Dec. 6, 2000
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
There were many heroes in UC Santa Barbara's thrilling 80-77 triple-overtime win over San Diego State on Wednesday night.
There was Mark Hull, who played a career-high 46 minutes and scored 21 points, including seven of the Gauchos' ten points in the third overtime.
There was LaRon Bryant, who played a career-high 44 minutes and scored 19 points, including a key three-pointer in the second overtime and the final free throw of the third overtime that iced the game.
There was freshman Branduinn Fullove who, while playing on an extremely sore right ankle, played 36 minutes, including the third overtime as the point guard, and finished with 13 points, six rebounds and six assists.
There was junior Mike Vukovich, playing a career-high 33 minutes and collecting the first double-double of his career with 13 rebounds and ten points, including a tip-in with 0:16 remaining in the second overtime to tie the score at 70-70 and force the third overtime.
And then, there was cable television.
Cable television? Uh huh, cable television.
At the end of regulation, with the score tied 53-53 and 0:12 left in the game, Vukovich rebounded a missed free throw by Aztec guard Deandre Moore. He got the ball to B.J. Ward who drove down the sideline, cut along the baseline and took a ten-foot jumper with about two seconds left. The shot didn't fall and the rebound bounced high above the rim. Fullove reached over SDSU forward Myron Epps for a two-handed tip-in. The officials, however, called an over-the-back foul on Fullove, sending Epps to the line with 1.3 seconds remaining in the contest.
Not so fast.
UCSB coach Bob Williams protested that the foul and the tip-in came after time had expired. SDSU head coach Steve Fisher argued otherwise. Lead official Jim Stupin, in a move required by the NCAA, went to the courtside television monitors being used by Santa Barbara's Cox Cable in their production of the game. After reviewing the monitor, Stupin determined that both the foul and the tip-in came after the clock had turned to 0:00.
Enter, overtime number one.
Bryant started the first overtime by hitting a two-pointer with 4:38 to go. UCSB built a five-point advantage on the strength of three Fullove free throws, the final two coming with 2:24 remaining. Moore responded for SDSU with a lay-up and a free throw, cutting the lead to three at 58-56 with 1:23 left. With 0:59 left, Fullove made one of two free throws to up the lead to 59-56. Again it was Moore who responded, this time he nailed a three-point shot with 0:41 remaining to tie the score at 59-59. Neither team could get on the board again in the first overtime.
Enter, overtime number two.
Moore started the second OT the same way he ended the first, drilling a long three-pointer. Fullove continued his parade to the free throw line as he hit two more to close the gap to one-point at 62-61 with 4:25 to go. With 3:50 remaining, Moore was called for his fifth foul of the game, a charge, and he went to the sidelines. Now, it was Vukovich's turn to shine. With 3:35 left, he hit a jumper from about ten-feet to give the Gauchos a 63-62 lead. Epps made a lay-up to give SDSU the lead back at the 3:03 mark. He was fouled on the shot but missed the free throw. Bryant gave UCSB a 66-64 lead with a three-pointer. With 1:43 left in the second OT, SDSU guard Al Faux was fouled and made one-OT-two free throws to tighten the score at 66-65. With 1:04 left, Vukovich had a tip-in to extend the UCSB lead to three again at 68-65. Faux made a jumper with 0:58 left and then Aerick Sanders made a slam dunk with 0:30 to go, giving SDSU a 69-68 lead. Sanders was fouled on the dunk and made the free throw, extending the lead to a pair, 70-68. At the 0:16 mark, Vukovich closed the scoring in the second extra period, hitting a lay-up.
Enter, overtime number three.
Playing without its point guard (The Gauchos' Ward fouled out with a minute to go in the second overtime and backup Jacoby Atako was limited to five minutes due to a sprained ankle of his own.), UCSB was forced to move Fullove to the point for the entire third overtime.
SDSU took a five-point lead at 77-72 with 1:56 to go, but Santa Barbara scored the game's final eight points to eek out the win. Fullove hit a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game at 77-74 with 1:50 left. After a missed shot by the Aztecs, Hull drained a three-pointer with 1:06 to go, tying the score at 77-77. San Diego's Faux was called for a charge on the other end of the floor and Hull came back and hit a 15-foot jump shot with 0:43 to go, giving UCSB a 79-77 lead. After another miss with 0:19 left, the Aztecs were forced to commit a foul and they did, sending Bryant to the line where he made one-of-two to make it 80-77. Faux missed a final three-point attempt and the game was finally over.
With the victory the Gauchos are now 2-4 on the season. All three of their home games have gone to overtime. The loss drops San Diego State to 4-2 and it snapped a three game losing streak.
UCSB returns to action on Saturday when it hosts 12th-ranked USC at the Thunderdome in a 7:00 p.m. game.