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Gauchos pull out an overtime win against Bakersfield

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UCSB wins a 66-64 overtime thriller at the Thunderdome against Bakersfield.

UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After looking dead in the water for almost the entire game UCSB came to life in the last couple minutes of regulation to force overtime.

A three-point play by freshman Jason Fontenet II with 3 seconds left in overtime gave the Gauchos a 66-64 victory in a thriller at the Thunderdome.

UCSB did not lead in regulation until Ajay Mitchell made a mid-ranger jumper with 2 seconds left to put the Gauchos up 56-55.

But Mitchell made a mistake right afterwards and was called for a blocking foul with .4 tenths of a second left and Bakersfield about 70 feet away from the basket.

The play was reviewed and during that time, hundreds of fans went behind the basket to distract the two free throw attempts by Marvin McGhee III.

He made the first but the second attempt hung on the rim and fell off and somehow UCSB got this Big West game into overtime tied at 56.

In overtime Mitchell scored 4 of his game-high 22 points, the last 2 put UCSB up 63-62 with 40 seconds left.

The Roadrunners went back up by one on two free throws with 26 seconds left in overtime.

With under 10 seconds to go Mitchell drove under the basketball and passed to Fontenet who scored his only three points of the game.

Bakersfield advanced the ball to midcourt and called time out with a second left.

Kaleb Higgins fired up a long three-pointer that hit the rim and bounced off and the Gauchos celebrated an unlikely win.

Cole Anderson was huge down the stretch for UCSB.

After not scoring for the first 39 minutes of the game, he poured in 11 points including 8 in the final minute of regulation.

He hit two three-pointers within a 27 second span and also drilled a 3-ball in overtime.

Josh Pierre-Louis scored 12 points and had 6 rebounds.

His thunderous dunk pulled UCSB within 53-51 with 20 seconds remaining in regulation.

UCSB made just 12-of-23 free throws and had 19 turnovers but they found a way to win and improve to 2-3 in the Big West and 9-6 overall.

The Gauchos host Long Beach State on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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Mike Klan

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