Dec. 1, 2001
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
Mark Hull scored 15 points, including seven during a decisive 22-2 rally midway through the second half, to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 62-51 win over St. Mary's Saturday night in Santa Barbara.
With 15:04 remaining in the second half, the Gauchos trailed 40-28. Sophomore point guard Jacoby Atako, who finished with 11 points and five assists, made a pair of free throws to cut the gap to ten, 40-30. Hull then scored on a baseline layin to make it 40-32. Following a timeout, senior forward Mike Vukovich broke free on a fast break, took a feed from Atako, and hit a layup to make it 40-34.
Following another timeout, Gael guard Samuel Saint-Jean made a pair of free throws, but Hull immediately followed with a three-pointer, pulling the Gauchos to within 42-37 with 10:50 remaining in the game. When Vukovich scored on a baseline hook, UCSB trailed 42-39 with 10:12 left. Following a steal by Atako, guard B.J. Ward scored on a breakaway layup, pulling UCSB to within one with 8:52 left in the game.
Atako completed the comeback at the 8:22 mark when he nailed a three-point basket from the corner, giving Santa Barbara a 44-42, advantage. The Gaucho lead was their first since the 11-minute mark of the first half when they led 12-11. UCSB scored six more points in the run, taking a 50-42 edge when guard Branduinn Fullove hit a short jumper with 6:04 remaining in the game. The Gaels never got closer than five after that.
Fullove and Vukovich joined Hull and Atako in double-figures with ten apiece. Guard Nick Jones led the Gauchos in rebounding with seven. St. Mary's was paced by forward Ethnie Stubbs who scored 11 points and guard Ryan Nelson who had ten. After shooting 47.8% in the first half, the Gaels were limited to 33.3% in the second half. UCSB shot a season-best 54.5% for the game.
With the win, UC Santa Barbara is now 4-1, St. Mary's drops to 1-4. The 4-1 start by the Gauchos is the program's best since it opened the 1992-93 season with a 6-0 record.
UCSB travels to Loyola Marymount for a 7:00 p.m. game on Wednesday, then they return home to host Pepperdine at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara on Saturday, December 8, at 7:00 p.m.