Feb. 24, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Orlando Johnson had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as Lenny Daniel had 23 points to lead Cal State Northridge to a 68-60 Big West win over visiting UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night.
UCSB (14-12, 7-7) led 44-35 early in the second half, but the Matadors (12-16, 8-6) wore a path to the free throw line and took a 62-56 lead into the final 2:27. A pair of free throws by Johnson and a bank shot by Jaimé Serna pulled the Gauchos within 62-60 with 1:17 left.
A steal by James Nunnally gave Santa Barbara life, but a Johnson pass, intended for Jordan Weiner, was intercepted by Aqeel Quinn with 55 seconds left. Dathan Lyles was intentionally fouled by Weiner. He missed the first of two free throws, giving UCSB another chance with 44 seconds left, but on the next possession, a Justin Joyner pass went through the hands of Troy Leaf and was taken by Lyles, who was again fouled intentionally. This time, he made both free throws to give the Matadors a 65-60 lead.
Johnson missed a three-pointer with 23 seconds left, Daniel rebounded and was fouled. He made one of two free throws to extend the lead to 66-60. Another Gaucho turnover on the other sealed their fate. Lyles hit two more free throws with 6.2 seconds remaining for the final eight-point margin.
The Gauchos trailed 9-5 early in the game but on the strength of eight three-point baskets they rallied to take a 37-28 halftime lead. Johnson made three of the team's three-point baskets, as did freshman Troy Leaf who entered the game with three on the season. He finished with a career-high 11 points.
The Matadors outscored UCSB 28-11 from the free throw line. Overall, they made 28-of-37 from the line while the Gauchos were 11-of-14.
Santa Barbara didn't help itself in the second half as it made just 6-of-22 shots overall, 27.3%, and 1-of-11 from three-point range, 9.1%. In addition, the Gauchos had nine second half turnovers as well.
"I was incredibly disappointed," said head coach Bob Williams. "We were faced with the most important 20 minutes we've played in a month and a half and absolutely did not respond."
Serna had 14 points and seven rebounds while Nunnally added 13 points for the Gauchos. Raymond McCoy had 12 points and Thomas Jacobs added nine rebounds for Northridge.
The Gauchos will travel to Long Beach State on Saturday for a 5:00 p.m. game against the league-leading 49ers. The game will be televised live on ESPN2. UCSB returns home on Saturday, Mar. 5 to host Cal Poly in a game that will tip-off at 7:20 p.m. and will be televised on the South and Central Coast by CBS 12 KCOY. That game will also be preceded by a salute to the team's three seniors: Justin Joyner, Jordan Weiner and Jon Pastorek.
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online and print at home by clicking here.