UCSB Travels to Utah State Saturday to Open Final Road Stretch of Season

UCSB Travels to Utah State Saturday to Open Final Road Stretch of Season

This Week
Game No. 23
Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Utah State Aggies
at Utah State's Smith Spectrum
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video/Television: ESPN3 and ESPN Fullcourt

Game No. 24
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Long Beach State 49ers

at LBSU's Walter Pyramid
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Television: ESPN2

• The Gauchos On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB and will stream live online at UCSBgauchos.com and NewsPress.com. Gerry Fall is in his eighth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford  and Santa Barbara News-Press legend Mark Patton handle the color commentary. 

• Talk'n Gauchos
UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show, Talk'n Gauchos, airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from The Beachside Café, located on Goleta Beach and it features UCSB coaches and athletes.  Hosted by Gerry Fall, The Voice of the Gauchos,  and Matt Hurst.  The show can also be accessed line online by clicking here.

Gauchos Play At Utah State Before Traveling To Long Beach State For Road Finale
UC Santa Barbara travels to Logan, Utah on Saturday for a Sears BracketBuster game against Utah State.  The Gauchos-Aggies tilt has been picked up by ESPN3 and ESPN Fullcourt.  Utah State was a longtime member of the Big West before jumping to the Western Athletic Conference.  The teams also met in a BracketBuster game in 2008 with the Aggies posting a 72-59 victory.  2012 marks the eighth year that UCSB has played in the BracketBuster series.  It is also the fifth time in the series that the Gauchos have played a former Big West opponent.  In addition to the two games against Utah State, they have played San Jose State (2006), Fresno State (2010) and Boise State (2011).  After the game in Logan, UCSB will play its final road game of the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Big West-frontrunner Long Beach State.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB is 14-8 overall and 9-3 in the Big West Conference, tied with Cal State Fullerton for second-place.  The Gauchos have won two straight games.  On Saturday, Feb. 11, they came from 11 points down in the second half to win an ugly 60-52 game over visiting UC Riverside.  Wednesday night, at UC Irvine, they posted a much more artistic 85-62 win.  Overall, UCSB has won five of its last six games.      

...And Then There Were Two
Looking back at UCSB basketball schedules throughout the years, few, if any, compare with the 2011-12 schedule.  Not only have the Gauchos played one of their roughest schedules in terms of opponents, they have also had one of the most challenging because of the travel.  After beginning the season with six-straight home games in November, two of which were against nationally ranked teams, UCSB did not play a home game in December.  The Gauchos departed Santa Barbara on Dec. 12 for a game at the University of San Diego and returned home on Dec. 23 after also playing games at Washington, Cal and BYU.  UCSB then opened league play on Jan. 2 at Cal Poly before playing four of five games at home.  After playing Long Beach State at the Thunderdome on Jan. 21, the Gauchos began a stretch that will ultimately see them play seven out of eight games on the road.  The Feb. 11 home game against UC Riverside will have been the only home game over a 34 day period. 

Williams Approaches 700th Game As Head Coach
UCSB head coach Bob Williams has already hit two milestones this year.  On Jan. 2 at Cal Poly, he won the 223rd game of his Gaucho coaching career, breaking Jerry Pimm's previous mark of 222 wins.  On Jan. 12 at UC Riverside, he coached his 400th game at UCSB.  Now, he is approaching one more career signpost.  On Feb. 22 at Long Beach State, Williams will coach the 700th game of his career.

Johnson Becomes Fourth Gaucho Over 1,600 Points, Closes In On Scoring Record
On Feb. 4 at Cal State Fullerton, senior guard Orlando Johnson became the fourth player in UCSB history to score more than 1,600 points.  He also moved past Chris Devine and into third place on the all-time scoring list in that same game.  On Feb. 15 at UC Irvine, he scored 25 points and now has 1,652 in his career.  Johnson enters Saturday's game at Utah State needing 45 points to pass Carrick DeHart (1,687 points from 1986-90) and Alex Harris (1,696 points from 2004-08) and become the school's all-time leader.

Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Averaging 10.2 ppg and shooting 88.9% from the free throw line on the road.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - After going 0-for-5 from 3-point range on Feb. 11 vs. UCR, was 1-for-1 at UC Irvine.
F 15 Alan Williams - Grabbed six or more rebounds 10 times in the last 12 games.
G 21 James Nunnally - On Feb. 11, became sixth Gaucho over 1,500 points and now has 1,513.
G 33 Orlando Johnson- Needs 45 more points to become UCSB's all-time leading scorer.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Tied career-high with six assists in win at UC Irvine.  UCSB is 8-1 when he has 4+.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Second on team in steals despite ranking ninth in minutes played. 
G 10 Kyle Boswell- Had career-highs of 19 points and five three-point baskets on Feb. 15 at UC Irvine.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Logged eight minutes in Feb. 15 win at UC Irvine.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Played 28 minutes in last two games, most in back-to-back since December.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - Had six points, six rebounds and four blocked shots in 18 minutes vs. UC Irvine.

The Opponents
UCSB and Utah State have played 61 times in a series that began in 1971.  The Aggies hold a 39-22 all-time advantage and have won the last six in a row.  The last time the teams met was on Nov. 17, 2008 at the Thunderdome with Utah State posting a 61-59 win.  The teams last met in Logan, Utah in a BracketBusters game on Feb. 22, 2008 and the Aggies won that game as well, 72-59.  UCSB last won in Logan on Jan. 16, 1999, 66-65 in overtime. According to our records, UCSB and Long Beach State have played 112 times in a series that dates to 1952.  The 49ers hold a narrow 57-55 advantage, including a resoiunding 71-48 win in Santa Barbara on Jan. 21.  LBSU swept the regular season series in 2010-11, winning 71-55 in Santa Barbara and 71-53 in Long Beach.  The Gauchos, however, beat the 49ers 64-56 in the championship game of the Big West Tournament.  It marked the second straight year that UCSB beat its rival in the league tournament title game.  Incidentally, Santa Barbara has played Long Beach State more than any other opponent.

UCSB is 6-5 in road games in 2011-12, including 5-2 in the Big West.  After winning at San Diego on Dec. 13, the Gauchos dropped three straight, at Washington, Cal and BYU.  UCSB has now won four of its last five road games, including an 85-62 win at UC Irvine on Wednesday.  

Gauchos Surpass Last Year's Big West Win Total
UCSB defeated UC Riverside on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 85-62.  The win over the Anteaters moved the Gauchos' record to 9-3 in Big West play and the nine wins surpasses their conference win total of 2011.  Last season, Santa Barbara finished fifth in the Big West with an 8-8 record.

Three-Point Rollercoaster Hits Another High Note 
UCSB has been on a three-point rollercoaster in recent games.  On Feb. 4 at Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos made 11-of-18 three-point attempts, 61.1%.  Both the makes and the percentage were season-highs, and while that performance paled in comparison to what the Titans did that night – 17-of-26, 65.4% – it was a pretty good effort.  One game later, on Feb. 11 vs. UC Riverside, UCSB had one of its worst three-point shooting games of the season.  After missing all nine of their attempts in the first half, the Gauchos settled for a 3-for-15 night against the Highlanders, 20.0%.  In their last game, the rollercoaster car hit another high-mark.  Led by Kyle Boswell who made a career-best 5-of-8, UCSB made 11-of-20 as a team, 55.0%.  It was the fourth time this season that the Gauchos made 50.0% or better of their three-point attempts.  On the other end of the spectrum, since Fullerton had its record-setting three-point barrage, the last two opponents have combined to go 7-of-34, 20.6%.

