FULLERTON, Calif. – A 29-point performance from redshirt senior forward Doris Jones and a double-double from junior Taylor Mole helped the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team kick off 2021 with an 83-54 defeat of Cal State Fullerton on Friday night at Titan Gym.
Jones' season-high showing on 11-of-19 shooting, including four triples, gave UCSB (1-6, 1-2 Big West Conference) its first conference victory of the year and its third victory of at least a 29-point margin in the past four seasons.
The Gaucho defense held Fullerton (0-4, 0-1 Big West) to just nine points in the second quarter and 11 in the fourth as the Titans remained winless on the season in their conference opener.
UCSB opened the game on a 10-0 run, fueled by three Jones makes in four attempts, including a three-pointer.
Fullerton came back with a 6-0 run of its own, powered solely by a trio of Ashlee Lewis shots, and would use that to control the tempo and hold the Gauchos to eight points throughout the rest of the opening frame as it finished with an 18-16 Gaucho lead.
Both teams went on a scoring drought for the first two and a half minutes of the second quarter before Fullerton's Megan Nieto tied things up at 18. That jolted the Gauchos out of their lull as they answered with another big run, leading 31-20 with 2:27 left until halftime after outscoring Fullerton 13-2 in the run.
The Titans managed to bring the deficit down to nine points at the half, but UCSB was still well-positioned to succeed in the second half. Fullerton nearly tied it back up just under halfway through the third quarter, but UCSB built its lead back up with shots from deep, with senior point guard Danae Miller, Mole, and freshman guard Alyssa Marin converting on triples.
The Gauchos' shooting heated up even more in the fourth quarter to the tune of a 10-for-17 mark, including five makes from beyond the arc, with senior guard Mira Shulman and junior guard Lauren Lee getting in on the action. In total, they outscored the hosts 25-11 in the fourth quarter as the game finished with an 83-54 scoreline, the program's biggest win since its 96-65 win over Chicago State in December 2019.
UCSB limited Fullerton to just 11 offensive rebounds and blocked five shots, three by Jones and two by Mole.
"We had a good team effort [tonight]. We had a good run in the fourth quarter, scored the most in transition all season and had our first positive assist-to-turnover ratio of the year. A lot of players were letting go of the ball and making passes and getting rewarded for it," said UCSB head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
The Gauchos continue their back-to-back series with Cal State Fullerton tomorrow night at 5 p.m. The game will be streamed on Big West TV and live stats will be available on UCSBGauchos.com.