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Fullerton Quiets UC Santa Barbara

January 24, 1993|SCOTT MILLER

GOLETA — They stood and shrieked outside the Cal State Fullerton locker room for 30 minutes after the game, and this was UC Santa Barbara's Thunderdome living up to its reputation.

Loud and raucous.

But these were Titan fans celebrating Fullerton's dramatic, 72-68 Big West Conference victory, a game that snapped the Titans' eight-game losing streak at the Thunderdome.

Fullerton (9-5, 3-3) tuned out a raucous Thunderdome crowd of 6,000 to make 11 of 14 overtime free throws against a backdrop of a half-dozen spinning pinwheels.

Titan center Sean Williams had a career-high 21 points and point guard Aaron Sunderland had a career-high eight rebounds as Fullerton won its fifth consecutive overtime game, covering the past three seasons.

"I think this is huge," Fullerton Coach Brad Holland said. "This place is notorious. They really get behind their team here. It's loud.

"But we didn't panic. We maintained our poise. We were just really proud of our team tonight."

Regulation ended at 57-57 after Santa Barbara's Idris Jones missed an off-balance, 19-foot jumper at the buzzer.

The Gauchos (9-5, 2-4) had a chance to win because Sunderland had missed badly on an off-balance drive through the lane with 19 seconds to play.

Fullerton never trailed for the game's first 37:24, dictating the flow most of the way.

"I thought Fullerton played very well, very smart, very patient," UCSB Coach Jerry Pimm said. "They made the key plays and executed."

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