November 13, 2010

Ice Cold Gauchos Can't Climb All the Way Back, Loses to North Dakota State 68-60

Nov. 13, 2010

Box Score

EUGENE, Ore. - Despite a career-high 30 points from junior Orlando Johnson, UC Santa Barbara couldn't dig itself out of a deep hole and dropped a 68-60 decision to North Dakota State on the second day of the Basketball Traveler's Invitational in Eugene, Ore.

The Bison (1-1) didn't waste any time seizing control of the game led 8-0 before a Lucas Devenny rebound and follow with 15:34 remaining put the Gauchos (1-1) on the board. But Devenny's basket did little to stem the tide.

"Personally, I thought our offensive was inept," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "For the second night in a row we didn't have a good post presence and I thought we did a poor job of being physical and getting to the free throw line and the rim."

Michael Tveidt and Taylor Braun combined for 21 points as NDSU built a 25-9 with 8:42 to play in the first half. The Bison still led by 16 when Braun went to the free throw line with 5.4 seconds to play. He missed both free throw attempts and the second was rebounded by James Nunnally who calmly came down court and made a three-point basket from about 27 feet to cut the deficit to 37-24 at the break.

Tveidt who scored 27 in NDSU's Friday night overtime loss to Oregon, made all four of his three-point attempts in the first half and the Bison made 7-of-8 as a team, 87.5%. They hit 13-of-22 from the field overall, 59.1%. The Gauchos, on the other hand, made just 11-of-34 overall, 32.4%, and just two out of 10 from outside the three-point arc, 20.0%. In addition, UCSB did not attempt a free throw in the first half.

After Eric Carlson scored on a backdoor lay-up to open the second half for NDSU, the Gauchos scored five in a row, the final three on a lay-up and free throw by James Nunnally.

But UCSB couldn't maintain the momentum as Tveidt made his fifth straight three-pointer to start an 8-0 run that pushed the Bison lead to 47-29 with 15:50 left.

The teams traded baskets for the next five minutes and when Carlson made two free throws, NDSU had its biggest lead of the game, 55-35 with 10:30 left.

Led by an aggressive trapping defense and Johnson, the Gauchos chipped away at the deficit. When Johnson scored on a put-back, was fouled and made the free throw with 1:30 left, the lead was down to six, 62-56. But UCSB got no closer.

"I liked that we kept scrambling and getting after it," Williams said. "We didn't quit."

In the end, Santa Barbara was unable to overcome its 33.3% shooting overall, but particularly its 22.7% mark from three-point range. Johnson finished at 12-of-22, the rest of the team made just 12-of-50 shots, 24.0%.

UCSB's defense did force NDSU into 20 turnovers and had nine more steals. The Gauchos had 17 steals on Friday night against Denver.

Nunnally had 11 points while Jon Pastorek had six points and a team-high seven rebounds for Santa Barbara

Tveidt finished with a team-high 18 while Taylor Braun had 12 points for NDSU. Carlson had 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

The Gauchos will play its final game in Oregon on Sunday night when it takes on the host Ducks. The game will tip at 6:00 p.m. The game can be heard live on AM 1290, KZSB and online at NewsPress.com, the home of Talk'n Gauchos, every Tuesday night from 6-7:00 p.m. live at the Beachside Café on Goleta Beach.

UCSB returns home following Sunday's game against Oregon and will play its first home game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 p.m. when it hosts Fresno State. 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.