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Big West Tournament 2012: UC Santa Barbara Advances To Semifinals With 20-Point Win Vs. Pacific

The No. 3 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos defeated the Pacific Tigers for the third time this season, this time 72-52 in the first round of the Big West basketball tournament to advance to the semis on Friday.

Behind 53-percent shooting in the first half, UCSB took a 14-point lead into halftime, 43-29, and were able to increase that lead to 20 in the second despite a poorer half of basketball.

Senior guard Orlando Johnson was the game's leading scorer with 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting. His fellow senior guard James Nunnally contributed 11 points in 30 minutes. Pacific was led by Lorenzo McCloud's 14 points.

After all the games are completed today, the advancing teams will be re-seeded and play tomorrow in the tournament's semis. The championship game will be played on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

Here's the remaining schedule for Thursday's games:

No. 2 Cal State Fullerton vs. No. 7 UC Irvine

6 p.m. - No. 1 Long Beach State vs. No. 8 UC Davis

30 minutes after - No. 4 Cal Poly vs. No. 5 UC Riverside

Click here for a full Big West Tournament schedule and bracket. For all your news and analysis on college basketball, check out SB Nation's college basketball hub.