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Men's Basketball

UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State To Meet In Big West Tournament Final

Files associated with this release:
UCSB-UCD Quotes.pdf
UCSB-UCD Box Score.htm
LBSU-PAC Quotes.pdf
LBSU-PAC Box Score.htm

Links associated with this release:
2010 Big West Basketball Tournament Page

3/12/2010

UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State will meet in a Big West Men's Basketball Tournament championship game for the first time in conference history after winning semifinal matchups on Friday at the Anaheim Convention Center.  The final on Saturday will tip at 5:05 p.m. on ESPN2.

Top-Seeded Gauchos Advance To Big West Final


James Powell scored a game-high 22 points, including seven straight during a key run in the second half, as the top-seeded UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team advanced to its first Big West Tournament final since 2002 with a 76-62 win over fourth-seeded UC Davis on Friday night at the Anaheim Convention Center.

UCSB, which led 31-11 at halftime before seeing the Aggies get to within five points in the second half, improved to 19-9 overall. UC Davis, playing in its first semifinal during its third year in the league, ended its season with a 14-18 record. Joe Harden scored 20 points to lead the Aggies.

UCSB is looking for its first tournament championship since beating former Big West member Utah State 60-56 in 2002, earning an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Gauchos will face the winner of the other semifinal between second-seeded Pacific and third-seeded Long Beach State on Saturday at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 with the winner earning the league's automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament.

James Nunnally added 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists for UCSB while Orlando Johnson, the Big West Player of the Year, scored 14 points. Julian Welch, the Big West Freshman of the Year, added 17 points for the Aggies.

UCSB got off to a great start on Friday night, holding UC Davis to just 1-of-15 shooting over the first 12 minutes of the game and taking a 14-4 lead. The lead swelled to 26-9 with 3 minutes, 19 seconds left in the half as the Gauchos turned nine turnovers to that point into nine points.

Nunnally hit one of his two three-pointers with two seconds left in the half, launching a long shot to beat the buzzer and propel UCSB to its 20-point halftime lead.

The Gauchos had five three-pointers in the first half and had just six turnovers. They also held a 19-17 advantage on the boards.

Nunnally opened the second half with a layup to give the Gauchos their biggest lead at 33-11 but UC Davis turned it around and began to rally. Dominic Calegari, held to just one point in the first half before finishing with 18, hit the first of three treys during an 18-3 Aggie run that made it 36-29 with 14:25 left.

UC Davis got to within five points five times over the next seven minutes and it was just 51-45 with 5:51 left before Powell scored seven straight to make it 58-45 with 4:19 to go. He had two three-pointers during that surge, including one from the corner.

The Gauchos didn't let the Aggies get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

UCSB has twice been the No. 1 seed in the Big West Tournament since winning it eight years ago but is returning to the final for the first time since then.

Long Beach State Moves Into Final With 68-61 Win

Casper Ware scored a game-high 22 points and Larry Anderson added 14 on Friday night as the third-seeded Long Beach State men's basketball team advanced to its second Big West Tournament final in four seasons, beating second-seeded Pacific 68-61 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The 49ers, who opened the tournament with a win over Cal Poly on Thursday night, improved to 17-15. They'll face top-seeded UC Santa Barbara (19-9) for the Big West Tournament Championship on Saturday night at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Stephan Gilling added 12 points for Long Beach State.

Pacific, which was trying to earn a spot in its second consecutive final after sharing the Big West regular-season title with UCSB, was led by 16 points from Joe Ford, 13 from Sam Willard and 12 from Allen Huddleston. The Tigers ended their season with an overall record of 20-11.

Long Beach State led 34-21 at halftime and by as many as 16 points in the second half before Pacific rallied to within 54-51 with 4 minutes, 33 seconds to go. Pat Eveland's three-pointer with 2:41 to go made it 59-56 but Ware's jumper made it a five-point game before his two free throws with 1:06 made it 63-56.

The 49ers were 4 of 7 from the line in the final minute helping the Tigers stay close. A jumper from Pacific's Demetrece Young made it 65-61 with just 22 ticks remaining but Long Beach State was able to close out the win.

The game was close for the first 10 minutes with Pacific taking an 11-10 lead on a three-pointer from Huddleston. However, four different 49ers scored, including Ware who had a three-point play, as Long Beach State scored 11 straight points to take a 21-11 lead with 7:01 remaining.

The lead hovered between nine and 13 points the rest of the half with Larry Anderson's dunk with 19 seconds capping the 34-21 halftime lead for the 49ers. They held a similar lead for the early parts of the second half, opening a 46-30 advantage  - their largest of the game - with 15:47 left.

An 11-0 run by Pacific brought it to within 46-41 with 11:39 to play while an 8-0 surge later in the half helped the Tigers get to 54-51.  Willard and Huddleston each had three-pointers during the first run while Huddleston had a three-point play during the second run.

Ware was 10 of 11 from the line to help with his 22 points, adding six assists and five steals. Ford had four points and four steals for Pacific.

Long Beach State beat Cal Poly, 94-83, in their last tournament final appearance in 2007.

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