Dec. 13, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche scored a career-high 17 points and sophomore guard Cecil Brown tied his career-high with 16, to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 90-70 win over the University of San Diego on Saturday night in Santa Barbara.
UCSB (4-2), which has won three games in a row, trailed the Toreros (2-7) by as many as six points early, and with 14 minutes left in the first half they were still behind by five, 16-11. The Gauchos, however, went on a 17-2 tear over the next 5:36 and a 41-14 run over the final 14 minutes to take a decisive 52-30 lead into the break. Brown had 14 of his points in the first half, including a three-pointer to ignite the 17-2 stretch.
"Cecil was really good and he really energized us in the first half," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "He has the ability to score in bunches and tonight we needed him to do it in the first half."
In addition to Brown's 14-point half, Goettsche and senior guard Jacoby Atako each added ten for a three-man first half total of 34, four more than the entire San Diego team. UCSB shot 55.6% in the first half, including 75.0% (6-of-8) from three-point range.
Junior forward Casey Cook scored the first basket of the second half to give the Gauchos a 54-30 lead, but the Toreros rallied somewhat over the next six minutes. When forward Brice Vounang scored on a short jumper with 13:03 to go in the game, the lead was 16, 63-47. At that point, UCSB outscored San Diego 22-10 to take the largest lead of the game, 85-57.
In addition to Goettsche's 17 and Browns 16, Atako finished the game with 13 points. Sophomore guard Joe See had a season-high 15 points. UCSB made 10-of-18 shots from three-point range. Brown was 3-of-4, See was 3-of-5 and Atako was 2-of-4.
The Gauchos outrebounded the Toreros 36-31 with Goettsche and senior forward Bryan Whitehead leading the way with seven. UCSB also had a season-high 13 steals. Atako and See and Atako each had four steals and Brown added three.
Saturday's game also marked the season-debut of senior guard Branduinn Fullove. Fullove, the 2003 Big West Player of the Year, missed UCSB's first five games with an injured left ankle. Against the Toreros, he came off the bench to play 13 minutes, and although he missed all five of his field goal attempts, he hit six free throws, finishing with six points and four rebounds.
San Diego, which drops to 2-7 on the year, was led by junior forward Brandon Gay who scored a game-high 18 points in just 19 minutes. Guard Brett Melton finished with 16 points and Vounang had 15.
Santa Barbara returns to action on Wednesday, December 17 when it travels to UCLA for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Bruins. Following the game in Westwood, the Gauchos will take part in the Dodge Holiday Classic in Reno, Nevada. UCSB opens the tournament on Saturday, December 20 with a 5:00 p.m. game against Kansas.