January 13, 2012

Gauchos Open Three-Game Home Stretch vs. UC Irvine Saturday Night

The Schedule
Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Irvine Anteaters
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KZSB AM 1290 in Santa Barbara
On-line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-line Livestats: UCSBgauchos.com
On-line video streaming: BigWest.tv

• Tickets Available
Tickets are available for all UCSB men's and women's basketball games.  Fans can purchase tickets from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB(8272) or online by clicking here.  The Ticket Office is also open conveniently on Saturdays from 10am-1pm. 

• The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's game against UC Irvine with an overall record of 7-6 and a Big West mark of 2-1.  The Gauchos have won two of their last three games, but after a 4-0 start, they have dropped six of eight.  On Thursday night, they lost a 79-70 overtime game at UC Riverside.

• The Last Game
UCSB dropped a 79-70 overtime heartbreaker at UC Riverside on Thursday night.  While 79-70 may not sound like a heartbreaker, it was.  The Gauchos battled back from a late deficit to tie the score on a three-pointer by Kyle Boswell with just under 40 seconds to play.  After a strong defensive stand, they got the ball to Orlando Johnson and he was fouled with just over nine seconds left.  He made both free throws to give Santa Barbara 63-61 lead.  Following a UCSB time out to set the defense, the Highlanders brought the ball into Robert Smith.  Under minimal pressure, Smith started up the court.  Johnson, who was using token pressure, turned and started up the court, but an official whistled him for a fouled.  After conferring at center court, the call was momentarily rescinded and the ball was awarded to UCR at mid court.  However, after a second conference, the officials affirmed the original call, sending Smith to the line where he made two clutch free throws to tie the score.  Johnson missed a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded and the game went to overtime where the Highlanders outscored the Gauchos 16-7.  Phil Martin paced the winners with 33 points and 11 rebounds.  Smith added 16.  Johnson had 23 for UCSB while James Nunnally added 16.

• Serna Remains Day-To-Day
Senior center Jaimé Serna remains day-to-day.  Originally, Serna was day-to-day because of a wrist and hand injury that he suffered in UCSB's Jan. 5 win over Cal State Fullerton, but he is now trying to recover from hip soreness that occurred after the fall against the Titans.  

• Overtime?  You Can Keep It
As far as overtime games go?  If the Gauchos don't play another one this season that'll be too soon.  Thursday night's overtime game at UC Riverside was UCSB's third overtime affair of the season.  It was also the Gauchos' third overtime loss of the season.  On Nov. 26, they dropped a 76-75 overtime game to San Diego State and then, one game later on Nov. 30, they lost in double overtime to UNLV, 94-88.  Santa Barbara also played three overtime games last season, going 2-1 in those game.  The last time the Gauchos lost three overtime games in the same season was in 1982-83.

• The Gauchos And Anteaters
UCSB and UC Irvine have met 75 times in a series that started way back on Feb. 22, 1968.  UCSB has won 45 times in the series while the Anteaters have come out on top 30 times.  The teams have split games each of the last two years with each winning on its home court.  Last season, the Gauchos won in Santa Barbara, 71-58, while the Anteaters won at the Bren Events Center, 66-63. 

• Probable Starters - Notes
G - 10 - Kyle Boswell - Tied for 2nd on team with 20 3-pointers.
G - 33 - Orlando Johnson - Needs 18 points to hit 1,500 at UCSB.
F - 5 - Keegan Hornbuckle - Made first start on Thursday at UCR.
F - 15 - Alan Williams - Career highs for rebs (11), blocks (5) at UCR.
F - 21 - James Nunnally - 9th Gaucho over 1,400 points, has 1,404.

• Probable Reserves - Notes
F - 0 - Jaimé Serna - Remains day-to-day with various injuries.
G - 1 - Nate Garth - Played season-low six minutes at UCR.
G - 11 - T.J. Taylor - His last five baskets are 3-pointers.
F - 12 - Lewis Thomas - Has played two minutes in last three games.
F - 24 - Christian Peterson - 15 mins. vs. UCR was his high in 6 games.
C - 55 - Greg Somogyi - Has played 14 minutes in three straight.

