Nov. 5, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Casey Cook had a game-high 16 points to go with eight rebounds, and Cecil Brown added 15 points as UC Santa Barbara opened its 2004-05 season with a 56-49 exhibition win over visiting Cal State Los Angeles Thursday night.
Cook, a senior, was forced to play 37 minutes as UCSB played without three of its top five frontcourt players. He made 6-of-11 shots from the field and all four of his free throws en route to his 16 points. In addition, Cook had a team-high four assists. Brown, a junior, scored 13 of his points in the first half, including seven right out of the gate as the Gauchos opened the game on a 9-0 run.
After jumping out to the 9-0 lead, Santa Barbara was outscored by Cal State Los Angeles 19-6 as the Golden Eagles took a 19-15 lead. The Gauchos, however, ended the first half with a 12-2 run to take a 27-21 lead into halftime.
UCSB built the lead to a game-high 12 points at 49-37 with 5:58 to go in the game, but forward Jon Folonis, who finished with a game-high 14 points for Los Angeles, scored eight consecutive points to cut the gap to four, 49-45. Folonis capped his spurt when he made a lay-up and was fouled with 3:05 remaining. He made the free throw to narrow the lead to four.
At that point, it was Gaucho guard Josh Davis' turn to take over. Davis, who was scoreless in the first half, finished with nine points, including UCSB's final seven points in the closing 2:40 of the game. With the Gauchos up by four and just 1:01 to go in the contest, the Golden Eagles sagged off of Davis who was about 21 feet away from the basket. The junior looked inside, but then made a three-point basket to extend the lead to an insurmountable seven points, 54-47.
"I thought we did some good things," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "Casey Cook played a lot of minutes because he had to, and I thought he played well. David Kennedy, who has hardly ever played in a college basketball game, played 33 minutes and while he didn't score, I thought he worked tremendously hard and played very smart. Cecil (Brown) was also very good, and Josh (Davis) had his moments. But we have a lot of areas we need to improve on. We need to make big improvements on the offensive end before our next game."
Davis added six rebounds to go with his nine points. Walk-on sophomore David Kennedy, who started in the frontcourt, tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds. Although he did not attempt a field goal, he also had a pair of steals and two assists in his 33 minutes of action. The Gauchos shot 42.3% for the game, but they did make 50.0% (11-of-22) in the second half. Cal State Los Angeles shot 42.2% for the game.
UCSB played without junior forward Cameron Goettsche, who is nursing a severely strained groin. Sophomore forward Glenn Turner was sidelined with a sprained ankle, and freshman forward Chris Devine is out until sometime in January following knee surgery.
Guard Mike Gavaldon added 13 points for the Golden Eagles, who are an NCAA Division II team.
Santa Barbara will finish its exhibition season on Friday, November 12, when it hosts crosstown opponent Westmont College in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.