Jan. 8, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - James Nunnally scored 17 points to lead four players in double-figures and UC Santa Barbara shot 72% in the second half, en route to a 68-47 Big West win over visiting UC Davis in front of 4,282 on Friday.
The Gauchos (7-6 overall, 2-1 in the Big West) outscored the Aggies (6-9, 2-1) 42-21 in the second half and 30-13 in the final 13:22 to win their second in a row.
UCSB had an 18-9 lead early, but fueled by 12 first half turnovers by the Gauchos, Davis rallied to tie the score at the break, 26-26. Joe Harden capped a 17-8 Aggie run with a three-point basket to beat the halftime buzzer.
"I was not a very happy man at halftime," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "We played too loose with the ball in the first half and Davis took advantage."
Jaimé Serna opened the second half by taking a feed from Orlando Johnson and making a reverse lay-up while being fouled. He made the free throw, giving the Gauchos a 29-26 lead that they never relinquished.
The Gauchos made 18-of-25 shots in the second half while the Aggies hit just 39.5% for the game and 35.0% in the second half. They also struggled from three-point range, making just 3-for-16, 18.8%. UCSB, which had so much trouble handling the ball in the first half, had just five turnovers in the second half. Nunnally, who also had a game-high eight rebounds, started UCSB's 30-13 run by making a free throw line jumper. He had 12 of his 17 points in the final 11:47.
"That was a really good performance in the second half," Williams said. "We moved the ball well and kept looking for the open man. I thought we were really patient and took a lot of good shots."
Serna, who finished with a season-high 14 points after going scoreless in Monday's win at UC Riverside, also drew praise from Williams.
"I liked him offensively and defensively tonight," Williams said of Serna. "He had more of a Jaimé-type of performance. He took charges, stood people up inside, and rotated real well."
Johnson (12) and James Powell (10) were also in double-figures for Santa Barbara. Jordan Weiner, forced to play a season-high 18 minutes because of injuries to guards Justin Joyner (ankle) and Paul Roemer (foot), made both of his three-point shots to finish with six points. He also had four assists, three rebounds, and four steals. Will Brew had three assists and two steals with just one turnover in 29 minutes.
"Jordan's performance off the bench was a huge difference-maker for us," Williams said. "He and Will (Brew) had a lot to do with us having just six turnovers in the second half."
Davis, which was led by Dominic Calegari and Harden who each scored 11 points, were playing without the Big West's leading scorer Mark Payne (17.2 points per game) who was out with an injured left shoulder.
The Gauchos will try for their third win in a row when they host Pacific on Sunday, Jan. 10 at 3:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. The Tigers are 3-0 after a 73-63 win at Cal Poly on Friday night.
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The ICA Ticket Office will be open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the ticket office, are already available during weekday hours, which are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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 womens volleyball star, Roberta Gehlke, was unveiled Oct. 19, 2009. The first men's basketball legend will be unveiled on Jan. 23 before a 7:00 p.m. 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.