SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Orlando Johnson scored 20 points and collected 12 rebounds and Kyle Boswell added 15, all in the second half, to rally UC Santa Barbara past visiting Westmont College 82-61 on Friday night at the Thunderdome.
The Gauchos (3-0) had to overcome an ice-cold first half that saw them make just 11-of-30 shots from the field. The Warriors (2-2) trailed 33-31 at halftime but an 8-0 run to start the second half gave them a 39-33 advantage. The surge consisted of a three-pointer by Christopher Miller, a layup by Jordan Sachs and another three by Anthony Lipold. Sachs finished with a game-high 25 points.
"At some point, you just have to let the players figure it out," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "I thought after they (Westmont) took a six-point lead, we figured things out and started working it inside-out."
After a timeout, UCSB took control, using a 30-8 run to take a commanding 63-47 lead. Boswell and freshman point guard T.J. Taylor sparked the rally. After going scoreless in the first half and missing both of his field goal attempts, Boswell made 5-of-7 shots in the second half, including 3-of- 5 from three-point range. He hit his first basket, a three-pointer, with 11:54 to play in the game to give the Gauchos a 51-45 lead.
Taylor, who finished with a career-high eight points, followed Boswell's first basket with a darting layup to make it 53-45 and then Boswell quickly drained another three to give Santa Barbara its first double-figure lead of the game, 56-45.
After Miller made a baseline jumper to narrow the gap to 56-47, UCSB scored seven unanswered on a three-pointer by James Nunnally, a 15-foot jumper by Boswell and a pair of free throws by Nate Garth, pushing the lead to 63-47 lead with 6:45 to play. Nunnally finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.
From that point, the lead never again fell below 15 points.
Boswell, who scored a career-high for the third straight game, gave credit to a trio of Gaucho veterans who he felt opened things up for him.
"When you see Orlando, Nunn and Jaimé (Serna) going down low and just fighting for everything, you have to respond," said the sophomore from Huntington Beach, Calif. "Things really opened up after that and I was able to knockdown some shots."
The Johnson, Nunnally and Serna trio combined for 46 points and 27 rebounds in the game with 25 of the points and 17 of the rebounds coming in the second half. Serna had 10 points and seven rebounds.
After training by six early in the second half, UCSB outscored Westmont 49-22 the rest of the way. The Gauchos shot a sizzling 58.1% in the final 20 minutes and finished at 47.5% for the game. The Warriors, who shot 46.4% in the first half, cooled off and hit just 32.3% in the second half.
The Gauchos remain at home for three more games before going on the road until January. UCSB will host the University of Portland on Tuesday, Nov. 22 in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.
Season tickets and single game tickets for all UCSB games are available. In addition, the Big West +1 Plan is also available. With the Big West +1, fans can purchase tickets for all eight Gaucho Big West games, plus one for either the Nov. 26 showdown against San Diego State or the Nov. 30 game against rival UNLV. The cost of the plan is just $99. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please stop by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.
A banner honoring former UCSB head coach Jerry Pimm as a Legend of the 'Dome will be unveiled at halftime of the Gauchos Nov. 30 game against UNLV. Pimm, who built UCSB into a top-25 program, experienced many of his greatest moments in wins over the rival Runnin' Rebels. He will become the fourth men's basketball honoree as he joins three of his greatest Gaucho players - Brian Shaw, Carrick DeHart and Eric McArthur - to earn the honor. Overall, Coach Pimm is the 10th honoree. Former women's basketball great Erin Alexander (Brown) will have her banner unfurled on Feb. 4 against Cal Poly. Tickets for both of the legends games are available by clicking here.
Watching Gauchos basketball at the Thunderdome is exciting, fun and great entertainment for families and groups. Through it's community outreach efforts "Gauchos Give" UCSB Athletics will be giving free tickets to groups this holiday season. If you are part of a school, church, non-profit, or any organization and would enjoy a free Gaucho basketball game, please contact UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB (8272) or email@example.com.
General admission tickets come in blocks of 25 – 200 and are available for the following games:
*Tues, Nov. 22, 7 p.m. MBB vs Portland
*Wed, Nov. 23, 7 p.m. WBB vs Washington
*Sat, Nov. 26, 7 p.m. MBB vs San Diego St
*Wed, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. MBB vs UNLV
*Fri, Dec 2, 7 p.m. WBB vs San Francisco
*Sat, Dec. 10, 4 p.m. WBB vs UNLV
*Fri, Dec. 16, 7 p.m. WBB vs. Pepperdine
Kids Go Free Too –all season long any youth wearing a 2011-12 G-Kids t-shirt, the official kids club of the Gauchos, will get into basketball games for free. G Kids are available at UCSB Athletics Ticket Office (805) 893-UCSB (8272), online through the Gaucho Shop or at the game inside the Thunderdome.