January 28, 2010

Quick-Starting Gauchos Defeat Cal Poly in Blue-Green Rivalry Series Game, 80-57

Jan. 28, 2010

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - James Nunnally scored 20 points, including 17 in the decisive first half, and Orlando Johnson had 18 and nine rebounds, to lead UC Santa Barbara to an 80-57 win over visiting Cal Poly in a Big West Conference game on Thursday night.

UCSB has won six of its last seven games

The Gauchos (11-7 overall, 6-2 in the Big West) were never behind, jumping out to a 17-7 lead with 13:38 to play in the first half. The Mustangs (8-11, 5-3) rallied to within 17-14 with 10:00 left, but UCSB scored 13 in a row to take a 30-14 lead. Nunnally made two 3-pointers and scored 10 of the 13 points in the run. He made his first four 3-point attempts in the game and finished 4-of-5.

Including the 13-0 run, Santa Barbara finished the first half on a 21-4 surge, assuming a 38-18 halftime lead.

"Our defense got us going in the first half," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "We did a great job of closing out on them and contesting their shots. They are a good 3-point shooting team and we knew we would have to stop that if we wanted to win."

UCSB limited Cal Poly to 6-of-23 from outside the 3-point arc for the game, 26.1%. The Mustangs made just 2-of-11 in the first half, 18.2%. The Gauchos also applied pressure in the backcourt in the first half, forcing 13 turnovers.

The Gauchos outscored Cal Poly 24-9 to start the second half, taking a game-high 35-point lead (62-27) on a pair of free throws by Jaimé Serna with 10:06 remaining in the game. Johnson scored 11 of his 18 points in the second half.

UCSB's lead was still 30 with 2:42 left, but the Mustangs used a 10-3 spurt to end the game and close within 23, 80-57.

Lorenzo Keeler paced Cal Poly with 20 points.

Serna added 12 and Sam Phippen had eight points and five rebounds for UCSB, which made 51.9% of hits shots and had 19 assists. Nunnally had a career-high five assists to go with his game-high 20 points. It was the fourth time in the last five games that the sophomore hit the 20-point mark.

The game was the first between the two teams since UCSB and Cal Poly started the Blue-Green Rivalry Series for Sustainability.

The athletics rivalry between UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly has grown in recent years, and now the schools plan to put their competition to good use.

As the Gauchos and Mustangs battle it out on the field, diamond, court, and in the pool, the Big West rivals will seek to make fans and students aware of their campuses' recycling and sustainability efforts. The eco-slant to the rivalry fits the colors of sustainability (blue and green) as well as those of UCSB (blue) and Cal Poly (green).

The Blue-Green Rivalry is based on the results of the 16 common sports that the schools compete in. To see the points system and updated rivalry standings, click here.

The creative angle of using games to promote the campuses' sustainability and recycling efforts is the first of its kind in college athletics. To learn more about sustainability efforts at UCSB, click here.

UCSB travels to Cal State Northridge on Saturday to play the Matadors in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Matadome. Following road games at UC Davis (Feb. 4) and Pacific (Feb. 6), the Gauchos return home to host Long Beach State on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 4:00 p.m. The game against the 49ers will be televised by Fox Sports Prime Ticket and at halftime, the second men's basketball "Legends of the Dome" will be introduced.

To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.