HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) Ajay Mitchell scored 12 of his team-high 20 points during a four-minute span to help UC Santa Barbara pull away from Cal State Fullerton and claim a 72-62 win in the Big West Conference championship game on Saturday night.
The Gauchos (27-7) claim the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years.
The Titans grabbed the lead on a layup by Vincent Lee with eight minutes to go and Mitchell, the Big West Player of the Year, snatched it back with a layup with 7:55 left. Latrell Wrightsell hit a jumper to put Fullerton back in front, but Mitchell snatched it back 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 another layup to push the lead to 61-54 with just under four minutes left.