Gauchos Use Balanced Attack to Defeat UC Irvine, 74-56

Keegan Hornbuckle (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Keegan Hornbuckle (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.Orlando Johnson scored 15 while Keegan Hornbuckle and James Nunnally added 14 and 11 respectively to lead a balanced attack as UC Santa Barbara beat visiting UC Irvine on Saturday night, 74-56.

Travis Souza led UCI with 15 points on 5-of-7 from three-point range.

The Gauchos (8-6 overall, 3-1 in the Big West) spotted the Anteaters (6-12 overall, 3-3 in the Big West) an early 8-5 lead but a 10-0 run put them up 15-8 and they never looked back. 

Late in the first half, UCSB pushed the lead to 38-24 before UC Irvine used a 5-0 run to tighten it to 38-29 at halftime.

The second half was all Gauchos.  After the teams traded baskets to open things, but then UCSB went on an 11-0 run to blow the game open, 51-31.  Nunnally completed the run by making all three free throws after he was fouled attempting a three-pointer.  Hornbuckle scored four of his career-high 14 during the run. 

Santa Barbara's lead peaked at 70-48 and UC Irvine never got closer that 15 the rest of the way.

"We had good energy during our shootaround today and it kind of carried over to the game, especially after the first few minutes," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams.  "This is the type of balance we'd hoped for all along."

In addition to the trio of players in double-figures, freshman forward Alan Williams added nine points, to go along with four blocked shots and a career-high 13 rebounds.  Freshman guard T.J. Taylor also added nine.

"Al (Williams) is such a good rebounder, he just goes after everything," Williams said.  "He and Keegan were really good, especially in the first half when we put some distance between us."

Hornbuckle added season-highs of five rebounds, four steals and three assists to his career high in scoring while Nunnally had career-highs of six assists and four steals along with a season-high nine rebounds.  

UCSB shot 45.2% for the game after scorching the nets at 55.6% in the first half.  The Anteaters were limited to 33.3% for the game.  They also made just 8-of-26 three-point attempts, 30.8%.

UCSB remains at home for two more games.  On Thursday, Jan. 19, the Gauchos host Cal State Northridge in a 7:00 p.m. game and then on Saturday, Jan. 21, they host Long Beach State in a game that will tip at 8:00 p.m. to accommodate ESPNU.  Tickets for both games and all other men's and women's games are available from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB(8272) or online by clicking here.
Men's Basketball: 1/14 : UCSB defeats UC Irvine, 74-56
Jan 14, 2012