Jan. 3, 2002
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
Branduinn Fullove scored 20 points and Adama Ndiaye added 14 points and 11 rebounds, to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 76-53 Big West win over the University of Idaho Thursday at Santa Barbara.
The Gauchos (9-3, 3-0) jumped out to a 14-0 lead with 16:03 remaining in the first half, and the Vandals (3-9, 0-3) never got closer than seven the rest of the way. UCSB led 43-30 at halftime and outscored Idaho 19-6 in the first 8:37 of the second half, to take a commanding 62-36 lead.
The Vandals bounced back with four consecutive three-point baskets, two by Justin Logan and one each by Bethuel Fletcher and Jermery Turner, to shave the Gaucho margin to 62-48 with 9:39 remaining, but that was as close as they got. UCSB limited Idaho to just five points the rest of the way and cruised to the 23-point win.
Bryan Whitehead joined Fullove and Ndiaye in double-figures with a career-high 11 points. As a team, the Gauchos shot 57.4% for the game while the Vandals made just 32.6%, including just 5-of-24 from two-point territory. They did make 10-of-22 three-point attempts, 45.5%. Idaho was paced by Fletcher who made 6-of-8 shots from three-point range and finished with 20 points.
UCSB's 9-3 start is the programs best since they opened the 1988-89 season with an 11-1 record. In addition, the Gauchos have opened the Big West season with a 3-0 record for the first time since the 1987-88 season.
In addition to outshooting Idaho, the Gauchos dominated the backboards with a 40-20 rebounding advantage and they had 24 assists. Jacoby Atako led the way with seven assists, but Fullove added six and Mark Hull had five. Hull scored just eight points, his first single-digit effort of the season, but he also had six rebounds. Nick Jones made 4-of-6 shots and finished with nine points. Jones and reserve forward Bray Skultety each had seven rebounds.
The Gauchos take on two-time defending Big West Champion Utah State on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in Santa Barbara.