January 13, 2011

Nunnally, Johnson Lead Gauchos Past UC Irvine, 71-58

Jan. 13, 2011

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally each scored 22 points and UC Santa Barbara limited high-scoring UC Irvine to its second lowest point total of the season in a 71-58 Big West Conference win on Thursday night in Santa Barbara.

The Gauchos (9-6 overall, 2-2 in the Big West) claimed an 8-7 lead over the Anteaters (7-10 overall, 1-3 in the Big West) on a layup by Johnson with 16:23 left in the first half and never trailed again.

Nunnally scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half when he was a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range. He finished the game 4-for-5 from beyond the three-point arc. Johnson scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half when he made 5-of-8 from the field and all five of his free throws.

UCSB led 35-26 at half but UCI opened the second half with an 8-0 run. Patrick Rembert capped the rally with a pair of free throws pulling the Anteaters within 35-34 with 17:17 to play. The Gauchos responded with an 8-1 run on a pair of three-pointers from Justin Joyner and leaning bank shot by Nunnally to reclaim a 43-35 edge.

A three-pointer and slam dunk by Johnson and a lay-up from Greg Somogyi with 9:47 pushed the lead to 50-38. Following the dunk, however, Johnson was whistled for a technical foul for celebrating. The technical was also his fourth personal foul and he was forced to the bench.

"I wasn't worried," said Johnson. "I knew my teammates would pick me up and they knew it too."

Immediately following Johnson's departure, UCI went on a 7-0 run to draw within five, 50-45. Eric Wise, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, made two free throws, Rembert drained a three and Daman Starring scored on a lay-up during the stretch that ended with a Gaucho timeout at the 7:26 mark. A free throw by Somogyi stemmed the tide briefly, but a basket by Darren Moore closed the gap to 51-47 with 6:08 left in the game.

The teams went scoreless until Jordan Weiner made a three-pointer from the corner to make it 54-47 and ignite a 12-3 UCSB run, extending the lead to 63-50 with 1:53 remaining. Weiner also made a pair of free throws to culminate the push and in between, Johnson made three lay-ups and a free throw. The lead never dropped below 12 the rest of the way. The Gauchos made 12 out of their 13 second half free throws, including their last 10 in a row.

Irvine entered the game averaging 77 points per game in Big West play and 76.1 per game overall. Moore, who entered the game as the Anteaters leading scorer at 16.7 points per game, was held to just seven on 2-of-8 shooting and 0-for-4 from three-point range

Johnson added seven rebounds and three assists to go along with his 22 points. Jon Pastorek, who started at the unfamiliar five spot, score just two points but added 10 rebounds and five assists. Weiner finished with 12 points. Greg Somogyi had five points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots in just 15 minutes and Christian Peterson battled for six rebounds in 15 minutes.

Starring and Mike Wilder each had 11 for the Anteaters while Rembert tallied nine.

UCSB hosts UC Riverside in another Big West game on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. 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.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Don't forget, fans can follow UCSB Athletics on twitter by going to twitter.com/UCSBgauchos and the men's basketball program at twitter.com/UCSBbasketball

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