The UCSB Men's basketball team completed a regular season sweep of Cal. State, Fullerton by winning in Titan Gym 73 - 65. The Gauchos (15 - 8, 10 - 3) remained in first place in the Big West Conference, one-half game ahead of UOP, who also won over Long Beach State 74 - 52 yesterday.
Orlando Johnson led the Gauchos to a 35 - 34 halftime lead with 12 points, while James Nunnally led the Gauchos with 14 of his 18 points in the second half. Jaime Serna also scored 11 of his 13 points in the decisive second half, despite back spasms. Johnson led the Gauchos with eight rebounds, followed by Nunnally's 7 caroms.
But the shot that turned the tide for the Gauchos may have been Justin Joyner's 3-point basket late in the second half, his first points of the season. It was indicative of Joyner's increased playing time and comfort level after returning from a redshirt year due to a broken wrist, delayed further by a severely sprained ankle. The Gauchos executed their halfcourt offense well, finished on fast break opportunities, while still applying their suffocating defense on the perimeter.
The Titans (13 - 12, 7 - 6) were led by the trio of Gerard Anderson, Aaron Thompson, and Orane Chin with 14 points each. Jer'Vaughn Johnson and Thompson led the Titans with 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively, while Jacques Streeter handed out five assists.
The Gauchos continue their road trip by playing Fresno State Saturday, February 20 at 7:30 pm. The match up is part of ESPN's Bracket Buster series.