The UCSB Men's basketball team retained first place in the Big West Conference regular season race by edging Long Beach State 64 - 62 in the Thunderdome. The Gauchos (14 - 8, 9 - 3) were led by Jaime Serna's season-high 17 points and Will Brew's 12 points, all in the first half. Orlando Johnson chipped in 11 points, but more importantly, he assisted on eight Gaucho baskets. James Nunnally led the Gauchos with seven rebounds, followed by Greg Somogyi with six boards. Somogyi led a stingy Gaucho defense with five blocked shots, and altered many more in the paint.
The 49ers (12 - 13, 6 - 6) were led by Stephan Gilling's 17 points, including five 3-point baskets. TJ Robinson and Casper Ware had 12 points each, with Robinson pulling down a game-high 15 rebounds, and Ware dishing out six assists.
The tightly-contested game had five ties and seven lead changes, and came down to the final possession. Ware committed a turnover driving the lane, and Nunnally recovered the ball as time expired.
Former Gaucho great Brian Shaw was honored as a "Legend of the Dome" in absentia before the game.
The Gauchos travel to Cal. State, Fullerton to take on the Titans on Wednesday, February 17 for a 7 pm game.