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Fullerton Wins; Sow Set to Return

January 31, 2003|Dan Arritt,Eric Stephens | From Staff and Wire Reports

Cal State Fullerton learned before Thursday's game against Cal State Northridge that suspended forward Pape Sow would return for the second half of Big West Conference play.

The news sounded even sweeter after the Titans ended a four-game losing streak with a 70-54 victory at Fullerton. Sow, who will be reinstated today, was suspended from the team Dec. 17 after he was arrested on charges that he stole a knit cap from the campus bookstore. Sow, a 6-10 forward from Senegal, pleaded guilty Jan. 2. It was his second arrest for petty theft in 15 months.

Sow averaged 15.9 points and 8.7 rebounds before his suspension. The Titans won four of their first six games without Sow, then dropped four consecutive conference games before ending the skid against the Matadors (9-9, 3-5).

"The guys are excited to have him back," said Fullerton Coach Donny Daniels. "If he comes back and only defends and rebounds, we'll be in great shape."

The Titans (6-12, 4-4) also played the first half against Northridge without point guard Zakee Smith, the conference's assist leader, who was benched for missing all but the last five minutes of Thursday morning's shootaround.

Fullerton's Ralphy Holmes, the conference's No. 2 scorer and No. 3 rebounder, reinjured his shooting shoulder early in the game while saving a loose ball. Holmes continued to play and scored 21 points, but Daniels said he would be "surprised" if Holmes returned Saturday against visiting Pacific. Derick Andrew scored a career-high 25 points to lead the Titans.

Ian Boylan scored 23 points to lead Northridge.

-- Dan Arritt

UC Santa Barbara 70, UC Irvine 54 -- Branduinn Fullove made eight of 10 shots and scored a game-high 22 points as Santa Barbara (9-9, 6-2) handed the Anteaters (11-6, 5-3) their worst loss at the Bren Center in four years

Freshman point guard Jeff Gloger had 13 points, but the Anteaters didn't have another player in double figures as they shot only 36.6% from the field.

"You have to have some discipline in your game, you have to play hard, you have to play with confidence and play like you're at home," Irvine Coach Pat Douglass said. "Santa Barbara did all those things and we didn't."

With the loss, the Anteaters fell into third place in the Big West Conference. Santa Barbara moved into a first-place tie with Utah State.

-- Eric Stephens

Pacific 79, UC Riverside 71 -- Pacific (10-7, 5-3 Big West) used a late 8-0 run to defeat the host Highlanders (3-11, 2-6).

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