Jan. 25, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Mark Hull scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, and Branduinn Fullove added 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists, to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 70-61 win over Cal Poly on Saturday night at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara.
Hull's first double-double of the season helped the Gauchos overcome a 12-minute stretch without a field goal to post their third straight win overall and tenth in a row over Cal Poly. In the process, the 6-foot-7 senior forward from Glendale, Calif. became just the fourth UCSB player in history to eclipse the 1,400 point mark. He now has 1,402.
Hull drained a long three-point basket with 7:39 to go in the first half, giving the Gauchos a 28-17 lead. UCSB did not make another field goal until Nick Jones scored on a lay-up with 15:07 to go in the second half, a span of nearly 12 minutes. During the Gaucho drought, the Mustangs, playing without second-leading scorer Shane Schilling who had a sprained ankle, were able to cut the 11-point lead to two points at 30-28 with 19:51 remaining in the game.
UCSB was able to stay in the lead with an outstanding defensive effort and free throws. Cal Poly suffered a cold stretch of its own. After Varnie Dennis made a three-pointer with 0:49 to go in the first half, the Mustangs did not make another field goal until Dennis' lay-up with 15:49 remaining in the game. Dennis' lay-up cut pulled his team to within two points again at 32-30, but over the next four minutes the Gauchos outscored the Mustangs 12-0 to take a commanding 44-30 edge with 11:58 remaining. During the 12-0 run, five different UCSB players scored, led by Jones who tallied five, including a three-point basket.
"I thought our defense really picked us up at the beginning of the second half," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "We went on the run to get the lead back into double-figures and we really got the crowd back into it and fed off of their emotion."
Cal Poly never got closer than eight the rest of the way as UCSB made its free throws down the stretch.
The Gauchos limited the Mustangs to 35.7% from the field and they forced 15 turnovers, producing a season-high nine steals. In fact, led by Hull who tied his career-high with three steals, UCSB had four different players with at least a pair of steals.
In addition to Hull and Fullove's efforts, Jones added nine points and four rebounds and Cecil Brown had seven points and a pair of assists. Cal Poly was paced by Dennis who had 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Guard Jason Allen helped keep the Mustangs within shouting distance by scoring 16 points, including 4-of-8 from three-point range.
The win, the third in a row, improves the Gauchos overall record to 8-9. They are 5-2 in Big West play, tied for second with UC Irvine and one-half game back of Utah State. UCI dropped a 69-63 game to Cal State Northridge tonight. Cal Poly drops to 7-9 overall and 3-4 in the Big West.
UCSB returns to action when it travels to UC Irvine on Thursday, January 30 for a 5:30 p.m. game at the Bren Events Center. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net 2.