Gauchos Keep Rolling With 72-63 Win Over Cal State Fullerton

Feb. 7, 2008

Box Score

FULLERTON, Calif. - Sha'Rae Gibbons scored a game-high 19 points and Kat Suderman posted a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 72-63 victory at Cal State Fullerton Thursday night in Titan Gym.

After making it through the first half of Big West play unscathed, the Gauchos started the second on a positive note as well, defeating the Titans for the 30th straight time. UCSB has now won 10 in a row and improved to a perfect 9-0 in conference play and 14-6 overall this season.

The Titans, who had won five straight entering Thursday's game, saw their longest winning streak since the 1990-91 season snapped and fall to 7-14 overall (5-4 in the Big West).

Santa Barbara has not lost to Cal State Fullerton since 1995.

Gibbons finished 7-of-10 from the field to lead all scorers and reached double figures for the fourth time in the last five games. She was 3-of-4 from the three-point line and dished out three assists.

Suderman had her way against the much smaller Fullerton front court, finishing 5-of-9 from the floor to reach double figures for the 12th time in the last 14 games. She was also 5-of-5 from the free throw line and her 11 boards was a season-high.

Jordan Franey was in the starting lineup for just the second time in 2007-08 and scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a season-high 28 minutes. Ashlee Brown was excellent in the post as well, scoring 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting. The freshman forward also tallied five rebounds and two assists.

Jessica Wilson scored just three points but finished with 10 rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

The Titans came out of the gates firing and jumped out to a 10-4 lead after a three pointer from Ashley Richie with 16:01 remaining in the first half. Lauren Chow's triple less than a minute later gave the home squad its biggest advantage of the game at 13-4.

Trailing 19-10 with 11:12 left to play in the opening period, UCSB used a 13-4 run over of the next 3:31 to tie the game at 23-23. Suderman started the run off with two free throws and an easy basket inside and then Gibbons followed with a jumper and a three from the top of the circle. Gibbons then found Meagan Williams on the baseline for a layup to knot the score with 7:41 remaining.

Gibbons scored six of the Gauchos' next 10 points as Santa Barbara pulled in front 33-24, before the Titans pulled within six (33-27) at the half. All told, Santa Barbara used a decisive 21-2 run over a seven-minute span late in the first period that would prove to be the difference in the game.

Franey knocked down a pair of free throws to open the second half and Lauren Pedersen scored inside as UCSB pulled in front 37-27 after the first 1:45. The Gauchos went on to outscore Fullerton 12-4 over the first 4:07 of the second stanza to take a 45-31 lead.

Santa Barbara led by as many as 17 points at 61-44 with 5:25 before the Titans began to chip away at the deficit to make things interesting down the stretch. A 14-4 Fullerton run brought the Titans to within single digits at eight points with 1:26 remaining and the deficit would shrink to just five points (68-63) on a three-pointer by Jasmine Scott with 17 seconds to go.

But Pederson and Franey combined to convert on all four of their free throw attempts to close out the game and the Gauchos held on for the 72-63 victory.

Chow hit five three pointers to account for her 15 points and added four assists to lead the way for Cal State Fullerton. Richie and junior Toni Thomas poured in 13 points apiece while Scott added 11 points in the loss.

UCSB dominated the glass, out-rebounding Fullerton 56-24. The Gauchos finished with 24 rebounds on the offensive end. Santa Barbara shot 40.3% for the game and recorded 18 assists on 25 made baskets. Fullerton finished at 36.2% from the floor.

The Gauchos will seek their first 10-0 start in conference play since 2001-02 season Saturday at UC Irvine. Tip-off is slated for 2:00 p.m.