Gauchos Rally Behind Accurate Second Half
Feb. 9, 2012
SANTA BARBARA, CA - UC Santa Barbara's Kirsten Tilleman finished with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds and the Gauchos shot a hyper-accurate 75 percent from the field in the second half, erasing a three-point halftime deficit and lifting them to a 52-39 win over visiting Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night at The Thunderdome.
The loss was the third-straight for the Titans, who fell to 9-14 overall and 2-9 in Big West Conference play. Thursday night's loss was the largest in Big West play this season for Fullerton, which had lost eight games in conference play by a combined 36 points.
UCSB improved to 9-13 overall with the win and 4-6 in Big West play.
Senior Megan Richardson and junior Alicya Crisp led the Titans with eight points apiece, but Fullerton was hampered by a 29 percent shooting night overall. Sophomore Mya Olivier finished with a team-high nine rebounds, but could not offset a 38-27 advantage on the glass for the Gauchos.
Back-to-back baskets by Lauren Bushong and Alex Thomas to finish the first half gave Fullerton a 19-16 lead at the break after the Titans had led by as many as six points with just under 14 minutes to play in the opening period. Three first-half three-pointers -- two of those by Crisp -- were the difference as both teams struggled from the field with Fullerton shooting 29 percent and UCSB hitting on just 26 percent of its shots.
The second half, however, belonged to the Gauchos, who opened the period on a 7-0 run and extended the burst to 15-4 capped by a Kelsey Adrian three-pointer to give them an eight-point lead. A lay-up by Thomas closed the gap back to six points on the Titans' next possession, but UC Santa Barbara put its foot on the gas, using a 17-6 run over the next eight minutes to build its largest lead at 48-31 and the Gauchos never looked back.
UCSB, which also got 11 second-half points from Emilie Johnson, hit 15-of-20 from the field in the second half, holding Cal State Fullerton to just 29 percent shooting after the break.
The Titans close out their brief roadtrip on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 11) at 4 p.m. as they travel to San Luis Obispo to take on Cal Poly.