Defense Does Matter  
On Feb. 11, UCSB defeated UC Riverside 60-52.  The 52 points were the second fewest the Gauchos have allowed in a game this season, just four more than the 48 they allowed in the season opener against Chapman on Nov. 11.  On Wednesday, Santa Barbara beat UC Irvine 85-62.  In 22 games this season, UCSB has allowed fewer than 70 points 13 times, winning each time.  The 13-0 record is in stark contrast to the 1-8 record the team has allowed 70 or more.  Actually, the only win in those nine was an 85-70 win at Cal State Northridge, so the Gauchos are 14-0 when allowing 70 points or less.

That 80s Show
UCSB scored 85 points in its win at UC Irvine on Feb. 15, its fourth highest point total this season.   It was also the ninth time the Gauchos have scored 80 points or more in 2011-12.  The last time the Gauchos scored at least 80 points in nine or more games was in 1989-90 when they hit the mark 10 times. 

For Starters, Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Through the first nine games this season, UCSB's starting lineup joined death and taxes on the list of things that are automatic.  In those first nine, the Gauchos started Orlando Johnson, James Nunnally, Jaimé Serna, Nate Garth and Christian Peterson.  Beginning with game No. 10 things went off kilter.  If you include game No. 9, which had the original starting five, UCSB has started seven different lineups in the last 14 games.  Over that span, only two lineups have started more than once.  One of those two lineups has started each of the last six games and includes Johnson, Nunnally, Serna, Alan Williams and T.J. Taylor Finally, If you don't include freshman John Green, who broke a bone in his foot in the first regular season game, all 11 Gaucho players have started at least one game this season.  Johnson and Nunnally are the only players on the team to start all 21 games this season.  

Let Free Throws Ring
UCSB made 14-of-16 free throws in its win at UC Irvine on Wednesday night and, for the first time since the second game of the season, the Gauchos are making 70.0% of their free throws overall.  In the last eight games, Santa Barbara has made 108-of-146 from the charity stripe, 74.0%, to raise the overall mark to 70.0% on the money.

UCSB Takes Aim At School Blocks Record
UCSB blocked four shots in its Feb. 15 win at UC Irvine and the Gauchos remain well on their way to breaking the school record for blocks in a season.  Through 22 games, UCSB has 121 swats, an average of 5.5 per game, first in the Big West.  The record was set by last year's Gauchos with 133.  With at least six games left, Santa Barbara would need to average just 2.1 per game to set a new standard.  Senior Greg Somogyi, who ranks second in school history with 174 blocks, leads the way this year with 38.  Somogyi, however, is getting a run for his money from freshman Alan Williams who has 29 swats, including 23 in Big West games.  Orlando Johnson (21) and Jaimé Serna (20) are also in double-figures.  Also, Somogyi, Williams and Serna have each blocked at least five shots in a game this season

Approach The Bench
In its 60-52 win over UC Riverside on Feb. 11, the UCSB bench scored a season-low seven points.  Its previous season-low of eight came on Dec. 13 at the University of San Diego.  In Tuesday night's 85-62 win at UC Irvine, the Gaucho bench turned its fortunes around, scoring a season-high 39 points.  Kyle Boswell was a big chunk of that season-high output with a career-high 19, but he wasn't alone.  Nate Garth added nine, Greg Somogyi had six and Keegan Hornbuckle scored five.  The previous high output by UCSB's bench came on Nov. 18 when it scored 31 points in a win over Westmont College.  The Gaucho bench has scored 20 or more points 10 times and fewer than 10 three times.  Overall, the bench averages 19.1 points per game on the season.  The team's leading bench scorer on the season is Boswell.  Of his 168 points on the season, 26 came in four starts, 6.5 per game, and 142 came in 18 games off the bench, an average of 7.9 per game.

