Gauchos Travel to Cal on Monday

T.J. Taylor (Photo by Tony Mastres)

• The Schedule 
Game No. 9
Monday, December 19, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal Golden Bears
at Cal's Haas Pavilion
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com

Game No. 10
Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at BYU Cougars

at BYU's J.W. Marriott Center
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
TV: BYU-TV
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com

• Williams Remains Tied With Pimm For All-Time Victory Mark
On Tuesday Dec. 13, UC Santa Barbara held on to win at the University of San Diego, 65-61.  The victory in the Gauchos' first road game of 2011-12 was also the 222nd of head coach Bob Williams' tenure in Santa Barbara, tying him with Jerry Pimm for the most in school history.  Williams, who now has a 222-172 record, is in his 14th season in charge of the program.  Pimm achieved his wins over 15 campaigns.

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB is 5-3 after Friday night's 87-80 loss at Washington.  The Gauchos opened the season with a 4-0 record before losing consecutive games to San Diego State (76-75 in overtime) and UNLV (94-88 in two overtimes).  

• UCSB Plays Second Straight Pac 12 Opponent
UCSB travels to Cal on Monday night for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Golden Bears.  The game will be the Gauchos' second straight against a Pac 12 opponent and it will be the first time they have played consecutive Pac 12 teams since playing Stanford in a back-to-back ,home-and-home series on Jan. 28 and Jan. 30, 1965.

• UCSB Rallies Big But Runs Out Of Gas In 87-80 Loss At Washington
UCSB rallied back from 10 points down in the final minutes to tie Washington at 77-77, but the visiting Gauchos ran out of gas and dropped an 87-80 decision to the Huskies on Friday night at the Alaska Airlines Arena.  Santa Barbara was behind 77-67 when it used a quick 10-0 run to tie the score at 77-77.  Orlando Johnson started the rally with a three-pointer, assisted on another three-pointer by T.J. Taylor, and finished the run with an acrobatic lay-up.  Keegan Hornbuckle had a key steal and breakaway lay-up during the rally as well.  Washington answered UCSB's run with a 10-3 burst to end the game and post the 87-80 victory.  The Gauchos, who led by as many as six points on several occasions in the game, were led by Johnson who had 24 points and 10 rebounds.  Hornbuckle, playing in just his third game since returning from injuries, had a career-high 11 points as well as two steals and two assists.  James Nunnally had 10 points to give UCSB three players in double-figures.  The Huskies were led by guard Tony Wroten who tied the school's freshman record for points in a game with 27.  Abdul Gaddy and Terrence Ross added 17 and 16 respectively.

• Two Down, Four To Go
Friday's game at Washington was UCSB's second road game in December and the second game of a five-game road run, four of which will take place on the current road trip.  The trip is the longest of the Bob Williams era.  Following the game at Cal, the Gauchos will close out the four-game trip with a Dec. 22 game at BYU.  When they return on Dec. 23, they will have spent 12 days and 11 nights on the road.  After opening Big West play on Jan. 2 at Cal Poly, UCSB returns home for a Jan. 5 game against Cal State Fullerton, the first home game after a 35-day break. 

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0  Jaimé Serna - Has seven blocked shots in the last two games.
G 1  Nate Garth - Scored a UCSB career-high eight points in the game at Washington. 
F 21 James Nunnally - Scored in double-figures in all eight games this season.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Walk-on has just 16 field goal attempts in 145 minutes.
G 33 Orlando Johnson - Had fourth double-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds at UW. 

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
F 5   Keegan Hornbuckle - Had career-high 11 points in 17 minutes at Washington.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Leads UCSB in 3-point percentage at 46.4%.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Ranks fourth on the team with six three-point baskets.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Played season-low two minutes at San Diego and was DNP at UW.
F 15 Alan Williams - Blocked two shots in just four minutes at Washington.
G 43 Duke DaRe - Walk-on from De La Salle HS has yet to play in a game this season.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - Went for season-high seven points at Washington.

