The UCSB men’s basketball team lost its second Big West home game of the season to conference foe Cal State Northridge on Saturday night, despite almost managing to come back from a five-point deficit with 13.2 seconds left but losing 70-69.
CSUN improved to 5-3 in conference play with the win. UCSB dropped to 4-4.
With 13.2 seconds remaining, UCSB senior guard Jordan Weiner hit a three-pointer from NBA range at the top of the perimeter to bring the Gauchos to within two, at 68-66. The team’s full-court pressure caused a Matador turnover on the baseline, giving UCSB the ball with 12.1 seconds remaining.
With Northridge’s defense clogging the lane, junior guard James Nunnally found himself open for a sideline three-pointer, but he hesitated and drove to the basket in an attempt to draw the foul, but settled for a baseline runner that rolled around the rim and missed. However, the Gauchos grabbed the offensive rebound, finding themselves with one more chance to score with 7.2 seconds remaining. Instead, the Gauchos turned the ball over, forcing an intentional foul situation.
CSUN’s Rashaun McLemore hit two free throws to put the Matadors up by four points, securing the win in spite of a buzzer-beating three pointer by Gaucho junior guard Orlando Johnson.
Johnson finished with a game-high 28 points after making 14 of his 15 free throw attempts. McLemore led the Matadors with 26.
UCSB continues its three-game homestand against Pacific on Feb. 3 with an 8:30 p.m. tip-off.