Jan. 4, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Last year, UC Santa Barbara beat Cal State Fullerton by two points on two occasions. In the win at Fullerton, the Gauchos needed a Nick Jones three-pointer as time ran out to eek out the win. This year, the Titans returned the favor.
Guard Ralphy Holmes, returning to the lineup after missing three games with a shoulder injury, scored 23 points, including a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to end of regulation, to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 57-55 overtime win over UCSB on Saturday night at the Thunderdome.
The Gauchos, who led 29-14 at halftime, scored just 26 points in the second half and overtime to let the Titans back into the game. It was the second double-figure second half lead that the Gauchos had blown in their past four games.
UCSB had an opportunity to ice the victory with four seconds remaining in regulation, but leading 49-46, Nick Jones missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity. The Titans rebounded, got the ball to Holmes near halfcourt. Holmes, who entered the game averaging 17.5 points per game, pulled-up above the three-point circle just in front of his team's bench and sank the three-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
Fullerton won the tip to open the overtime and forward Jamal Forcheney scored on a lay-up to make it 51-49. After a pair of Jacoby Atako free throws that tied the score for the Gauchos, Holmes was fouled on a scramble off of a missed shot. He hit the first free throw, but missed the second, making it 52-51 Titans. Forcheney, however, stepped inside two UCSB players to rebound the ball and score on a put-back, making it 54-51 with 3:26 to go.
After another Gaucho miss, guard Anthony Bolton was fouled by Cecil Brown and he made one of two free throws to give Fullerton a four-point lead. UCSB quickly brought the ball up the court and with 2:05 remaining, Jones nailed a long three-point basket to cut the gap to one, 55-54.
Bolton responded for Fullerton, hitting a short jump shot with 1:48 to go. Ten second later, Gaucho guard Chrismen Oliver was fouled. Oliver missed the first free throw and made the second, making it 57-55 Titans.
UCSB forced a missed shot on the other end, but could not take advantage, turning the ball over. After another miss with 13 seconds remaining, the Gauchos got the rebound and called timeout. UCSB tried to work the ball to Hull, but the team's leading scorer on the night with 21 points, could not get a handle on the ball and the Titans punched it away as the overtime ended.
Hull and Jones (16 points), were the only two UCSB players in double-figures. Bolton scored 12 to go along with Holmes' 23 for Fullerton.
The loss drops UCSB to 4-8 overall and 1-1 in the Big West. The Gauchos have lost six of their last seven games. Fullerton improves to 3-8 overall and 1-1 in league.
UCSB returns to action on Thursday, January 9 to take on the University of Idaho on the road. The game will tip at 7:00 p.m. (PST).