• The Opponents
The Gauchos and Cal have played seven games since 1948 with the Golden Bears winning all seven.  The last time the team's met was in the  championship game of the Golden Bear Classic on Dec. 29, 2009 and Cal won that one, 87-66.  UCSB has a 1-5 all-time record against BYU in a series that began in 1941.  The Gauchos and Cougars have not played since Dec. 21, 2002 when BYU won in Provo, 69-56.  Santa Barbara's only win in the series was a 68-58 home victory on Nov. 28, 2001. 

• The Gauchos On The Road 
The Gauchos opened their road schedule on Dec. 13 with a 65-61 win at the University of San Diego and then dropped a tough 87-80 decision at Washington on Saturday night.  They are 1-1 on the road this season.  In 2010-11, they were 5-8 in true road games and 9-10 in all games away from the Thunderdome.    

• First Blowouts, Then Close Calls
UCSB won its first four games (Chapman, Santa Clara, Westmont and Portland) by a combined 94 points, 23.5 per game.  The last four games have been a different story.  The largest margin of the four – an 87-80 loss at Washington – was tied at 77-77 with 3:20 left in the game.  Overall, in the last four, the combined margins of victory (three wins by the opponents and one by the Gauchos) was 18 points, an average of 4.5 per game. 

• Playing The Percentages
Through the first four games this season, UCSB had made 113 out of 227 shots from the field, 49.8%.  In games five and six, however, the Gauchos made just a total of 54 out of 135 shots from the floor, 40.0%, and were outshot by San Diego State and UNLV.  In the last two games, they've turned that back around.  On Dec. 13 at San Diego, they made 24-of-48 shots, 50.0%, and then on Friday night at Washington, they made 31-of-65 attempts, 47.7%.  In the last two games combined, UCSB hit 55-of-113, 48.7%, the opponents are 51-of-120, 42.5%.  

• On The Rebound
There is no question that rebounding was a weakness of the 2010-11 UCSB team.  This year, that is not the case.  The Gauchos have outrebounded their first eight opponents by 49, an average of 6.1 per game.  On Friday, Washington entered the game with a +5.7 average rebound margin and UCSB posted a 40-35 rebound victory.  Granted, the Gauchos would have preferred to outscore the Huskies, but outrebounding them was a plus.  Santa Barbara has outrebounded six of eight opponents and been outrebounded just once (the UNLV game was a 45-45 draw).  The only team to beat UCSB on the boards was San Diego State which had a 46-41 edge.

• The Roaring 80s
While UCSB lost at Washington on Friday, the Gauchos did score 80 points...again.  The Gauchos tallied exactly 80 in the 87-80 defeat to the Huskies and are now averaging 79.5 per game.  It marked the fifth time in eight games that UCSB has eclipsed the 80 point mark.  Last season, in 34 games, the Gauchos hit or exceeded 80 points just four times.  The last time they scored 80 or more points in five or more games in one season was in 2009-10 when they did so exactly five times.  That season, the fifth time came in the season's 21st game.

• Turnover Turnaround
UCSB is averaging just 12.2 turnovers per game, but in the loss to Washington, the Gauchos committed a season-high 17 turnovers.  In fact, they have posted back-to-back season-highs in turnovers.  In the Dec. 13 win at San Diego, UCSB had 16 turnovers.  Prior to the win over the Toreros, Santa Barbara's season-high was 15 on Nov. 18 against Westmont.

