March Madness is here: Gauchos Beat 49ers on Nunnally's Buzzer Beater
The UCSB Men's basketball team beat the Long Beach State 49ers 76-75 on a last-second shot by James Nunnally at the Thunderdome to clinch the 4th seed in next week's Big West Conference Tournament in Anaheim. They also receive a 1st round bye in the tournament.
Nunnally, a freshman guard, hit a 3 point basket in a wild finish, when the lead changed hands twice in 10 seconds. Nunnally scored a lay up to tie the game at 73 apiece, but Will Brew, Jr. intentionally fouled the 49ers' TJ Robinson, thinking the Gauchos were down 1. Robinson calmly sank both free throws with 6.8 seconds left. Nunnally then canned the game-winning shot with time running out, igniting a mad rush by fans onto the court. The victory sent off a dramatic farewell to three Gauchos on Senior night: Chris Devine, DJ Posley, and Nick Quick, whose Gaucho career ended earlier due to a knee injury.
Nunnally led the Gauchos with 20 points, including an amazing 15 in the final 6:54. Devine added 15 points and 5 rebounds in his final home game. Posley dished out 7 assists in his final game at the Thunderdome. Stephen Gilling led the 49ers with 23 points, including 6 from behind the 3 pt. arc, and Donovan Morris chipped in 17.
The Gauchos hope to continue their winning ways, playing in the second game of the Thursday, March 12 quarterfinal evening session of the Big West Conference Tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center. Their opponent is yet to be determined, based on Wednesday's preliminary round.