Feb. 6, 2010
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara made its first seven 3-point baskets to jump out to a big early lead and then staved off a furious UC Davis rally in the final minutes to win on the road for the second straight time, 81-77.
The Gauchos (13-8 overall, 8-3 in the Big West) have now won five of their last six and eight of 10. The Aggies (9-13, 5-5) lost for the first time at home in conference play after winning four in a row.
With the score tied at 2-2, Jordan Weiner made the first of his 3-pointers to start the Gauchos' onslaught. The other six 3-pointers during the run to open the game were made by James Nunnally (three), Will Brew, Orlando Johnson, and James Powell.
For good measure, Johnson made an old-fashioned 3-point play when he scored on a hanging lay-up and made a free throw after being fouled by the Aggies Jelani Floyd.
When the dust settled, UCSB led Davis 28-10.
"That was an incredible start," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "I can't remember one of my teams beginning a game like that. We were unconscious."
Led by Dominic Calegari and Mark Payne who each had 10 points, the Aggies narrowed the margin to 44-33 at halftime. The Gauchos made 9-of-12 3-point shots in the first half, 75.0%.
UCSB went scoreless for the first 4:21 of the second half, but Davis could only knock four points off the lead and when Nunnally made his fourth 3-point basket with 15:39 left in the game, the lead was back to 10, 47-37.
After the Aggies had a 5-0 run to close within 47-42, the Gauchos used an 18-5 run to reclaim an 18-point advantage, 65-47. Will Brew had the last two baskets of the run, a slam dunk and a lay-up.
The lead stayed between 16 and 18 until Powell made a 3-pointer with 3:39 left to give UCSB its biggest lead, 72-53.
That's when things started getting dicey.
A pair of free throws by Dominic Calegari with 3:19 left in the game started a game-ending 24-8 run by Davis. Calegari completed the run when he drained a 3-pointer with less than half a second to play to make the final score 81-77.
"Obviously I didn't like the last few minutes," Williams said, "but that doesn't take away from what a very good win this is and what a great road trip we just completed. I'm very proud of this young team, going on the road and winning at two tough places to play."
On Thursday night, the Gauchos started the road trip with a 61-48 win at Pacific, ending the Tigers 16-game Spanos Center winning streak. On Saturday night, they became the first Big West team to defeat UC Davis on its home floor.
Nunnally finished with a game-high 24 points, and he was joined in double-figures by Johnson (15), Will Brew (11), and Weiner (11). Jaimé Serna and James Powell each added eight. Serna scored all eight of his points in the second half. Nunnally made all four of his 3-point attempts and also had six rebounds and four assists. Johnson attempted just eight shots, but also had three assists, one steal, and three blocked shots.
Junior guard Justin Joyner had a season-high eight assists in just 15 minutes.
The Aggies were paced by Calegari who scored 20 points. Joe Harden came within shouting distance of a triple-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists.
UCSB, which still trails Pacific by one-half game after the Tigers defeated Cal Poly on Saturday night, will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 13 when it hosts Long Beach State. The game against the 49ers will tip-off at 4:00 p.m. to accommodate Fox Sports Prime Ticket.
The game between the Gauchos and 49ers will also be a "Legends of the Dome" game. The second men's basketball legend will be unveiled at halftime.
For years, the Gauchos have been exciting crowds in the Thunderdome. Through the years, legends were made in the `Dome. Now, five former UCSB standouts are being saluted as "Legends of the Dome." The first legendary women's volleyball star, Roberta Gehlke, was unveiled Oct. 19, 2009. The first men's basketball legend, Carrick DeHart, was unveiled on Jan. 23 at halftime of a game against Cal State Fullerton. Three other legends will be introduced this year. The second men's hoops legend will be unveiled prior to UCSB's 4:00 p.m. Feb. 13 game against Long Beach State. Women's basketball legends will be honored on Feb. 11 before a 7:00 p.m. game against UC Riverside, and on Feb. 27 before a 2:00 p.m. Blue-Green Rivalry Series game against Cal Poly.
To purchase tickets to all the "Legends" games or any game, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.