February 16, 2003

Fullove Returns To Lead Men's Basketball To Fourth Straight Win, 67-58 At Cal State Northridge

Feb. 15, 2003

Box Score

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - On Thursday night at Pacific, Branduinn Fullove suffered a concussion just 58 seconds into UC Santa Barbara's 62-52 win over the Tigers. On Saturday night, he caused Cal State Northridge headaches.

Fullove came off the bench to score a game-high 19 points, leading the Gauchos to a 67-58 road win over the Matadors. The victory was UCSB's fourth in a row and their second sraight away from home.

After Ian Boylan opened the game with a three-point basket from deep in the left corner, UCSB went on a 16-6 run to take a seven-point lead, 16-9. Fullove capped the rally with a jumper from the left elbow, giving the Gauchos their biggest lead of the half with 9:58 to go.

Northridge responded with a run of its own, outscoring UCSB 12-1 to take a 21-17 lead with 4:33 to go in the half. Gaucho freshman guard Josh Davis squelched the Matador rally when he drove the lane, made a lay-up and got fouled with 4:12 remaining. Davis hit the free throw to cut the game to 21-20. After several defensive stops by both teams, Fullove gave the lead back to UCSB when he drained a three-pointer with 2:07 to go.

The Gauchos and Matadors traded baskets the rest of the half, and at the break the score was even at 27-27.

Mark Hull, who scored just two points in the first half, got Santa Barbara on the board first with a turnaround jumper just outside the key. Boylan hit a driving floater on the other end to tie the score for the last time, 29-29.

Fullove made a 15-foot jumper and a driving lay-up, and freshman guard Cecil Brown scored on baseline lay-in to give UCSB a 35-29 edge. Northridge cut the lead to one at 35-34 when Joseph Frazier scored on a lay-pu with 14:08, but then Hull nailed his only three-pointer of the game from 25-feet straight out to make it 38-34 Gauchos. The Matadors would pull to within two on one more occasion, but that would be as close as they would get.

UCSB led by as many as 12-points in the closing three minutes, but they settled for a nine-point win, 67-58.

Fullove made 5-of-11 shots overall, 1-for-4 from three-point range and 8-for-10 from the free throw line to finish with 19 points. He also had a team-high six rebounds, all on the defensive end, and a pair of assists.

"My legs felt strong tonight," Fullove said after playing 30 minutes off the bench. "For the most part, the headache was gone by late yesterday. The only thing I even thought about tonight was getting hit on the head, but that didn't affect the way I played."

In additon to Fullove, the Gauchos had two other players in double-figures. Hull, who had made just 2-for-16 shots from the field in the previous two games, made 4-of-8 shots and finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Nick Jones made 4-of-5 thos overall and 3-of-4 from the free throw line, to finish with 11 points. Jacoby Atako had seven points, two assists and a pair of steals, Brown added five point, one rebound and a steal. Casey Cook made 2-of-3 shots and had six points and four rebounds, and Bryan Whitehead had three points and five rebounds. Chrismen Oliver led the Gauchos with a game-high four assists and two steals.

While UCSB was outrebounded by Cal State Northridge 39-32, the Gauchos committed just nine turnovers and they shot 47.7 % from the floor. On Thursday night, the Matadors forced Cal Poly into 36 tunovers. Northridge shot just 37.3% from the field, becoming the third straight Gaucho opponent to shoot below the 40.0% mark.

"I thought we did a good job of contesting their shots," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "That was one of the keys. I also felt we did a good job of handling their pressure and trapping. We only had nine turnovers and that is very good against a very good defensive team."

The win was UCSB's fourth in a row and their eighth in the last nine games. The Gauchos are now a season-high three games over the .500 mark at 13-10. They also improve to 10-3 in Big West play, one full game ahead of UC Irvine and Utah State, both winners tonight. Cal State Northridge drops to 10-12 overall and 4-8 in league.

UCSB returns to the court on Thursday, February 20 when it travels to Cal Poly for a 5:30 p.m. game at Mott Gymnasium. The game will be carried live on Fox Sports Net 2. The Gauchos will return home on Saturday, February 22 to host the University of Detroit Mercy at 8:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The game will be part of Bracket Buster Saturday, an ESPN-branded event.

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