Men's Basketball Hopes To Stay On Winning Track, Hosts Cal State Fullerton

Jan. 3, 2003

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters tonight's game with an overall record of 4-7 and a Big West mark of 1-0. The Gauchos opened Big West play on Thursday with a 65-49 victory over visiting UC Riverside. The win over the Highlanders snapped a five-game UCSB losing streak and it was the Gauchos' first win since a December 3 home victory over USC, a period of 30 days.

Home, Sweet Home
Thursday night's win over UC Riverside was the Gauchos' first home game in 30 days. The victory improved UCSB's home record to 3-0 this season and 13-2 over the past two years and 16-2 dating back to the 2000-01 campaign.

The Gauchos And Titans
UCSB holds a 28-22 edge over Cal State Fullerton. The Gauchos swept the two games last season, winning in Fullerton by a score of 64-62 and in Santa Barbara by a 54-52 count. UCSB has won eight straight games in the series and head coach Bob Williams is unbeaten against the Titans.

Fullove Doubtful For Titans
UCSB guard Branduinn Fullove, the team's leading scorer (16.1 points per game) and its top three-point shooter (48.9%) is doubtful for tonight's game against Cal State Fullerton because of a strained groin. Fullove sat-out Thursday's game against UC Riverside with the groin injury, the first game he has missed this season.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - Missed all four of his shots vs. UCR.
G - Cecil Brown - Made all four of his two-point shots vs. UCR.
G - Nick Jones - Had season-high three steals on Thursday.
F - Casey Cook - Pulled down season-high eight boards vs. UCR.
F - Mark Hull - Has 1,303 career points, sixth all-time.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - B.J. Ward - Scoreless in his last two games.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Tied his career-high with five assists vs. UCR.
G - Braduinn Fullove - Sidelined with strained groin.
G - Josh Davis - Made all five FGs and had career-high 14 vs. UCR.
F - Bray Skultety - Out for the season with torn ACL.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Six rebounds in 16 minutes vs. UCR. F - Scott Rainey - Played season-high ten minutes vs. Bucknell.
F - Derek Wheeler - Has played in four of 11 games this year.

Hull Hits 1,300 Mark
Senior forward Mark Hull scored a game-high 16 points on Thursday and now has 1,303 for his UCSB career. Hull is the sixth Gaucho player in history to eclipse the 1,300 point plateau. In addition, he made three three-point baskets, giving him a team-high 29 on the season and 176 in his career, third all-time. Hull's 39 minutes played on Thursday night was a season-high and he has now played 30 or more minutes in seven straight games and ten times in 11 games this sason. In fact, in the last three games, Hull has played 114 of a possible 120 minutes. Finally, if he starts tonight's game against Cal State Fullerton, it would be the 99th consecutive start for the Glendale, Calif. native.

Jones Get Back On The Beam
Junior guard Nick Jones scored just seven points in each of UCSB's losses at the Hoops Classic. On Thursday night he didn't shoot the ball particularly well, making just 5-of-14 shots overall, but he did score 13 points. Jones also came-up with a season-high three steals against UC Riverside, doubling his season-total entering the game. He has now scored in double-digits nine times in 11 games. Finally, Jones was 0-for-5 from three-point range against the Highlanders, marking the first time this season he was held without a three-point basket.

Just Joshing, But No Joke
Freshman guard Josh Davis had the best game of his career in Thursday's win over UCR. Davis scored a career-high 14 points, was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field overall, 2-for-2 from three-point territory, and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. The two three-point baskets that he hit during a 17-3 UCSB run midway through the first half were his first two of the season. In addition to his career-high 14 points, Davis logged career-highs in minutes played (24), assists (three) and field goal attempts (five). With his two three-point baskets, Davis became the seventh Gaucho player this season to hit at least two three-pointers in a single game. He is now averaging 3.8 points per game while shooting 61.5% from the field and he is a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

Cook Rebounds With Solid Performance
In the second start of his career, and his second in the last two games, sophomore forward Casey Cook had his best outing in quite some time. Cook was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field, finishing with eight points and eight rebounds against UCR. The eight points was his second-best total of the season, he had 16 on November 24 against Centenary, and the eight rebounds were a season-high and the second best total of his career. In fact, combined with Bryan Whitehead's season-high six rebounds, UCSB's five spot duo combined for a season-best 14 rebounds in a combined 40 minutes of action. Oh, one more thing about Cook's eight point performance, it was the same total that he had produced in the previious four games combined, a period of 66 minutes of action.

Win Big, Lose Small
UCSB's four wins have come by totals of 15, 23, 16 and 16 points, a total of 70 points and an average of margin of 17.5 points per game. The Gauchos' seven losses have come by a total of 50 points, an average of 7.1 points per game. UCSB has been beaten by a double-digit margin only one time, a 13-point loss at BYU.

On The Horizon
It doesn't seem like too long ago that the Gauchos were on the road. Well, following tonight's game, they will be on the road again. UCSB will return to its second home, the Santa Barbara Airport, next week to travel for games on Thursday at the University of Idaho, and Saturday at Utah State. Saturday's game at Utah State, a rematch of last year's Big West Tournament Championship game, will be televised on ESPN and it will tipoff at 7:00 p.m. (PST).