• Johnson Makes His Points
Orlando Johnson bounced back from a slightly subpar game against San Diego with an outstanding effort at Washington.  Against San Diego, Johnson was scoreless in the first half for the first time in his UCSB career and finished with a season-low 12 points.  On Dec. 16 at Washington, he had a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds.  The double-double was his fourth of the season.  Johnson scored a season-high 36 points in the Gauchos' Nov. 30 game against UNLV.  The total was just three shy of his school record 39, scored against UC Davis last season.  In the game against the Runnin' Rebels, Johnson also had 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots and a career-high 47 minutes.  For his efforts, he earned Big West Player of the Week honors.   Overall, his average of 22.4 points per game leads the Big West Conference and ranks fifth nationally.  The 24 points that Johnson tallied against the Huskies, pushed his UCSB career total to 1,393 ranking him ninth on the school's career scoring list.  He needs just seven points to pass York Gross and become just the eighth Gaucho in history to hit the 1,400 point mark.  If the 383 points that Johnson scored as a freshman at Loyola Marymount are factored in, he has now tallied 1,776 in his collegiate career.  Johnson has scored in double-figures in all eight games this season and has now done so 69 times in his 70 games at UCSB.  In addition to his scoring exploits, he leads the team in rebounds at 7.2 per game and assists at 3.2 per game.   

• The Flying Nunnally
Senior James Nunnally had season-lows of 10 points and 10 field goal attempts in Friday's game at Washington, but he has been one of the most dependable scorers in UCSB history since late in his freshman season.  Last year, he averaged 16.3 points per game and teamed with Orlando Johnson to form the most potent scoring combinations in the Big West.  In the season-opener against Chapman, Nunnally scored a game-high 20 points and in doing so moved past the 1,200 point mark for his career.  His 14 points on Nov. 30 moved him past the 1,300 point plateau and he now has 1,326 and needs just 26 to move into UCSB's all-time top-10.  In the Nov. 15 win over Santa Clara, Nunnally scored a season-high 24 points.  Despite struggling with his shooting touch in the last five games, Nunnally has scored 10 or more points in all eight games this season.  After making 24-of-38 (63.2%) shots in the first three games, he has made 22-of-61 (36.1%) in the last five.  When Nunnally scored 20 and 24 in the first two games of the season, it marked the first time he has scored 20 in back-to-back games since mid-February of last season.  He also ranks second on the team in rebounding with an average of 5.8 per game.  Nunnally has had a season-high eight rebounds four times this season.

• Making A DisSERNAble Difference
Jaimé Serna had just six points and four field goal attempts, to go with three rebounds and two blocked shots, in UCSB's game at Washington on Friday.  He was coming off of one of the best games of his career when he scored a career-high 22 points and tied his career-high with five blocked shots, including one at the rim in the waning seconds to help the Gauchos protect a scant two-point lead, against the University of San Diego.  Serna is averaging 10.9 points per game and he has scored 10 or more in five of the last seven games, averaging 11.7 per game over that span.  Not only is he averaging 10.9 points, but Serna is doing so in the most efficient manner.  The senior has attempted just 44 shots in eight games this season, 5.5 per game, and made 32 of them, 72.7%.  In the last six games, he has hit 27 out of his 35 attempts, 77.1%.  On Dec. 13 at San Diego, not only did he set a career-high for points, but he set a personal-best with nine field goals in 12 attempts.  In three of the last six games, Serna has been perfect from the field.  He went 4-for-4 vs. Westmont and then had 5-for-5 efforts against Portland and UNLV.  When he has stayed out of foul trouble, he has generally been very effective for UCSB.  In two of the last three games he has played 32 or more minutes, including a career-high 39 on Nov. 30 vs. UNLV.  In a Nov. 22 win over Portland he tied his career-high with 10 rebounds and had 15 points to record his second career double-double.  Serna is also third on the team in rebounds at 4.6 per game and second in blocked shots with 12.

• Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell is averaging 8.0 points per game.  He made 2-of-3 shots from the field and scored five points on Friday at Washington.  Boswell is third on the team with 13 three-point field goals, but he leads the team in three-point field goal percentage at 46.4%.  He has made at least one three in each of the last two games and seven times in eight games this season, making a season-high three in wins over Chapman and Westmont.  Boswell tied what was then his career-high with 11 points in the Nov. 11 opener against Chapman.  He then set new career-highs in the next two games, going for 12 on Nov. 15 vs. Santa Clara and 15 on Nov. 18 against Westmont.  While his scoring is down in the last five games – 5.2 per game – he has continued to shoot the ball well.  Overall, Boswell is shooting 52.4% from the field and he has made 9-for-17, 52.9%, in the last four.  He has not, however, been shooting as much in recent games.  After averaging 7.3 shots per game in the first three, he has averaged just 4.0 per game in the last five.   

