Basketball Preview: Fullerton vs. UCSB

The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara (10-6, 3-2) shoot for their third straight win tonight as they clash with the Cal State Fullerton Titans (7-12, 3-4) in Big West Conference action at Titan Gym.

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 22nd, 6:05 p.m. (pt).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Titan Gym (3,500) -- Fullerton, California. Television: None. Home Record: UCSB 6-1, Fullerton 5-2. Away Record: UCSB 3-4, Fullerton 2-8. Neutral Record: UCSB 1-1, Fullerton 0-2. Conference Record: UCSB 3-2, Fullerton 3-4. Series Record: UC Santa Barbara leads, 38-32.

GAME NOTES: Last weekend, the Gauchos picked up a 64-57 win over the UC Riverside Highlanders at home, marking the team's fourth win in the last five outings. With a record of 3-2 in conference play, UCSB enters the weekend third in the league standings.

As for the Titans, who are sitting in fourth place in the Big West with three wins in seven tries, they played just three nights ago against Long Beach State and slipped by with an 89-87 win at home. The victory snapped a brief two-game slide by a team that has not won back-to-back games yet this season.

The Gauchos won both meetings between these two teams last season, and holds a 38-32 advantage in the all-time series as a result.

Orlando Johnson made good on 11-of-16 shots from the field and finished with a game-high 28 points as the Gauchos took down the UC Riverside Highlanders last week at home. James Nunnally accounted for another 19 points and seven rebounds to match Johnson on the glass. The team shot a solid 54.8 percent from the field in the meeting and managed to keep it together through just 5- of-16 shooting behind the three-point line. Over the course of five conference games, Johnson has exploded for 22.4 ppg, having made good on 52.5 percent from the floor and 75 percent at the free-throw line. Nunnally checks in with 14.0 ppg in those league bouts, with the pair combining for almost 12 rebounds per game as well. Defensively, the Gauchos have held conference opponents to just 61.6 ppg at this stage.

In what was a close game throughout, Cal State Fullerton used 56.3 percent shooting from the field and 15-of-19 accuracy at the free-throw line in the second half to secure the two-point win over Long Beach State earlier this week. All five starters scored in double figures as Jer'Vaughn Johnson led the attack with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Devon Peltier added 18 points, Andre Hardy 16 and seven boards, followed by Perry Webster with 13 points and six assists. Orane Chin accounted for another 12 points, nine boards and three assists in the triumph. Generating a balanced scoring attack, the Titans have four players averaging in double figures as they register 71.1 ppg as a team. Johnson delivers 14.9 ppg, Chin and Peltier 13.7 ppg apiece and Hardy 13.6 ppg to go along with his team-high 10.0 rpg. The squad is getting by with 44.9 percent shooting from the field right now.

With a couple of players listed as questionable for this game due to injury, Johnson will have to step up his efforts even more for the Gauchos to get into the win column again.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Santa Barbara 71, Cal State Fullerton 64