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UCSB wins Big West opener

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POSTED March 8, 2012 10:21 p.m.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — UC Santa Barbara got 15 points from its season scoring leader, Orlando Johnson, and took a big step toward winning its 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.

UCSB (19-9), the third seed, advanced to Friday's second round. 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.

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