• The Gauchos At Home
UCSB is 5-2 at home this season.  On Jan. 5, the Gauchos snapped a two-game home losing streak by defeating Cal State Fullerton, 77-64.  The consecutive losses came to San Diego State on Nov. 26 (76-75 in overtime) and UNLV on Nov. 30 (94-88 in double overtime).  While the Gauchos had a relatively modest 9-4 record at home in 2010-11, they have found great success at the Thunderdome over the years.  In the last four seasons-plus, UCSB has gone 46-15 in home games.  In 2009-10, an 11-2 home record equaled the second best single-season home winning percentage in school history at 84.9%.  In Bob Williams' 13-plus seasons in Santa Barbara, the Gauchos have posted a 127-50 home record, 72.3%.  In his last 10 seasons-plus, they have gone 101-34, 74.9%. 

• Williams Is UCSB's All-Time Winner
UCSB's 58-57 win at Cal Poly on Jan. 2 pushed head coach Bob Williams to the top of the school's all-time list for coaching wins with 223.  Williams tied Pimm's mark on Dec. 13 at the University of San Diego.  He now has 224 victories in his 13-plus seasons.

• Williams Coaches 400th Game At UCSB
Thursday night's game at UC Riverside was the 400th that Bob Williams has coached since arriving at UCSB for the 1998-99 season.  Jerry Pimm holds the school's all-time record of for games coached with 424.  Pimm coached the program from 1983-98.

• Johnson Approaches Milestone
Orlando Johnson scored 23 points in Thursday's overtime loss at UC Riverside and in doing so, he approached another scoring milestone.  Johnson now has 1,482 points, the fifth highest total in UCSB history and needs just 18 to become the fifth Gaucho to hit the 1,500 mark.  His next target on the list after that will be Mark Hull who completed his career with 1,580 points.

• Nunnally  Hits A Milestone
James Nunnally scored 16 points in Thursday's game against the Highlanders and, in the process, became the ninth Gaucho to move past 1,400 in his career.  Nunnally enters the game against UC Irvine with 1,404 points and needs just 8 to move into eighth-place all-time and 17 to move into seventh.

• Playing The Percentages
UCSB limited UC Riverside to 37.7% shooting from the field on Thursday night.  After getting off to a perfect 5-for-5 start, the Highlanders went 18-for-56 (32.1%) over the final 41 minutes to finish 23-of-61.  In the previous game, the Gauchos held Cal State Fullerton to 34.3% shooting, the lowest mark the Titans have recorded this season.  Santa Barbara has yet to allow a Big West opponent to shoot better than 40.0% from the field.  In fact, the 37.7% that Riverside made equaled the best by a league opponent through three games.  In the three league games, UCSB is allowing opponents to  make just 36.5% of their shots.  In 12 games overall, opponents are shooting 40.5%.  The Gauchos have held opponents below 40.0% from the field eight times this season, including  times in seven home games.  The highest field goal percentage by an opponent this season was the 48.3% that BYU shot on Dec. 22.  On the other side of the coin, UCSB is shooting 45.4% as a team and has been over 40.0% 11 times in 13 games and over 50.0% three times.  On Thursday, however, they made a season-low 36.4%.

• Around The Blocks  
Through 13 games, UCSB has 79 blocked shots, an average of 6.1 per game, first in the Big West and 12th in the nation.  Senior Greg Somogyi, who has moved into the No. 2 spot on the school's all-time career list, leads the way with 27, 2.1 per game.  In fact, Somogyi has 27 in just 156 minutes this season.  After four games, the Gauchos had 17 blocked shots, 4.2 per game, but in the last nine games they have turned away 62 opponent attempts, 6.9 per game.  They recorded a season-high 11 blocked shots in two games this season, Nov. 26 vs. San Diego State and Dec. 13 at the University of San Diego.  The 11 blocks rank as the sixth most in UCSB history.  In 2010-11, The Gauchos set a school record with 133 swats, an average of 4.1 per game.  On Thursday night at UC Riverside, freshman Alan Williams blocked five shots against the Highlanders to become the third Santa Barbara player with at least five blocks in a game this season,  Somogyi and Jaimé Serna have also turned the trick.

• Johnson Takes On Leadership Role
Orlando Johnson has really taken on a leadership role with UCSB.  Forget for a second his role as a fifth-year senior for the Gauchos.  Johnson leads the team in four out of the five major statistical categories.  He paces the way in scoring at 20.6 points per game, rebounding at 6.8 per game, assists at 3.0 per game and steals with 12 in 13 games.  The last player to lead the team in those four categories in the same year was 1987-88 when Brian Shaw did so, averaging 13.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game. 

