Nov. 5, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Juniors James Nunnally and Orlando Johnson picked up where they left off last season as they helped UC Santa Barbara overcome a sluggish first half en route to a 68-54 exhibition win over The Master's College on Friday night at the Thunderdome.
The Gauchos were up just 30-28 at the half, but used a 22-6 run over the first nine minutes of the second half to take a commanding 52-34 advantage. The rally was capped by a Johnson three-point basket. The Mustangs crept within 11 one more time, but the never got closer.
Nunnally finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while Johnson had 21 points, five rebounds and four assists. Nunnally scored 16 of his points and collected seven of his rebounds in 12 second half minutes.
Johnson, the Big West Player of the Year in 2009-10, and Nunnally are both preseason All-Big West choices. On Friday night, they combined for 43 of UCSB's 68 points.
"Those two are so dynamic," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "They have such a good feel for each other and they really feed off of each other."
The Nunnally-Johnson duo teamed-up for a trio of lob dunks that electrified the crowd of just over 2,000. Johnson assisted on two of the dunks.
"If they (defenders) are paying a lot of attention to Orlando then it opens things up for me," said Nunnally. "It works the other way round too, but we work really well together."
In the first half, things weren't working that well for the Gauchos.
After building a seven-point lead early in the first half, UCSB fell victim to some hot shooting by Master's guard Anthony Cammon. Cammon finished with a team-high 19 points, making 5-of-8 three-point attempts, including 4-of-5 in the first half. The Mustangs took their first lead with 3:56 left in the half on a three-pointer by Devin Dyer. They took their final lead, 28-27, on a baseline lay-up b Andy Shannon.
In addition to Cammon's hot shooting, Santa Barbara's 10 first half turnovers kept the game close.
"That was not a stellar first half," Williams said. "I kind of liked the way we responded in the second half, but we gave too much up in the first half. Too many turnovers and too many open shots."
To his credit, several of Cammon's three-point baskets came from well beyond the three-point arc.
UCSB shot 41.5% for the game and limited Master's College to 34.4%. The Gauchos also won the rebounding battle by a 50-26 margin, including 30-11 in the second half.
UCSB will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 12 when it travels to Eugene, Ore., for the BTI Invitational. The Gauchos play the University of Denver in the first round of the tournament with tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The Gauchos first regular season home game is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 p.m. when they play Fresno State in the Thunderdome. Season tickets for UCSB men's basketball remain on sale and there are several affordable packages. For more information or 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.