January 10, 2010

Gauchos Hold Off Late Pacific Rally for Third Straight Win, 68-67

Jan. 10, 2010

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Orlando Johnson scored 24 points, James Nunnally had 20 and UC Santa Barbara held off a late rally by visiting Pacific on Sunday afternoon, escaping with a 68-67 Big West win, their third in a row.

"This is a big win for us," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "To come back and win three straight after losing the conference opener is huge."

The Gauchos (8-6 overall, 3-1 in the Big West) led by 13, 51-38, when Johnson made a long three-point basket with 13:14 left in the game. The Tigers (9-6, 2-1) still trailed 56-45 after a lay-up by Nunnally with 9:02 remaining, but they employed a full court press to get back in game.

A three-pointer by Terrell Smith with 2:29 left cut UCSB's lead to 63-60, but a pair of Pacific technical fouls over an eight second span sent Nunnally to the line for two free throw attempts on each. He made all four, the final two with 1:22 remaining, to boost the Gauchos' lead back to seven, 67-60.

After Pacific forced Santa Barbara into a turnover in the backcourt, the Tigers' Smith was fouled while making a short jump shot. He made the free throw to draw his team within four, 67-63. Another Gaucho turnover and foul sent Allen Huddleston to the free throw line for a two. Huddleston made the first, but missed the second. Nunnally rebounded the miss and got the ball to Johnson.

Johnson was fouled with 38 seconds to play. He made one of the two free throws to give UCSB a 68-64 lead, but then he fouled Smith with 24 seconds left. Smith made both of his free throws to pull Pacific within two, 68-66.

The Gauchos committed another turnover in the backcourt and Pacific's Joe Ford was fouled while going up for a short jumper with 20 seconds left. After missing the first free throw, Ford made the second and the Tigers were within one, 68-67.

UCSB got the ball in bounds and into the frontcourt before Jon Pastorek was intentionally fouled. Pastorek missed both free throws and the second of the two was rebounded by Huddleston who quickly dribbled into the frontcourt. Huddleston got the ball to Sam Willard who drove into the lane but was called for a charge when he ran into Gaucho guard Will Brew with less than a second to play.

Following a timeout, Santa Barbara heaved the in bounds pass into the frontcourt where Pastorek tapped it and the clock ran out.

"That got a little scary," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "I was surprised. I thought we really had control of the game, but then we got tentative with the way we were handling the ball and they (Pacific) did a nice job of taking advantage of that."

After committing just four turnovers in the first half, the Gauchos had 14 in the second to finish with 18.

The 24 points by Johnson were his second highest total of the year. He made 7-of-9 shots overall, including all three of his three-point attempts. Johnson also led the Gauchos with seven rebounds. Nunnally added six rebounds and made a pair of three-pointers. As a team, UCSB was 8-of-18 from three-point range.

Smith and Demetrece Young each had 16 points to lead Pacific. Ford added 10, but the Tigers leading scorer, Willard, was held to just four on 1-of-7 shooting.

UCSB returns to action on Thursday, Jan. 14 when it travels to Long Beach State to take on the Big West's preseason favorite 49ers. The Gauchos return home on Saturday, Jan. 16 to host UC Riverside in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.

To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.

All men's basketball games are broadcast live on AM 1490 again this year, and those games will also be available online, by clicking here.. And, UCSB Athletics is proud to announce that the baseball team will have over 20 games broadcast live on the air and through our website, UCSBgauchos.com.

UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.