UC Santa Barbara 72, Pacific 52

UC Santa Barbara got 15 points from its season scoring leader,

Orlando Johnson, and took its first step toward winning a third

straight Big West title with a 72-52 victory over Pacific on

Thursday in the opening round of the conference tournament at the

Honda Center.

The third-seeded Gauchos (19-9) advance to the Big West

semifinals Friday against No. 4 seed Cal Poly, which defeated UC

Riverside 66-54 Thursday. Sixth-seeded Pacific finished 11-19.

Johnson, a senior guard who was named to the all-conference

first team for the third straight season, hit a pair of 3-pointers

and had four steals. Kyle Boswell scored 12 points off the

bench.

Lorenzo McCloud led Pacific with 14 points, including four

3-pointers.