Ajay Mitchell scored 12 of his team-high 20 points during a span of four minutes to help UC Santa Barbara pull away from Cal State Fullerton and claim a 72-62 victory in the Big West Conference championship game on Saturday. at night.
The Gauchos (27-7) claim the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years.
The Titans took the lead on a Vincent Lee layup with eight minutes to go, and Big West Player of the Year Mitchell snatched it away with a layup with 7:55 remaining. Latrell Wrightsell Jr. hit a jumper to put Fullerton back in front, but Mitchell snatched it up once more, this time for good, with a layup for a 51-50 lead. He added another layup, two free throws and a jumper and layup to push the lead to 61-54 with just under four minutes to go.
Mitchell was 8-for-12 from the field and was 4-for-5 from the free throw line while grabbing four rebounds with four assists. Calvin Wishart finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals, Cole Anderson had 12 points, Miles Norris 10 and Andre Kelly grabbed 10 rebounds to complete his nine points.
Max Jones led the Titans (20-13) with 18 points and hauled in six boards. Wrightsell and Tory San Antonio each added 15 points and Jalen Harris chipped in 12. Fullerton didn’t get a single point off his bench.