Feb. 3, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sam Willard scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds and Demetrece Young added 13 points as hot-shooting Pacific withstood a late UC Santa Barbara rally on Thursday night to post a 74-68 Big West Conference win.
The Tigers (13-9 overall, 5-4 in the Big West) shot 55.6% for the game, including 63.2% from three-point range. They were on fire in the first half as they made 10-of-15 threes, 66.7%, and built a 42-24 lead.
The Gauchos (11-9 overall, 4-5 in the Big West), who were led by Jordan Weiner with a career-high 18 points, fell behind by as many as 20 points (44-24) at the beginning of the second half. They rallied late, but could never get closer than four, which they did for the final time at 72-68 with 11.8 seconds to play.
Pacific's lead was just 11-9 but the Tigers closed the half with a 31-15 run to claim a decisive 42-24 halftime lead. Young, José Rivera, Terrell Smith and Allen Huddleston each made two three-pointers in the first 20 minutes. At one point, Pacific hit six straight from outside the arc.
After Nyika Williams made a slam dunk to open the second half for the Tigers, UCSB went on a 9-0 run to crawl within 11, 44-33 with 16:42 left. The visitors stretched the lead back to 51-36 with 13:44 remaining on Young's third three of the game.
The Gauchos cut the advantage to single digits for the first time in the second half when James Nunnally drilled a three-pointer from the corner with 12:11 to play making it 53-44.
The Tiger lead was cut to six on a Jaimé Serna baseline jumper with 58-52 left, but a pair of baskets by Willard stretched the lead back to 10, 62-52, with 6:12 left. The teams traded baskets before another three by Weiner made the score 66-59 with just over four minutes to play. Willard, however, responded again and was fouled as he made a lay-up with 2:51 left, giving Pacific a 69-59 lead.
UCSB scored six quick points on a slam dunk by Jon Pastorek, an consecutive steals and lay-ups by Weiner to draw within 69-65 with 1:27 left. Following another Tigers' turnover, Weiner rimmed out a three-pointer that would have made it a one-point game with just over a minute to play. Pacific made three free throws, the final one by Willard with 21 seconds left, to put the game away.
Eveland had 12 points to join Willard and Young in double-figures for the Tigers. Johnson had 16 points while Pastorek had a career-high 12, on 6-of-7 from the field, for the Gauchos. Nunnally added 10.
UCSB returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 5 when it hosts UC Davis in a 7:30 game that will be televised on Prime Ticket. 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.