They continue their homestand on Wednesday when they host San Diego State at 7:00 p.m. at the Thunderdome. The homestand will end on Saturday night, December 9 when USC comes to town for a 7:00 p.m. game.