The UCSB men’s basketball team found out last night that nothing lasts forever, when its five-game winning streak snapped at the hands of Cal State Fullerton.
The Titans (13-11 overall, 5-8 in the Big West) outscored Santa Barbara by 12 points in the second half en route to an 80-76 victory, their fifth straight over UCSB. The Gauchos (12-12 overall, 4-7 Big West) lost after leading at the half for the first time this season.
“I don’t think [the loss] is devastating,” sophomore forward Chris Devine said. “It’s a tough loss but I think we played hard. For the most part, we played well, especially in the first half.”
UCSB used its 57.1 percent three-point shooting and eight Titan turnovers to control the first half. Devine set the tone for the Gauchos, snagging 10 boards and scoring 15 points for a first half double-double. Though Fullerton heated up late in the half, UCSB took a 43-35 lead into the locker rooms.
The Titans started the second half on fire, draining ten of their first 14 shots from the field igniting a 14-2 run to take the lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the game. A 59-58 lead with 10:11 remaining would be Santa Barbara’s last.
From there, junior point guard Bobby Brown and senior forward Jamaal Brown worked the Gauchos from long-range and in the paint. Bobby Brown scored 18 of his game-high 25 points, going 5-10 from the field and 6-7 from the free throw line in the second half.
“Bobby Brown tore us up,” Head Coach Bob Williams said. “He was unbelievable in the second half.”
Jamaal Brown worked senior forward Cameron Goettsche and flu-stricken junior forward Glenn Turner for 10 points in the paint in the second half, helping the Titans shoot 54.5 percent for the game.
“Physically, Jamaal took it to us in the second half,” Williams said. “This game wasn’t typical of what we’ve been getting out of our five-spot defensively.”
Despite concerted efforts in the final minutes of the game, the Gauchos were unable to stop the Browns. The two combined for seven free throws in a row in the last three minutes to seal the 80-76 win.
Jamaal Brown and sophomore guard Frank Robinson joined Bobby Brown in double-digits, adding 18 and 17 points respectively. Devine led the Gauchos, matching his career-high with 21 points to go along with 11 boards. Senior guards Cecil Brown and Joe See also had double-digit nights for UCSB.
Santa Barbara closes out its home schedule Saturday, hosting UC Riverside at 2 p.m. After an embarrassing loss at Riverside to open the conference season, the Gauchos will be looking to send their seniors out with a little revenge and build momentum for their final road trip before the Big West Tournament. For Senior Day, the first 500 students will receive free senior T-shirts.