SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Orlando Johnson scored 16 points and became UC Santa Barbara's all-time leading scorer on Saturday night as the Gauchos defeated visiting Cal Poly, 68-60. James Nunnally led UCSB with 20 points.
The win, coupled with Cal State Fullerton's 78-75 upset loss at UC Davis earlier in the evening, pulled the Gauchos back into a second-place tie in the Big West with the Titans.
Johnson tied the school's all-time record on a jumper with 16:57 to play in the first half. He wasted no time breaking Alex Harris' mark, drilling a long three-pointer the next time down the court to hit 1,699 points. Johnson's next point, a free throw with 12:17 to go in the half, made him the first Gaucho ever to score 1,700 points in his career. He finished the game with 1,710 points.
"I'm very proud of this," Johnson said. "It says a lot about the teammates I've had here. They have really helped get me to this point."
"O.J. is a special player," said head coach Bob Williams. "To break the record in three years is a great accomplishment. I think when I was recruiting him, I told him he would break it in two years, but this will have to do."
UCSB (16-9 overall, 10-4 in the Big West) took the lead early and never trailed the Mustangs (15-14 overall, 6-8 in the Big West). The Gauchos led by as many as 16 in the first half and settled for a 40-31 halftime lead.
Cal Poly, which was led by Dylan Royer with 14 points and David Hanson with 13, cut the Santa Barbara lead to 49-42 on a three-pointer by Hanson with 13:47 left, but back-to-back three-pointers by Nate Garth and Johnson, and then a steal and breakaway slam dunk by Johnson pushed the Gaucho lead back to 57-42 with 11:19 remaining in the game. Cal Poly never got closer than eight the rest of the way.
UCSB made 50.0% of its shots overall and 8-for-15 from three-point range. The Mustangs struggled with their shooting all night, finishing at 33.3% overall and 7-of-20 from three-point territory, 35.0%.
Freshman Alan Williams added nine points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots for the Gauchos while Kyle Boswell made both of his field goal attempts and finished with nine points. Johnson and Garth each had four assists for UCSB. Will Taylor had 11 points and nine rebounds for Cal Poly.
The Gauchos remain at home for their final two games next weekend. They will host Pacific on Thursday, Mar. 1 and UC Davis on Saturday, Mar. 3, the final day of the regular season. The five UCSB seniors – Orlando Johnson, James Nunnally, Jaimé Serna, Greg Somogyi and Christian Peterson – will be honored prior to the game against UC Davis.
Tickets for the final two regular season home games can be purchased from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.