SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara's tandem of Alan Williams and Zalmico Harmon combined for 42 points as the Gauchos' offense flourished in an 80-65 victory at the Thunderdome on Saturday afternoon.
Cal State Fullerton (9-17, 4-8) was led by senior guard Michael Williams' 29-point performance as the Van Nuys, Calif., native knocked down a season-high five three-pointers while finding his way to six rebounds.
Alan Williams was responsible for 22 points, while dominating on the boards with 18 rebounds. Harmon also produced a double-double for UCSB (18-7, 9-3) with 20 points and a game-high 10 assists. Michael Bryson poured in 14 points as the third Gaucho to reach double figures.
Fullerton battled from behind for the entire game as UCSB held a 13-2 lead by the 14:48 mark of the first half. The Gaucho advantage expanded to 34-21 at the break as Fullerton made six field goals in the first period shooting just 27.3 percent from the floor.
UCSB shot 52.0 percent (13-of-25) from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
In the second half, Michael Williams scored 23 of his 29 points as the Titans shot 45.5 percent from the floor. But although the Titan offense picked up, Fullerton couldn't slow down the Gauchos to put a dent in the lead.
UCSB shot 56.5 percent from the floor for the game, and made 18-of-22 attempts from the free-throw line in the second half.
Santa Barbara held an 18-point lead, 55-37, with 10:11 to play, but the Titans rallied for a 20-10 run that pulled Fullerton within 65-57 with 3:04 left on the clock.
During that run, Williams was responsible for 15 points, knocking down three three-pointers during that stretch, but Fullerton would get no closer.
Alex Harris added 13 points for Fullerton.
The Titans return to action on at 7 p.m., Thursday hosting Cal State Northridge at Titan Gym. Fullerton will then host Long Beach State at 6 p.m., Saturday, and the game will be televised on ESPN3. In addition, t Titan fans will be treated to a rally buff giveaway and the Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team will be honored at halftime for its 2013 Big West Tournament championship.
Notes: Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara split their season series for the fourth consecutive year…Michael Williams scored a season high 29 points, recording double figures for the 26th consecutive game and reaching the 20-point plateau for the 10th time this year. Williams also knocked down a season-best five three-pointers. His 29 points matched a Titan season high set previously by Alex Harris vs. Hawai'i on Feb. 15…Williams scored 23 points in the second half, also a season best for any Titan in a half this year…for the ninth time this season, Fullerton did not hold a lead in the game.