March 9, 2001
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. - David Bunts scored the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:35 remaining in overtime as Pacific rallied to beat UC Santa Barbara 71-69 Thursday night in a quarterfinal of the Big West Conference tournament.
Peter Heizer, who had 17 points, tied the game at 66 in overtime with a 3-pointer. Bunts followed to give the Tigers the lead for good.
Mark Hull, whose 3-pointer with one second remaining forced overtime, scored inside off an offensive rebound to draw the Gauchos within one with 22 seconds left.
After Mike Preston hit two free throws to give Pacific a 71-68 lead, Hull was fouled. He made the first and deliberately missed the second. Branduinn Fullove grabbed the rebound, but his jumper missed at the buzzer, ending Pacific's six-game losing streak against Santa Barbara.
Pacific advanced to Friday's semifinals against top-seeded UC Irvine, a 71-66 winner over No. 8 seed Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo at Anaheim Convention Center.
The Tigers overcame a five-point deficit in the second half. Maurice McElmore, whose desperation shot missed at the regulation buzzer, tied the game at 54 on a 3-pointer with 2:43 remaining.
Pacific hit 9-of-10 free throws over the final 1:58. But the Gauchos, the league's worst long-range shooting team, got 3-pointers from Fullove and Hull in the final seven seconds to force the extra session.
The Gauchos, who had no timeouts left, caught a break when Pacific called a timeout with 7.2 seconds left, giving the Gauchos time to set up for Hull's 3-pointer.