Gauchos Clinch Big West Title
March 8, 2003
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - Branduinn Fullove had 18 points and nine rebounds as UC Santa Barbara beat UC Riverside 70-55 Saturday night.
With the win, the Gauchos (17-12, 14-4 Big West Conference) clinched the Big West title, finishing one game ahead of UC Irvine.
The Gauchos started to pull away with 11:31 left in the game, using a 17-2 run over six minutes to take the largest lead of the game at 49-33.
UC Riverside (6-18, 5-13) was able to answer back with a 7-0 run with 6:54 remaining to cut the lead to 53-47.
But Santa Barbara scored the next seven points to finish off the Highlanders.
The game was the last for UC Riverside as a provisional Division I school. Starting next season, the Highlanders will be eligible for the Big West Conference tournament.
Jake Wessel finished off his career at UC Riverside by tying a career-high with 13 points.
Mark Hull scored 15 for Santa Barbara.