Dec. 1, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - James Nunnally scored a career-high 29 points, including 13 during a decisive 18-0 second half run, and UC Santa Barbara shot 61.7% from the field en route to a 77-67 win over visiting Loyola Marymount on Wednesday night.
UCSB (3-3) led by four at halftime and stretch the advantage to 46-38 just over five minutes into the second half. The Lions (3-5), however, pulled within one point, 53-52, on a Vernon Teel lay-up with 9:56 to play, but an 18-0 run by the Gauchos gave them a decisive 71-52 lead with 5:07 to play. Nunnally scored 13 of the 18 points, including the first seven.
"Nunn was really good tonight," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "When he was on the court with the four reserves, we really made a great run. He had such a good feel during that stretch."
The 18-0 surge came when Nunnally was in the game with guards Jordan Weiner and Troy Leaf and frontcourt players Greg Somogyi and Jon Pastorek, all reserves. Weiner, who finished with a season-high of eight points and a career-high five steals, had a three-point basket during the stretch and Somogyi scored the other two points on a fast break lay-up.
"I've been spending more time in the gym getting shots up the last couple of weeks," Nunnally said. "That seems to have made a difference."
Nunnally made 11-of-14 shots overall and 4-of-5 from three-point territory. The 29 points were one more that the 28 he scored at Oregon on Nov. 14.
Guard Larry Davis did his best to keep LMU in the game scoring 27 points, including 14 in the first half. The senior made 6-of-7 shots from three-point range, including one with 11:31 left in the first half that gave the Lions their final lead of the night, 16-15. A Nunnally three-pointer sparked a 12-0 run that was capped by a three-pointer from Orlando Johnson to give UCSB a 27-16 lead that it never fully relinquished.
Johnson, who began his collegiate career at LMU, was the only other Gaucho in double-figures with 11. He attempted just seven shots, making four. Jaimé Serna and Weiner each added eight points while Somogyi and freshman guard Kyle Boswell had seven apiece. Boswell made all three of his field goal attempts. Teel added 13 points for the Lions.
The win was the Gauchos 19th in their last 21 home games dating back to the 2008-09 season.
"We have to take care of business in our own house," Nunnally said. "This was an important win for us.
UCSB returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 4 when it travels to Santa Clara for a 7:00 p.m. game against Santa Clara University. The game will be broadcast on AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara and on-line at NewsPress.com. Following road games at UNLV and San Diego State, the Gauchos will return home on Dec. 21 to host Cal Baptist 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 buy online and print at home by clicking here.