Johnson Leads Balanced Attack as UCSB Wins Tour of Canada Opener
OSHAWA, Ontario - Even after the busiest summer of his basketball life, senior-to-be Orlando Johnson had enough left in his tank to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 105-76 win over the Ontario Revolution Monday in the first game of the Gauchos five-game exhibition tour of eastern Canada.
"He is such a great competitor," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams of his senior-to-be. "I know that he is fatigued, mentally and physically, so we didn't play him a lot of minutes, but he still produces."
Johnson's whirlwind summer included stints at the Kevin Durant and LeBron James Skills Camps, a 10-day period in Colorado Springs when he tried out for, made and practiced with Team USA, and then a two-week period as a member of the American team at the World University Games in China.
He should have been tuckered out after returning for the six practices and then joining his teammates on their day-long journey to Toronto on Sunday. But in just over 19 minutes off the bench, Johnson had 26 points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal.
While Johnson was the main attraction, he was not the only show in town. In all, the six Gauchos scored in double-figures, including a pair of freshmen and a transfer. Freshman forward Lewis Thomas, a native of Perth, Australia, finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, five steals and one assist. Freshman guard T.J. Taylor had 12 points, on four three-pointers, four assists and a steal.
Junior point guard Nate Garth, a transfer from New Mexico who sat out the 2010-11 season, had 11 points, a game-high seven assists, and a pair of rebounds. Also scoring in double-figures were trusted veterans James Nunnally (10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Jaimé Serna (10 points and five rebounds).
The Revolution was sponsored by ABA-Canada and the game essentially served as a tryout for Canada's entry in the American Basketball Association. Things were close for much of the first half with UCSB leading just 35-32 midway through the second quarter. The Gauchos used a 19-7 run to closeout the half and took a 54-37 lead into the locker room.
The second half lead never dipped below 10 and ballooned to 33 on three occasions.
In addition to the double-digit scorers, others impacted the game. Freshman forward Alan Williams had eight points and five rebounds and freshman wing Taran Brown had four points and seven rebounds. Senior center Greg Somogyi, limited because of foul trouble, had four points, four rebounds and four blocked shots.
As a team, the Gauchos made 41-of-53 shots overall, 56%, and 13-of-23 from three-point territory, 56%.
Ontario was led by Tim Smith with 24 points while Eric Eaves added 19.
UCSB will resume play on Tuesday night when it plays the University of Toronto in a game that will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. (EDT). On Wednesday the Gauchos will travel to Ottawa and on Thursday night, they will play Carelton University, the top team in Canada.
UCSB plays an exciting home schedule in 2011-12, including games against UNLV and San Diego State. There are some great mini-plans available. For more information, call 805-893-UCSB, visit the ticket office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, or online by clicking here.