November 14, 2010

Gauchos Lose Thriller to Oregon in Tournament's Final Game, 72-70

Nov. 14, 2010

Box Score

EUGENE, Ore. - James Nunnally and Orlando Johnson combined for 52 points in the final game of the Basketball Traveler's Invitational but it wasn't enough as UC Santa Barbara lost a tough 72-70 decision to the host University of Oregon on Sunday night in Eugene.

Nunnally finished with a career-high 28 while Johnson had 24 for UCSB (1-2)

"Nunnally and O.J. were very good tonight," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "They knocked down some shots and kept us in the game."

The game was close the entire night, and when Johnson sliced through the Ducks (3-0) defense and scored on a driving lay-up with 3:30 to play it was tied at 66-66. On the other end, Tyrone Nared was fouled by Nunnally and made the second of two free throws to make it 67-66 Oregon.

Nunnally was then fouled by Teondre Williams and made two free throws to give the Gauchos a 68-67 lead with just over three minutes to play. Joevan Catron muscled his way for a lay-up to give his team the lead again, but Johnson answered for the Gauchos with a 10-foot jumper. With 2:03 left, it was Catron on another power move inside and Oregon led 71-70 with 2:00 to play.

Nunnally missed a long three-point attempt with 1:22 left, but on the defensive end Jordan Weiner deflected a pass and Nunnally came up with the steal sending it the other way.

Johnson missed a lay-up with 50 seconds left and Oregon rebounded. With time running down on the shot clock, Duck guard Malcolm Armstead fumbled the ball but dove on it. Catron recovered the loose ball and shot a three-pointer that missed everything and went out of bounds.

After a pair of timeouts by the Gauchos and one by Oregon, UCSB brought the ball in to Weiner who got it to Johnson. Johnson brought the ball up the court, curled around a pick on the left side of the lane and went up for a lay-up, but the ball was stripped out of his hands and went out of bounds to the Gauchos.

On the inbounds, Justin Joyner tried to get the ball to Johnson in the left corner but it was mishandled and went out of bounds.

The Ducks got the ball into Catron who was fouled along the sideline by Johnson. Catron made the first of two free throws before intentionally missing the second and the officials determined that the ball didn't hit the rim and awarded the ball out of bounds to UCSB with 1.4 seconds left, but a long pass to Johnson was knocked away and the game was over.

In addition to Nunnally and Johnson, freshman guard Kyle Boswell added eight points, making all three of his field goal attempts, including a pair of three-pointers. UCSB shot 43.1% overall and 37.5% from three-point range. The Gauchos did make 20-of-24 free throrws, 83.3%. Oregon finished at 44.1% overall and 26.1% from three-point range. The Ducks struggled from the free throw line making 14-of-23, 60.9%.

"We did get to the free throw line and we were definitely more aggressive in that respect," Williams said. "I also liked how our two freshmen played. Boswell and (Troy) Leaf really belonged and competed out there."

Catron led four Oregon players in double-figures with 15 points. He did all of his damage inside. In fact, the Ducks scored 28 of their points in the paint.

"I was not happy with our defense," said Williams. "I thought we needed to be more aggressive that we were and in the end it really hurt us."

The Gauchos will open their regular season home season on Saturday, Nov. 20 when they play Fresno State at the Thunderdome. The game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m.

Season tickets remain on sale for the 2010-11 UCSB basketball season. There are numerous packages and affordable plans. For more information, 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.

A donation to the Gaucho Fund - regardless of the sport it supports - will be part of the One Donation is Gold system. This allows donors to purchase priority/premium seating and parking at UCSB games across several sports in addition to other benefits.

Tune in to UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show Talk'n Gauchos, which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from the Beachside Bar & Café on Goleta Beach. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways and can 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.

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