• Hornbuckle Gives A Glimpse
In UCSB's game at Washington on Dec. 16, sophomore forward Keegan Hornbuckle had, by far, his best appearance as a Gaucho.  Hornbuckle, a transfer from Colorado playing in just his third game, made 5-of-9 shots overall, including 1-of-2 from three-point range, to finish with 11 points.  He also had two assists, two steals and two rebounds.  After battling injuries during his redshirt season, last summer and then the all throughout the preseason, Hornbuckle struggled in 13 minutes over his first two appearances (vs. UNLV and at San Diego), and while he may have been tired after his effort against the Huskies, his performance gave a glimpse of what he is capable of and also brought smiles to the faces of the UCSB coaching staff.

• Somogyi Nears No. 2 On Block List
Senior Greg Somogyi had one of his best performances in Friday's game at Washington when he scored a season-high seven points, had six rebounds and blocked a pair of shots.  The two blocked shots gave him 154 in his UCSB career, tying him with Doug Muse for second on the school's all-time career list.  Somogyi is fourth on the team in rebounding at 4.0 per game and he leads the team and the Big West with 19 blocked shots.  He blocked a season-high six shots in just 15 minutes in UCSB's loss to San Diego State on Nov. 26.  On Nov. 15, he had five against Santa Clara and he now has five or more 10 times in his career, second in school history. Finally, the 7-foot-3 Hungarian holds UCSB's all-time record for blocks in a game with eight on Feb. 20, 2010 at Fresno State. 

• Pointing The Way 
Junior Nate Garth, a transfer from New Mexico who redshirted in 2010-11, is one half of UCSB's point guard committee.  Garth has started all eight games and has played 180 minutes, 22.5 per game.  On Friday night in Seattle, he scored a season-high eight points, making 3-of-7 shots from the floor.  He enters the game at Cal averaging 4.4 points per game, but he is scoring 7.5 per game in the last two.  Garth had his best game against Santa Clara when he had seven points and five assists to go along with five rebounds.   In a Nov. 22 win over Portland, he had a career-high six assists.  Garth is second on the team with 24 assists, an average of 3.0 per game.  He went without an assist at Seattle, a season first.  He had one turnover in the game against Washington and it was the first time this season he has had more turnovers than assists in a game.  Garth's 2.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio remains the best on the team.  

• Taylor Made 
T.J. Taylor is the other half of UCSB's point guard committee.  On Friday at Washington, he led the Gauchos with three assists and he made a big three-point basket during the team's 10-0 rally that tied the game at 77-77 with less than four minutes to play.  Taylor is averaging 4.3 points and 2.9 assists per game.  On Nov. 30, in UCSB's double overtime loss to UNLV, he scored a season-high 10 points, had three assists and collected a pair of rebounds in 29 minutes before fouling out.  Taylor hit a big three-point basket late in the game and finished with two for the game. He played a career-high 29 minutes in the game against the Runnin' Rebels and it was his second game with at least two three-point baskets.  He now has six threes on the year, five of which have come in the last four games.  Also, perhaps most importantly, Taylor has 23 assists and just 10 turnovers, a 2.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.  

• Mr. Productive
Freshman forward Alan Williams has been battling a bad cold during the current road trip.  He has played just four minutes in the two games, including four at Washington, but he continues to make the most of his time.  In his four minutes against the Huskies, Williams had two points, two blocked shots and a rebound.  He has played 48 minutes in seven games this season and has 22 points, 26 rebounds and six blocked shots.  Williams is averaging a team-best 21.7 rebounds per 40 minutes.