Jan. 24, 2004
Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara came into Saturday's game against Pacific riding a three-game winning streak. Pacific quickly put that streak to end, crushing the Gauchos 76-56.
The loss, which was the worst loss of league play thus far for Santa Barbara, dropped the Gauchos to 10-6 overall and 4-3 in the Big West. Pacific improves to 12-7 overall and 7-1 in the Big West. UOP trail Utah State by one game in the conference standings.
The game got off to a shaky start as both teams traded turnovers, but senior point guard Jacoby Atako drilled a three-pointer to ignite the scoring. However, Pacific seemed to be the only team to stay alight.
At the 15:57 mark, the Tigers led 4-3, and after another Atako basket, the Gauchos took their second and final lead of the game, 5-3.
Pacific guard Miah Davis connected on two three-pointers and senior Tom Cockle added another to increase the Tiger lead to 16-8. A Branduinn Fullove free throw, his only point of the game, was the only offense the Gauchos could muster in response, as Pacific jumped out on a 16-1 run.
Sophomore Josh Davis finally got the Gauchos a basket with 6:56 remaining in the first half, but it wasn't nearly enough as UOP had moved the lead to 28-10.
By halftime, UOP had just about put the game out of reach with an 18-point lead, 38-20.
In the first half, the Tigers held UCSB to 35% shooting from the floor, and 1-for-6 from three-point range. The 20-point defensive effort Pacific put forth was the best half of defense UOP has played this year.
Offensively, the Tigers connected on 65% of their field goals and were 5-of-11 from outside.
Seconds after the buzzer sounded to mark the start of the second half, any chance of a Gaucho comeback was put to rest. Junior Jasko Korajkic knocked down a jumper and Santa Barbara gave the ball right back on one of 19 turnovers the team allowed. A Fullove miss led to a David Doubley three-pointer, and the game was decidedly out of reach.
As a team, the Gauchos shot just 36.5% from the floor, and an abysmal 26.3% from behind the arc. Santa Barbara was outrebounded 31-27 and allowed the Tigers 31 points off turnovers.
Pacific had four players in double-figures, led by Christian Maraker, who scored a game-high 16 points. Davis and Doubley scored 15 and 11 points respectively and Korajkic added 10. As a team, the Tigers shot 58.1% from the floor and 36.8% from the three-point line.
The Gauchos return to the Thunderdome next week for games against UC Riverside, Thursday January 29, and Cal State Fullerton, Saturday January 31.