#5 UC Santa Barbara Goes Back-to-Back, Wins 2011 ampm Big West Tournament Title
Files associated with this release:
UCSB-LBSU Box Score.pdf
Orlando Johnson scored 23 points and Jaime Serna added 14 from the paint Saturday to lead defending champion UC Santa Barbara to a 64-56 victory over No. 1-seeded Long Beach State for the ampm Big West Conference Tournament championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
The No. 5-seeded Gauchos (18-13) won their season-high fourth game In a row and avenged a season sweep over a third opponent in three nights. It’s their third conference tourney title and will be their sixth NCAA trip. UCSB will find its NCAA Tournament fate tomorrow live on CBS at 3 p.m. (PDT).
Casper Ware scored 14 points to lead Long Beach (22-11), which saw an 11-game win streak snapped in losing to UCSB in the title game for the second year in a row. Larry Anderson had 11 points and 12 rebounds and T. J. Robinson had 9 points and 12 rebounds for the 49ers, who will now compete in the NIT Tournament.
Jon Pastorek grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds for the Gauchos and hit the game’s biggest basket, a 3-pointer from the corner to beat the shot clock and give UCSB a 59-50 lead with 1:30 to play.
Johnson, the tournament MVP with 85 points in 3 games, scored 18 points in the second half including 8 unanswered to cap a 10-0 UCSB run that erased the last 49ers lead and put the Gauchos in control at 45-36 with 9:15 to play.
Long Beach State shot a season-low 29 percent from the floor with numerous short-range shots rolling off the rim. Ware, the Big West player of the year, made only 2 of 10 3-point tries and 5 of 17 overall. The 49ers made only 4 of 17 tries from the arc and only 56 percent at the foul line.
UCSB had lost to Long Beach by 16 and 18 points in the regular season. UCSB also had gone 0-2 vs. Pacific and Cal State Northridge, the teams it beat to get to the championship game.
Johnson, who had made 19 of 33 shots (9 of 12 treys) and 15 of 17 free throws in the first two tourney games, had only 5 points in the first half on 2 of 8 shooting and 0 for 2 at the line. But he went one-on-one several times in the second half to score almost half of UCSB’s 37-point output and finished 8-for-19.
Long Beach led only once in the first half, at 26-25, and its biggest margin in the second half was 30-27. With a 36-35 lead at 13:45 on a Robinson bucket, the 49ers failed to score for more than five minutes. The closest it got again was 6 points.
UCSB lost in the first round of last year's NCAA Tournament to Ohio State, 68-51.
2011 ampm Big West Tournament All-Tournament Team
Orlando Johnson, UC Santa Barbara (MVP)
James Nunnally, UC Santa Barbara
Jaime Serna, UC Santa Barbara
Larry Anderson, Long Beach State
Casper Ware, Long Beach State
Lenny Daniel, Cal State Northridge