• Feb. 4 UCSB-Cal State Fullerton Added To TV Schedule
ESPN has chosen the Saturday, Feb. 4 game between UCSB and Cal State Fullerton as its "Wild Card" selection and will air it on ESPNU beginning at 6:00 p.m.  The game at Fullerton was chosen from among the four Big West Conference games being played that night.  The addition of the Gauchos-Titans match-up to the league's TV slate gives Santa Barbara six appearances during the conference schedule.  The other games scheduled to air will be Jan. 21 vs. Long Beach State (ESPNU), Jan. 28 at Pacific (ESPN3), Feb. 11 vs. UC Riverside (Prime Ticket), Feb. 22 at Long Beach State (ESPN2) and Feb. 25 vs. Cal Poly (ESPNU).  UCSB's Feb. 18 ESPNU/Bracketbuster game could bring the total to seven.

• Orlando Johnson
Orlando Johnson has scored 23 points in each of the last two games and on Thursday at UCR, he snapped out of a two-game shooting slump by making 8-of-16 shots from the field...He also equaled his season-high with four assists in the game. ..It was the sixth time he has had four assists in a game this season... Johnson is now averaging 20.6 points per game, tops in the Big West, and he has scored 20 or more nine times in 13 games...Johnson leads the team with four double-doubles this season.  He posted double-doubles UNLV (Season-high 36 points, 10 rebounds), Washington (24 points, 10 rebounds), Portland (26 points, 12 rebounds) and Westmont College (20 points, 12 rebounds)...After a stretch when he made just 1-for-8 from the free throw line, he has made 16 of his last 17 over two games...With 1,482 points, he needs just 18 to become the fifth player in school history to score more than 1,500 points...Including the 383 points he scored as a freshman at Loyola Marymount, Johnson now has 1,865 in his collegiate career. 

• James Nunnally
James Nunnally is second on the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game...He scored 16 on 5-of-16 from the field on Thursday night...Nunnally is the only Gaucho to score in double figures in every game this season...Scored a season-high 24 points vs. Santa Clara and has been over 20 in four games...Second on the team at 6.2 rebounds per game...Tied a season-high with eight rebounds vs. UCR...Although he doesn't have a double-double this year, Nunnally has eight rebounds in two straight and six times in 13 games...With his 16 points on Thursday, he became the ninth player in school history to eclipse the 1,400 point barrier and now has 1,404...Needs 56 points to move into sixth-place all-time.

• Jaimé Serna
Jaimé Serna missed UCSB's game at Riverside on Thursday...Third on the team in scoring at 9.8 points per game, fourth in rebounding at 4.5 per game and second in blocked shots with 16...Easily leads the team in field goal percentage at 69.2%...Serna has hit 280-of-499 field goals in his career, 56.1%, the third highest mark in school history...Scored a career-high 22 points and had a career-high five blocks in a Dec. 13 win at San Diego...Had 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Portland, his second career double-double...Serna has scored in double-figures six times this season...Averaged 7.5 rebounds in his last two games.

• Alan Williams
Freshman Alan Williams made his second start on Thursday at UCR and set career-highs in rebounds with 11 and blocked shots with five...Also added nine points...In three Big West games, Williams has 29 rebounds over 75 minutes, 9.7 per game...Overall, he is now third on the team at 5.3 rebounds per game despite averaging just 12.2 minutes...Had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds on Jan. 2 at Cal Poly...In the three Big West games, he is averaging 9.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots.

• Kyle Boswell
Kyle Boswell had six points on a pair of three-pointers on Thursday night at UCR...Averaging 7.2 points per game, fourth on the team, and is second with 20 three-pointers...Has made at least one three in 12 of 13 games and two or more six times...Scored career-high 15 vs Westmont College...Has 10 or more points four times...Played a career-high 31 minutes vs. UCR.

• Keegan Hornbuckle
Keegan Hornbuckle made his first start at Riverside and finished with six points and three rebounds in a career-high 23 minutes...Averaging 7.5 points and 4.0 boards in the last two games...Scored season-high 11 on Dec. 16 at Washington...Transfer from Colorado missed season's first five games.

• Around The Key
After starting the first nine games, Nate Garth has come off the bench in the last four.  Garth did not play in the second half at Riverside and had no assists for the second time in four games...After playing season-low two minutes vs. Fullerton, had 22 at Riverside, scoring three points and passing off for two assists.  Taylor's last five baskets have been three-pointers and has not made a two-pointer since Nov. 30 vs. UNLV...Greg Somogyi is second in UCSB history with 164 blocked shots.