Sophomore guard Kyle Boswell put up a career-high 19 points and made five three-point baskets to help the Gauchos beat UC Irvine on the road Wednesday night. Senior guard Orlando Johnson recorded a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds during the game.
With the win, UCSB improves its record to 14-8 overall and 9-3 in the Big West, good enough for a second-place tie with Cal State Fullerton behind conference leader Cal State Long Beach. UC Irvine, currently ranked No. 7 in the Big West, drops to 9-17 overall and 5-8 in conference play.
UCSB’s scoring ability was prominent all night as the Gauchos took a 44-29 lead into halftime. Johnson and Boswell combined for 28 points in the first half on 11-13 shooting from the field.
A 10-0 run to start the second half gave UCSB its biggest lead of the game at 30. UCSB’s shooting improved dramatically from its dismal 35 percent effort against UC Riverside this past weekend, in which the Gauchos made just three of 15-point attempts. Against UC Irvine, the Gauchos connected on 53.6 percent of their shot attempts from the field, including an outstanding 55 percent performance from behind the arc.
Johnson’s 25 points led the way for UCSB, followed by Boswell’s 19 as junior guard Nate Garth chipped in nine and senior guard James Nunnally added seven. Nunnally and senior center Greg Somogyi contributed six rebounds to the effort.
The Gauchos will travel to Utah next for an ESPN Bracket Buster game against Utah State this Saturday.