March 7, 2003
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) - Branduinn Fullove scored 19 points and Nick Jones added 15 Thursday night as UC Santa Barbara beat Cal State Fullerton 63-60 Thursday night to claim the No. 1 seed in the Big West Conference tournament.
The Gauchos (16-12, 13-4) also clinched at least a share of the Big West regular season championship. They have a one game lead over UC Irvine with one game left to play for each team.
Ralphy Holmes nearly tied the game for Cal State Fullerton (9-18, 7-10) at the buzzer with a three-point attempt that fell short.
Holmes finished with 15 points and Pape Sow had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Titans.
Jones hit a pair of free throws with 12 seconds remaining after an intentional foul was called on the Titans' Fedi Holm-Hadulla. UCSB got the ball back but Sow stole a cross-court pass and the Titans pushed the ball up to Holmes.
Holmes had hit a 3-pointer at 1:03 and Sow made a layup at 0:16 to whittle all but a point out of what had been a 61-55 UCSB lead with 1:10 left in the game.
Fullove hit 5-of-6 three-point tries and Jones was 3-of-4 as UCSB hit 8-of-16 from behind the arc.