SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Xavier Thames scored 20 points and 10 rebounds and Chase Tapley added 16 points to help visiting San Diego State overcome a n 8-point second half deficit and defeat UC Santa Barbara 76-75 in overtime on Saturday night.
Thames, who also had a game-high six assists, did most of damage from the free throw line where he made 13-of-16. Orlando Johnson had a game-high 26 points for UCSB (4-1), which lost for the first time this season.
The Gauchos led by eight points, 59-51, as late as 5:37 to play when Johnson made one of two free throw attempts, but the Aztecs (7-1) went on an 11-0 run to claim a 62-59 edge. Six of the 11 points came from the free throw line, including four by Thames, the last three came on a long three-pointer from above the key by Alec Williams.
"With about six minutes left, they (SDSU) went with four guards and made a concerted effort to get to the rim," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "They took 12 more free throws than us and it was because they just decided that they were going to take it at us."
UCSB tied the score again on a three-point play by Johnson who was fouled while making a short jumper from the just outside the key with 1:04 left in regulation. With 37 seconds to play, San Diego's Jamaal Johnson was fouled and made one out of two free throws to give his team a 63-62 lead.
On the Gauchos next possession, Johnson drove down the key and hit Jaimé Serna with a perfect interior pass. Serna was fouled as he went in for a layup. He missed the first free throw but made the second to tie the score with 4.5 seconds to play. The Aztecs turned the ball over with one second remaining, but a long three-pointer by Kyle Boswell didn't fall and the game headed to overtime with the score tied at 63.
A pair of layups by Serna and three free throws by Nunnally helped Santa Barbara take a 70-66 lead with 3:39 left in the extra period, but an offensive rebound and layup by Garrett Green, a three-pointer by Tapley and a steal and breakaway slam dunk by Jamaal Franklin put the Aztecs back on top, 73-70.
After a timeout, Nunnally was fouled again and made both free throws to narrow the San Diego lead to 73-72 with 25 seconds left. On the other end, Jamaal Franklin matched that with a pair of free throws of his own with 15 seconds left.
UCSB got the ball into the frontcourt, but Johnson slipped to floor and in the ensuing scramble, the Gauchos called timeout but had none left and were hit with a technical foul. Jamaal Franklin made one of the two free throws with four seconds to play, extending the Aztecs lead to 76-72.
Gaucho freshman T.J. Taylor made a three-point basket with 1.2 seconds remaining to make it 76-75, but San Diego State was able to inbound the ball and time ran out.
"Tonight, we just simply didn't make shots," Williams said. "We had a lot of open looks, but things just didn't fall. Neither team really made shots, but San Diego was able to get to outrebound us and get to the free throw line. That was the difference."
UCSB, which was outrebounded 46-41, made just 38.1% of its shots while San Diego hit 39.0%. The Aztecs were 26-of-39 from the free throw line while the Gauchos were 20-of-27.
Nunnally had a team-high eight rebounds while Johnson and Christian Peterson each had seven. The seven rebound
s were a career-high for Peterson as were his eight points. Greg Somogyi had a season-high six blocked shots for the Gauchos.
UCSB returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 30 when it hosts UNLV in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
General admission tickets come in blocks of 25 – 200 and are available for the following games:
*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.