Johnson Makes His Points
Orlando Johnson, who was included on the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-25 List, had his most efficient, and one of his best, offensive games of the season on Wednesday night at UC Irvine.  Johnson made 9-of-11 shots overall, including both of his three-point attempts, 5-of-6 free throws and scored 25 points.  He also added 10 rebounds and four assists.  It was his fifth double-double of the season, but his first since Dec. 16 at Washington.  Johnson leads the team in scoring (19.9 points per game) and assists (3.2 per game).  If he maintains his lead in those two categories, he would become the first Gaucho since 2004-05 to lead the team in scoring and assists.   Johnson has led the Gauchos in scoring in nine of the last 11 games and 15 times this season.  He has scored 20 or more 14 times and 25 or more six times, including three of the last four games.  Johnson has scored in double-figures 21 times in 22 games and 82 times in 84 games during his career.  He's scored 20 or more a record 43 times at UCSB.  The Seaside, Calif., native tallied a season-high 36 points to go with 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots in Santa Barbara's double-overtime loss to nationally-ranked UNLV on Nov. 30.  The 36 points were his second highest total ever and the double-double was one of five that he has recorded this season.  In addition to UNLV and UC Irvine, he's had double-doubles against Washington (24 points and 10 rebounds), Portland (26 points and 12 rebounds) and Westmont College (20 points and 12 rebounds).  The 25 points that Johnson scored in the Gauchos' last game pushed his UCSB career total to 1,652 third all-time.  He needs 45 more to move past Carrick DeHart and Alex Harris and into first in school history.  If the 383 points that Johnson scored as a freshman at Loyola Marymount are factored in, he has now tallied 2,035 in his collegiate career.  Also, he leads the team in three-point baskets with 43 and has 155 in his career, ninth in school history.  

The Flying Nunnally
James Nunnally scored just seven points, grabbed six rebounds and had three assists in Wednesday's game at UC Irvine.  It was Nunnally's second lowest point total of the season, but he played just 26 minutes, his third fewest this season, and attempted a mere eight shots, equaling his second fewest of the year.  Nunnally is second on the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game and third in rebounding at 6.0 per game.  He has been in double-figures 20 times in 22 games this season and has scored 20 or more four times, including a season-high 24 on Nov. 15 against Santa Clara.  Also, by scoring seven in the last game, Nunnally has pushed his career point total to 1,513, sixth in school history.  He needs 68 to move into fifth all-time.  He has had five or more rebounds 17 times this season and he collected a season-high nine on Jan. 14 against UC Irvine.  He is also playing the part of playmaker these days, averaging 2.5 assists per game.  He has passed off for two or more 17 times, including the last 15 games in a row.  Finally, prior to making one three-pointer on Wednesday, he had made two three-point baskets in three straight games for the first time this season.  Nunnally now has 31 threes on the year.  In his career, he has 161 three-pointers and ranks eighth on UCSB's career list.  He needs just three more to move into sixth-place all-time. 

A DisSERNAble Difference
Jaimé Serna played just 18 minutes in Wednesday's win over UC Irvine, scoring four points, grabbing a pair of rebounds and passing off for two assists.  The 18 minutes were his fewest in seven games.  On Feb. 11 against UC Riverside, in a game when the they struggled as a whole offensively, Serna helped save the Gauchos bacon.  While everybody else but James Nunnally had issues on the offensive end of the floor, Serna shined, making 7-of-10 shots and scoring a game-high 19 points, including 10 in the last five minutes.  Serna also had a game-high nine rebounds in the victory.  Overall, he is averaging 9.4 points per game, third on the team, but in the last six games he has averaged 11.8 points per game.  In the last weekend of January, he had, arguably, the best regular season weekend of his career.  On Jan. 26 at UC Davis, Serna scored 18 points and did so by making 9-of-10 shots, his best shooting performance as a Gaucho and the best by any UCSB player since Mike Vukovich was a perfect 12-for-12 in a win at Pacific on Feb. 3, 2001.  On Jan. 28 at Pacific, he scored 15 points and collected a career-high 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.   For his efforts, he was named Big West Player of the Week.  He remains fourth on the team in rebounding at 4.8 per game, but he has averaged 7.0 in the last five games.  He is also fourth in blocks with 20.  By making 25-of-38 shots in the Gauchos' last five games, Serna is now shooting a sparkling 65.5% from the field for the season.  In his career, he has made 309 out of 547 shots, 56.5%, the third highest mark in school history.  Also, he now has 830 career points.  Finally, with 20 blocked shots this season, he has 76 in his career, eighth in school history.

