Jan. 5, 2002
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
Desmond Penigar scored 19 points and Utah State held UC Santa Barbara to 36.2% shooting from the field, as the Aggies defeated the Gauchos on Saturday night, 60-56.
In addition to their defensive effort againt UCSB, Utah State made 46.7% of its shots, the highest percentage by a Gaucho opponent this season.
UCSB swingman Mark Hull, the team's leading scorer, was held to just 2-of-14 shooting from the field and 1-of-5 from three-point range en route to five points. Branduinn Fullove led the Gauchos with 21 points, making 8-of-19 shots overall, but just 1-of-8 from three-point range. Adama Ndiaye hit 3-of-6 shots, scored 11 points and had a team-high seven rebounds.
Utah State piled up a ten-point lead at 51-41 with 8:16 remaining in the game, but UCSB clawed back, closing to within three points when Fullove scored a three-point play with 1:44 to go, hitting a driving leaner and a free throw. The Aggies, however, made all but one of their free throws down the stretch, including a pair by Tony Brown with six seconds to go to ice the win.
UCSB was also outrebounded in the game by a 33-30 count, marking the first time since the season-opener that their opponent had done so. While they shot poorly and were outrebounded, the Gauchos stayed in the game by committing just seven turnovers and forcing Utah State into 15.
The loss drops the Gauchos to 9-4 overall and 3-1 in the Big West. The Aggies are 11-2 overall and also 3-1 in league. UCSB now hits the road for three games beginning with a 5:00 p.m. game on Thursday, January 10 at Cal State Northridge.