Dec. 10, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Sophomore guard Cecil Brown tied a career-high 16 points to lead a balanced attack as UC Santa Barbara overcame a sluggish start and routed visiting Westmont College 66-36 on Wednesday night at the Thunderdome.
The Gauchos (3-2) led at the end of a low-scoring first half, 25-17. UCSB struggled throughout much of the first 20 minutes, shooting just 40.7% and committing ten turnovers. The Warriors (3-3) had their own problems, shooting just 28.0% and being outrebounded by ten, 22-12.
Baskets by sophomore guard Josh Davis and junior forward Casey Cook to open the second half gave Santa Barbara a 12-point lead and the advantage remained in double-figures the rest of the game. UCSB outscored Westmont in the second half by a 41-19 margin.
Warrior center Jeff Grgas, who finished with eight points, scored on a tip-in to cut the Gaucho lead to 38-28 with 10:59 to go in the game, but UCSB sophomore guard Joe See came off the bench to hit back-to-back three-point baskets, the second coming from 24-feet with 10:05 remaining, to ignite a 21-4 rally and give his team a comfortable 59-32 lead with 4:36 to go in the game. See hit another three-pointer during the run and finished with nine points.
Santa Barbara shot 58.6% in the second half to finish at 50.0%, but Westmont was even colder than the first half, making just 6-of-29 shots and shooting 20.7%. The Warriors finished at 24.1% for the game, a season-low for them and a season-best defensive effort for UCSB.
Brown made 5-of-7 shots in the second half when he scored 11 of his 16 points. Senior forward Bryan Whitehead was the only other player on either team to score in double-figures, finishing with ten points on 5-of-6 shooting. It was the third-best scoring effort of his career.
Davis had one of his best games as a Gaucho. He scored nine points, but his passing and defense kept UCSB afloat in the first half. Davis ended the game with a career-high six assists. Sophomore forward Cameron Goettsche tied his career-best with eight points and he pulled-down a game-high and career-high 11 rebounds.
Westmont was paced by forward Kevin Blomstrom who scored nine points. Forward Nick Debban had a team-high eight rebounds.
UCSB, which has won consecutive games for the first time this year, was playing its fifth straight game without the services of senior guards Branduinn Fullove and Nick Jones. Fullove remains sidelined with a left ankle injury and Jones was serving the fifth game of his eight-game suspension.
The Gauchos return to action on Saturday, December 13, when they host the University of San Diego in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.