Weiner gives Gauchos second life in victory

UCSB’s Greg Somogyi had a career-high 16 points.

Buzzer-beaters are exciting by nature and Jordan Weiner’s was pretty good even by those standards.

Weiner’s running, catch-and-shoot reverse layup saved UCSB’s men’s basketball team from falling to NAIA school Fresno Pacific on Friday. The acrobatic basket sent the Gauchos to overtime where UCSB came alive and defeated Fresno Pacific 75-67 at the Thunderdome.

The Gauchos were down by two and inbounded the ball with 12.7 seconds on the clock. Unable to get a great look, a desperation 3-point attempt by Orlando Johnson was so short that Weiner was able to grab it and put it back as the buzzer sounded.

“The trajectory looked really short so I just ran to the rim as fast as I could,” Weiner said. “Luckily it was an airball, If it had hit any rim, that game would have been over.”

In overtime, momentum carried UCSB to victory as Jon Pastorek and James Nunnally connected on 3-pointers in the first minute of extra play. Fresno Pacific, meanwhile, went ice-cold and shot 0-7 from 3-point land in overtime.

Weiner’s basket kept UCSB from closing out 2010 with a two-game losing streak and losing to the Sun Birds, un unranked team from the NAIA.

“Whenever you play a game like this you have nothing to win and everything to lose, but Jordan kept us from having everything to lose,” said Gauchos head coach Bob Williams.

Weiner scored five of UCSB’s final eight points in regulation and finished with seven total.

Junior center Greg Somogyi posted a career high 16 points with Jaime Serna sitting out. Somogyi, who connected on 7-of-9 shots, added seven rebounds and two blocks to his totals. Somogyi tallied 30 minutes of court time, more than double his season average.

Eleven of his points came in the first half to give UCSB a 35-33 lead at the break.

“If it weren’t for Greg inside, we’d been down big at half,” Williams said.

Nunnally led the Gauchos in scoring with 19 on 6-for-13 shooting. The junior forward picked up the scoring slack in the second half and overtime by scoring 17 of his 19.

His 3-pointer with 1:41 on the clock pulled UCSB to within 62-60.

After trading stops, UCSB had possession with 32 seconds left. Weiner took the shot but missed a 3-point attempt and Pastorek was whistled for a foul on the rebound. Without any choice but to foul on the inbounds, Pastorek actually came up with the steal to get possession back and called timeout.

UCSB passed around the perimeter several times before Johnson pulled the trigger with the clock winding down.

“We didn’t really have a set play – it kind of was a broken play,” Weiner said. “I saw the ball swung to Orlando and saw he was about to shoot it.”

Deshaun Legree led Fresno in scoring with 21. Matt Christman added 17 as both players connected on five 3-point baskets.

After opening up Big West play on Tuesday with a loss to Long Beach State, UCSB gets back into the winning column and stands at 7-5 overall. The Gauchos head out on a two-game road trip north to UC Davis and Pacific. The game in Davis is Thursday and Stockton is Saturday.


  1. Keep it up Gauchos!