Balanced Gauchos Open 2003-04 Season With Decisive 91-62 Exhibition Win Over the EA Sports All-Stars
Nov. 5, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Sophomore guard Cecil Brown scored 15 points and sophomore forward Cameron Goettsche had 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds, to lead UC Santa Barbara to an easy 91-61 win over the EA Sports West All-Stars on Wednesday night at the Thunderdome.
Brown and Goettsche were two of five UCSB players to score in double-figures. They were joined by senior guard Branduinn Fullove and junior forward Casey Cook who had 11 apiece, and senior forward Bryan Whitehead who chipped-in with ten.
After scoring the first two points of the game, EA Sports never led again. Brown scored on a driving lay-up to tie the contest at 2-2 and to start a 24-9 Gaucho run that made it 24-11. Brown scored seven of the points during the early run, including the first of seven three-point baskets that his team made in the first half.
EA Sports narrowed the UCSB lead to 33-21 with 4:57 to go in the first half, but Fullove scored five points and Brown added four in a 15-7 spurt that ended the half and gave the Gauchos a commanding 48-29 lead at the half.
Santa Barbara's lead never drifted below 17 points in the second half and it climbed as high as 35 points on two occasions, the final time coming at 89-54 with 3:02 remaining in the game.
In addition to the five double-figure scorers, several other players made an impact.
Sophomore guard Joe See, who redshirted last season after transferring from Oregon State, hit a pair of long-range three-point baskets, finishing with eight points and a game-high six assists. Last year's Big West Defensive Player of the Year, Jacoby Atako, made a trio of three-point baskets to finish with nine points. Back-up point guard Chrismen Oliver, a junior, had five points and four assists and senior forward Bray Skultety, playing for the first time since the NCAA Tournament in 2002, started and played 13 minutes, scoring three points, pulling-down three rebounds and blocking one shot.
The game was also highlighted by three slam dunks from Goettsche and one from redshirt freshman Glenn Turner. At least two of Goettsche's dunks came off of outstanding passes from See. Turner fouled out in just five minutes of play after scoring four points.
"I thought we played well, but you can't get too excited about an exhibition game," said UCSB coach Bob Williams, who is entering his sixth season. "If we played like this against a Utah State or a UC Irvine in February or March, then there would be a reason to get excited."
The EA Sports West All-Stars were comprised of former college players, including a foursome of recognizable faces. Three former UCLA stars were part of the starting lineup. Forward Matt Barnes lead his team with 14 points, while 1995 NCAA Player of the Year Ed O'Bannon added seven points and guard Ray Young had five. Center Mohammad Woni, a Clemson product, had 11 points and five rebounds. Ricky Anderson, who played against the Gauchos for the University of Arizona in the 2002 NCAA Tournament, had three points and three rebounds.
As a team, the Gauchos shot 58.1% in the first half and 53.1% for the game. They made 7-of-12 shots from three-point range in the first half, a sizzling 58.3%. UCSB finished the game with 11 three-pointers. The game was sloppy at times and EA Sports finished with 24 turnovers, the Gauchos had 22. The visitors shot just 31.3% from the floor and 30.4% from beyond the three-point arc.
UCSB was playing its first exhibition without senior guard Nick Jones who is being withheld from competition until the NCAA reaches a decision on his eligibility. Jones, whose mother is of Mexican descent, played in an unsanctioned summer league in Mexico during the summer of 2003. The Gauchos were also without sophomore guard Josh Davis. The UCSB coaching staff is contemplating a redshirt year for Davis, but that too will be determined once the NCAA has reached its decision.
The victory over the EA Sports West Stars was the first of two exhibition games. UCSB will take on Ratiopharm Ulm, a German club team, on Wednesday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. The Gauchos open the regular season on Friday, November 21 with a road game at Hawaii.