Quick Start And Fast Finish Lead Men's Basketball To 68-51 Win Over Pepperdine

UC Santa Barbara has had trouble getting out of the blocks in games this season. In a Wednesday night loss at Loyola Marymount, the Gauchos made their first shot of the game, missed the next 11 and never recovered, losing 77-70.

On Saturday night, forwards Mark Hull and Adama Ndiaye hit shots to give UCSB a 4-0 lead in the opening minutes against Pepperdine. This time, the Gauchos didn't slow down, leading from start to finish and in the end running off with a 68-51 victory over the Waves.

While the Gauchos were never tied or behind after scoring the first two baskets of the game, it did take a 20-5 run in the final 12 minutes to blow open a tight game. Leading just 48-46 with 11:57 to go, UCSB used back-to-back three-pointers by sophomore guard Nick Jones to take a 54-46 lead and open the flood gates. During the 20-5 game-ending run, Pepperdine made just one field goal, a three-pointer by Terrance Johnson with 4:41 remaining.

Ndiaye had his best game of the season, recording his first double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Branduinn Fullove, coming off of a poor shooting performance at Loyola Marymount, had 12 points and six rebounds. Hull and Jones were also in double-figures with 11 points apiece. Junior guard B.J. Ward had a game-high seven assists and junior walk-on Bray Skultety played a season-high 12 minutes and had six rebounds.

Although the Gauchos committed 21 turnovers, they made up for it by shooting 56.1% from the field (23-of-41), and limiting Pepperdine to 27.9% (17-of-61). On the year, UCSB opponents are shooting just 34.1%.

"I thought we played as hard, from start to finish, as we have in any game this year," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "We were embarassed by the way we lost on Wednesday (at Loyola Marymount), so for us to come out and play as hard as we did for 40 minutes tonight, that was very important."

The Waves were coming off of a stirring come-from-behind win over USC on Thursday night. The victory over the Trojans gave them a sweep of games against UCLA and USC.

With the win, the Gauchos are now 5-2 on the season. Pepperdine, which was led by forward Jimmy Miggins who scored 20 points and 11 rebounds, drops to 4-3. UCSB is off until it opens Big West play at UC Riverside on December 20 at 7:00 p.m.