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Titans prevail in 2 OTs

March 09, 2007|Peter Yoon; Dan Arritt

Cal State Fullerton rescued its season from a downward spiral, earning a 100-92 double-overtime victory over Pacific in a Big West Conference tournament quarterfinal Thursday at the Anaheim Convention Center.

It was the first double-overtime game in Big West tournament history and got Fullerton to the 20-victory mark for only the fifth time in school history. The third-seeded Titans will play No. 2 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo tonight at 9.

The Titans (20-9) entered the tournament having lost four of their last five games and dropped to the No. 3 seeding when a No. 2 would have gotten them two byes.

Instead, they received one bye and had to face Pacific, which was seeded No. 7, but was the defending champion. The Titans shook off some awful free-throw shooting, got 30 points from all-conference guard Bobby Brown and survived with a victory that just might rejuvenate the team.

"We gained our confidence back," Coach Bob Burton said. "We were real fragile here. We have not been playing well and they all got together and made some nice adjustments."

Brown scored 11 of his points in the two overtimes and made a layup with 19.7 seconds left in regulation. Seven of his overtime points came from the free-throw line, where the rest of his teammates made only nine of 19 attempts. Brown, seven of eight from the free-throw line, did not have an attempt in regulation.

Teammate Frank Robinson added 25 points and 10 rebounds and had a spectacular dunk off an offensive rebound and a three-point basket in the last minute of the first overtime that gave Fullerton an 88-86 lead.

Pacific's Anthony Brown got free inside and tied the score at 88-88 with 2.9 seconds, sending it to double overtime. Brown had 26 points to lead Pacific (12-19), which was outrebounded, 52-37.

-- Peter Yoon

UC Irvine 70, UC Santa Barbara 52 -- The fifth-seeded Anteaters continued their strong defensive presence, holding the fourth-seeded Gauchos to a season-low point total and field-goal percentage (31.6%) at the Anaheim Convention Center.

After allowing 30 points in the first 12 minutes of a 53-52 victory Wednesday night over UC Riverside, the Anteaters gave up only 40 over the next 48. That helped them take a 28-18 lead into halftime against the Gauchos, who won both regular-season games against Irvine.

The Gauchos (18-11) made only eight of 27 shots (29.6%) in the opening half. Irvine (15-17) made five three-pointers in the first four minutes of the second half, including three by senior Nic Campbell, to go up, 45-26.

Irvine (15-17) will play top-seeded Long Beach State in a semifinal tonight at 6:30.

Michael Hunter scored 16 points to lead Irvine. Alex Harris scored 22 for Santa Barbara.

-- Dan Arritt

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