UC Santa Barbara upends Long Beach St. for Big West titleMar 13, 2011 - 5:33 AM Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Orlando Johnson poured in 23 points, and UC Santa Barbara shut down Long Beach State to earn a 64-56 upset win in the Big West Conference Tournament championship game.
Long Beach State, the regular season conference champion, was riding an 11- game winning streak before falling to the fifth-seeded Gauchos in the title game for the second straight year.
Jaime Serna chipped in 14 points and James Nunnally scored 12 for UCSB (18-13), which held the 49ers to 29 percent shooting.
Casper Ware led LBSU (22-11) with 14 points.
The teams played to a 27-all tie in the first 20 minutes and stayed close for the first eight minutes of the second half before UCSB took control with a 10- point run.
Johnson hit a pair of three-pointers to end the flurry for a 45-36 lead with 9 1/2 minutes remaining.
The 49ers were within 56-50 following a Ware jumper with two minutes on the clock, but Jon Pastorek drained a three-pointer and Nunnally hit two free throws around Ware's missed three to put the game out of reach.
This is UCSB's third Big West tourney crown...The Gauchos defeated Pacific, CS-Northridge and Long Beach State in the tourney after losing to all three teams twice in the regular season...LBSU last won this title in 2007...Johnson was named tournament MVP...Larry Anderson added 11 points and 12 rebounds for LBSU.
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