UCSB Edges Long Beach State 64-62, Moves Into Top Spot in Big West

Feb. 13, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Jordan Weiner made a key 3-point basket with 2:25 to play and Greg Somogyi and Orlando Johnson each had a critical blocked shot late as UC Santa Barbara edged visiting Long Beach State on Saturday night, 64-62. The win was the third in row for the Gauchos (14-8 overall, 9-3 in the Big West) and it moves them into first-place in the Big West.

In a game that was tied five times and saw seven lead changes, it was UCSB's defense down the stretch that made the difference against the 49ers (12-13, 6-6).

"Our defense deserves a lot of credit," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "Big Somoge (Somogyi) changed the game in the second half and that really keyed our defensive effort."

After Weiner's 3-pointer gave the Gauchos a 62-60 lead, Long Beach responded with a pair free throws from Greg Plater to tie the score with 1:44 remaining. Those were the 49ers final two points.

"Jordan's three was a big one," said Johnson, who led both teams with eight assists. "That was also a great pass by Nun (James Nunnally), but for Jordan to knock that shot down was huge."

With 1:27 left, James Nunnally rebounded his own miss and was fouled while attempting a put-back. He made one of two free throws to give the lead back to UCSB, 63-62. Casper Ware missed a short jumper on the other end and Nunnally collected the rebound. With 44 seconds left, Orlando Johnson was fouled by Stephan Gilling. Johnson made the first free throw but missed the second and T.J. Robinson got the rebound.

Following a timeout Long Beach worked the ball into Robinson. His short jumper in the lane was blocked by Somogyi. Larry Anderson got the rebound, but his follow-up was blocked from behind by Johnson. Anderson collected another rebound, but the ball was knocked loose in the key and the Gauchos Will Brew dove on it and called timeout.

The 49ers pressured the inbound pass, but UCSB got the ball up court and to Nunnally who was fouled by going to the basket by Anderson. Nunnally, however, missed both free throws and the second was rebounded by Anderson who got the ball to Ware. Ware drove the length of the court but slipped in the key and lost the ball with two seconds remaining. Nunnally recovered the ball and time ran out.

Jaimé Serna, who was limited in the second half because of back spasms, scored a season-high 17 to lead the Gauchos. He made 8-of-9 shots from the field. Brew had 12 points. Johnson was held to a season-low 11 points, but added eight assists. Somogyi had seven points, six rebounds, and a career-high five blocked shots.

Long Beach was led by Stephan Gillian who made five 3-point baskets and finished with 17 points. Robinson had 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. The 49ers dominated the boards by a 40-28 margin, but had 22 turnovers. UCSB also made 13 more free throws than Long Beach, 17-4.

The Gauchos, who have won three in a row, six of seven, and nine of 12, will return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 17 when they travel to Cal State Fullerton for a 7:00 p.m. game. They will then play at Fresno State in a ESPNU Bracket Busters game on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

UCSB returns home on Wednesday, Feb. 24 to host Cal State Northridge at 7:00 p.m. in 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.