March 13, 2003
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Branduinn Fullove scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half to lead top-seeded UC Santa Barbara to a 53-44 victory over Pacific in the first round of the Big West Conference tournament Thursday.
Mark Hull added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Gauchos (18-12), who will play Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Friday night's semifinals. Santa Barbara has won five consecutive games and nine of its last 11.
Eighth-seeded Pacific (12-16) led 31-25 with 13:42 left in the game, but Hull scored six points during an 11-0 run that put Santa Barbara ahead 36-31 with 9:35 to play.
A layup from Tim Johnson narrowed the Tigers' deficit to 38-37, but the Gauchos used a 6-0 run to build a 44-37 lead with 1:44 remaining.
Fullove, the 2003 Big West Player of the Year, and Hull went a combined 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final 38.4 seconds.
Santa Barbara missed 18 of its first 20 shots from the floor and shot a season-low 26 percent.
Pacific made 32.6 percent of its field-goal attempts and missed 15-of-16 3-point shots.
Myree Bowden and Miah Davis led the Tigers with 12 points apiece.