Titans Defeat Gauchos in Overtime

The short-handed, struggling Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team put the hurt on somebody else this time.

The Titans found a cure in a 57-55 overtime victory over UC Santa Barbara in a Big West Conference game Saturday night in front of 1,139 at the Thunderdome.

Sophomore guard Ralphy Holmes, who sat out the previous two games because of a separated shoulder, had a game-highs of 23 points and nine rebounds as Fullerton (3-8, 1-1) rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit, overcoming 10 three-point baskets by the Gauchos despite being without four players, including two starters, because of a suspension and injury problems.

"We've had some difficult times," Fullerton Coach Donny Daniels said. "But we weathered it. We came back, and we beat a very good team, a veteran team, and we're just really excited about it."

They had reason to be. Santa Barbara (4-8, 1-1), the preseason favorite to win the Big West Conference, shot 52.4% from the floor in the first half and capitalized on a limited offensive output by Fullerton to take a 29-14 lead after the Titans equaled a school record for fewest number of points in a half. But with Santa Barbara managing only three points in the last 8:09 in regulation, Holmes helped finish the Titans' uphill battle when he swished a running three-point shot from 23 feet at the buzzer to tie the score at 49.

Anthony Bolton made a pull-up jumper in the lane for the decisive basket with 1:47 left in the five-minute overtime and finished with 12 points and five rebounds.

-- Lauren Peterson

UC Irvine 69, Long Beach State 52 -- The Anteaters appear to have solved their point guard problem.

Redshirt freshman Jeff Gloger scored 17 points and had five steals, three assists and two-blocked shots night to lead the two-time defending Big West Conference regular season champions at Long Beach.

Jordan Harris, Stanislav Zuzak and Adam Parada scored 12 points each for Irvine (7-3, 1-0), which has won seven of its last eight games. Tony Darden scored 18 points and Vance Lawhorn and Darnell Thompson added 10 each for Long Beach (1-9, 0-1), which lost for the eighth consecutive time.

Long Beach jumped out to a 12-4 lead, but Irvine crept back and caught the 49ers at 17-17 on a rebound and a basket by Parada with 10:31 left in the first half. The Anteaters took their first lead, 26-23, on a three-point basketball by forward Stanislav Zuzak, but the teams ended the half knotted at 28-28.

-- Paul McLeod

Idaho 73, Cal State Northridge 66 -- The slumping Matadors parlayed another poor effort at home into their fourth consecutive loss and fell into the Big West basement.

Dwayne Williams scored 16 of his 18 points after regulation and Justin Logan had a basket and three free throws in overtime to give Idaho (5-6, 1-1) its second road victory of the season. It is an about-face for Northridge (6-6, 0-2), which was riding high two weeks ago with a five-game winning streak.

Northridge shot only 30% and scored a season-low 44 points two nights earlier in a loss to Utah State.

The Matadors weren't much better offensively against Idaho as they shot 38.1% and missed eight of 17 free throws. But they came alive late to send the game into overtime.

Down 56-51, Ian Boylan drilled a three-pointer and Curtis Slaughter made a layup to tie the score with 1:28 remaining. After an Idaho free throw, John Clark made a three-pointer with 47.7 seconds left for a 59-57 lead. But the Vandals tied it 15 seconds later when Jack May got a pass from Logan on the baseline and made a layup.

Northridge had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, but Boylan and Clark missed tries in the final seconds. Williams then put Idaho over the top in overtime when he made a three-pointer to give the Vandals a 67-61 lead.

"Some of those shots were backbreakers," Idaho Coach Leonard Perry said.

Boylan scored all 12 of his points after halftime to lead Northridge.

Northridge Coach Bobby Braswell didn't mince words afterward. "These guys are on notice," he said. "If they don't work hard in practice, they won't step off the bench."

-- Eric Stephens

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