UCSB Finishes Stronger, 73-65
Feb. 17, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. - Junior guard Justin Joyner's first basket of the season put UC Santa Barbara ahead to stay with 3 minutes to play and the Gauchos finished off a 73-65 Big West Conference victory at Cal State Fullerton.
Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally each had 18 points for the Gauchos (15-8, 10-3), who held onto first place. Fullerton (13-12, 7-6 got 14 points apiece from Aaron Thompson, Gerard Anderson and Orane Chin.
Joyner's 3-point basket gave UCSB a 60-58 lead. Johnson then blocked a short shot by Fullerton's Jer'Vaughn Johnson and Nunnally got a layup out of it for a 62-58 lead.
Chin scored for the Titans but Nunnally answered before Chin missed a layup. Jaime Serna made a 3-point play to make it 67-60 and the Gauchos made all 6 free throws in the final 35 seconds.
The game had been tied 8 times and there were 8 lead changes. UCSB led most of the half and was up, 35-34, at intermission. Fullerton's biggest lead was 54-49 at 9:06 after a Thompson trey.
Fullerton dominated the backboards, 44-28, but committed 17 turnovers to 9 for the Gauchos, who swept the season series.
"This was a discouraging loss, it was a winnable game," said CSF Coach Bob Burton. "UCSB plays great defense but we ad such great shots.
"When the game was on the line, we didn't step up. We didn't put the ball in the basket and didn't get key stops.
"They (UCSB) found ways to put it in the basket."
Joyner didn't play this season until Jan. 23, also against Fullerton, but he had seen over 200 minutes and was 0-for-12 before hitting the open 3-pointer for his only points of the game. Fullerton was double teaming Johnson who got the assist.
Both teams step out of conference play this weekend for the ESPNU BracketBuster series. UCSB is at Fresno State while the Titans host Southern Illinois Edwardsville.