Late Surge Leads Gauchos to Key Road Win at Cal State Fullerton, 73-65

Feb. 17, 2010

Box Score

FULLERTON, Calif. - Justin Joyner made a 3-point basket from deep in the right corner with 3:03 remaining in the game to give UC Santa Barbara the lead for good at Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday night. The basket started the Gauchos (15-8 overall, 10-3 in the Big West) on a game-ending 16-7 run and a 73-65 win over the Titans (13-12, 7-6).

The points were Joyner's first of the season in more than 220 minutes.

Sometimes, it's all in the timing.

The win was the fourth in a row and seventh in the last eight games for UCSB. It also guarantees the Gauchos of finishing either first or second in the league standings, resulting in bye into the Big West Tournament semifinals.

"That shot was huge for Justin and huge for us," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "The points were big, but overall I thought he played his best half of basketball this year. That was a great second half."

Several other players came through late in the important win.

James Nunnally scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half, including eight in the final 2:23 when he made 5-of-6 free throws. He also had seven rebounds.

Orlando Johnson also scored 18 points and finished with a team-high eight rebounds. Also, for the second game in a row, he had a key blocked shot in the final minutes, swatting a Jer'Vaughn shot to preserve the Gauchos' lead on the possession following Joyner's 3-pointer.

Jaimé Serna scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, the final three on a 3-point play with 44 seconds to play, giving UCSB a 67-60 lead.

"So many different guys stepped-up in the second half," Williams said. "O.J. kept us in it with some key plays and Nunn was just outstanding the entire time. Jaimé has been playing well and he did again tonight."

UCSB's led much of the game, but Fullerton turned the momentum midway through the second half.

A 3-pointer by Thompson, a missed 3-point attempt by Orlando Johnson and a slam dunk in transition by Jer'Vaughn Johnson with 9:21 to play in the game gave the Titans their first lead of the second half, 51-49. After a Gaucho turnover, Thompson made his third 3-pointer of the half and it was 54-49.

Serna muscled in a lay-up to cut the advantage to 54-51. Thompson missed a 3-point shot and the Gauchos rebounded. Fullerton tipped the ball out of bounds and UCSB threw away the inbounds pass and Nunnally was whistled for an intentional foul on Gerard Anderson.

Anderson made one of the two free throws and Fullerton didn't score on the ensuing possession. The score was 55-51 and the Santa Barbara had dodged a bullet.

Orlando Johnson scored the next four points, the final two on a double-pump jumper to tie the score at 55-55 with 7:12 remaining. A free throw by Thompson gave the lead back to Fullerton, 56-55, but Orlando Johnson made two more with 3:56 to play to give the edge back to the Gauchos, 57-56.

A Jer'Vaughn Johnson jumper made it 58-57 with 3:35 remaining in the game, setting the stage for Joyner's 3-pointer and the 16-7 UCSB run.

The Gauchos started the game quick with Orlando Johnson making a pair of 3-pointers and scoring 10 points as they took a 25-15 lead. UCSB went cold over the next 6:38 and a 15-4 run by the Titans gave them their only lead of the first half, 30-29 with 4:03 left.

A pair of free throws by Will Brew put Santa Barbara back in front, 31-30, and UCSB ended the half with a narrow 35-34 advantage.

The Gauchos had just nine turnovers in the game and won despite being outrebounded 44-28. Fullerton had 17 turnovers. Also, Santa Barbara made 18-of-22 free throws, 81.8%, including 13-of-15 in second half, 86.7%. The Titans made all nine of their first half free throws but struggled in the final 20 minutes, hitting just 6-of-13.

UCSB returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 20 when it plays at Fresno State as part of the ESPNU Bracket Busters series. The game will not be televised.

The Gauchos return home on Wednesday, Feb. 24 when they host Cal State Northridge in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. 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.