Jan. 31, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Sophomore guard Joe See scored a career-high 21 points and UC Santa Barbara ended the first half with a 33-3 run and cruised to a 77-44 win over visiting Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night.
With 12:39 to go in the first half, Titan forward Bron Groomes made a three-pointer from the top of the key to tie the score at 6-6. Cecil Brown responded for the Gauchos with a three-pointer from the corner to make it 9-7 UCSB and after a free throw by Fullerton center Pape Sow, the Gauchos rolled off 22 consecutive points to take a commanding 31-7 lead. The Titans were scoreless for nine minutes before Anthony Bolton scored on a leaning jumper near the free throw line with 3:48 to go in the half.
The score at the break was 39-9 Gauchos. The nine points scored by Fullerton were not only the fewest ever allowed in a half by UCSB, it was the fewest ever scored in a half by the Titans.
The game actually started out slowly for both teams. UCSB, in fact, missed its first seven shots and didn't even make its first field goal until Casey Cook made a running bank shot with 12:49 to go in the half. After missing their first seven shots, the Gauchos made 14-of-22 to close the half.
Fullerton never got closer than 26 points in second half and finished the game with a school-record for lowest field goal percentage, 23.1%. The Titans actually hit 26.1% from three-point range, but they made just 6-of-29 shots from inside the three-point arc, 20.7%.
"Our effort on the defensive end was just outstanding," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "I thought we really played well from the start on the defensive end. Once we got it going offensively we played well on that end too. All-around, this may have been the best game we've played in league this year."
See's 21 points led four players in double-figures. Brown added 12 points while Cook and Cameron Goettsche each tallied ten. Goettsche lead the Gauchos with eight rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
UCSB finished the game with a 51.9% field goal percentage and it made 9-of-18 three-pointers. See tied his career-high with five three-point baskets.
Senior guard Branduinn Fullove scored nine points in 19 minutes and he became the seventh player in school history to score 1,300 career points.
Another impressive story was the performance of the Gaucho bench, which scored 54 of the team's 77 points.
Santa Barbara, winners of two in a row and five of its last six games, improves to 12-6 overall and 6-3 in the Big West. Cal State Fullerton drops to 6-12 overall and 2-7 in the Big West.
The Gauchos return to action on Thursday, February 5, when they travel to Moscow, Idaho, for a 7:00 p.m. game against the University of Idaho.