Not The "Other" Williams For Long
Freshman forward Alan Williams picked up two quick fouls in both the first and second halves of Wednesday night's game at UC Irvine and was limited to a mere eight minutes.  He finished with four points and two rebounds, easily his least productive game since he started seeing regular minutes when Big West play began in January.  Williams had five points in 20 minutes on Feb. 11 against UC Riverside and so has averaged 4.5 points per game in the last two.  The production lull has come on the heels of consecutive double-figure games.  He had a career-high 19 points on Feb. 2 at Cal State Northridge and then 14 on Feb. 4 at Cal State Fullerton.  Williams has started the last 11 games and he has responded in a big way, averaging 9.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots over that span.  He has two double-doubles on the season.  On Jan. 2 at Cal Poly, he came off the bench to scored 13 points and grab 10 rebounds and on Jan. 26 at UC Davis, he had 14 points and 12 boards.  Overall, he has scored in double-figures five times, including four of the last seven, and he has had 10 or more rebounds four times, all since the start of league play.  Williams is averaging a team-leading 6.3 rebounds per game overall and 8.1 per game in Big West. He has had five or more rebounds in 14 out of his 21 appearances and had a career-high 13 in UCSB's Jan. 14 win over UC Irvine.  In fact, he is the only player on the team with more offensive rebounds (67) than defensive rebounds (65).  In the team's Jan. 12 overtime loss at UC Riverside, Williams had nine points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots, tying Greg Somogyi's record for blocks by a freshman.  He repeated the five-block performance on Jan. 26 at UC Davis.  Overall, he now has 29 blocked shots on the season, third on UCSB's all-time freshman list and he is within 10 of Doug Muse's record of 39.  Williams currently has 132 rebounds on the season, sixth most by a freshman in school history.   

Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell had a career best 19 points, making 7-of-10 shots from the field and 5-of-8 from outside the three-point arc.  The five three-pointers were also a personal best for Boswell and the most by a Gaucho player this season.  In the previous game, Feb. 11 vs. UC Riverside, he set a career-high with six assists.  Boswell is averaging 7.6 points per game, fourth on the team.  He's scored 10 or more points six times this season.  He scored his previous career-high of 15 on Nov. 18 against Westmont.  In a Jan. 26 game at UC Davis, he made four three-point baskets.  In the next game, at Pacific on Jan. 28, he scored eight, including a three-point basket with 29 seconds left to break a tie and push UCSB to victory.   Boswell is second on the team in three-point field goals with 40 and he is tops in three-point percentage at 42.1%.  In the last six games, he has made 16 out of his 30 three-point attempts, 53.3%, and in the last four he is 10-of-16, 62.5%.  Boswell has made at least two three-point baskets in five of the last six, six of the last eight and 12 times overall.  He has hit at least one three-pointer in 17 straight and 21 times in 22 games.  Finally, in eight games since playing a season-low six minutes in a Jan. 14 win over UC Irvine, Boswell has averaged 23.0 minutes per game.

Tall Tales
After totaling just 41 minutes and scoring a total of just six points in five previous games, Greg Somogyi had one of his best all-around games in Wednesday night's win at UC Irvine.  Somogyi played 18 minutes, his second highest total of the season, and had six points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.  He is averaging 3.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and a team-leading 1.7 blocked shots per game.  The five-game stretch with just 41 minutes played came immediately on the heels of a Jan. 21 game against Long Beach State in which Somogyi played a season-high 19 minutes, made 5-of-6 shots and scored a season-high 10 points.   The 10-point performance against the 49ers came one game after he had a career-high 10 rebounds in a win over Cal State Northridge.   Somogyi has had four or more rebounds 12 times this season. He has also had at least one blocked shot in 15 games and two or more 10 times.  He recorded a season-high six swats on Nov. 26 vs. San Diego State, two shy of his school record.  He has 174 blocks in his career, second all-time.   

Taylor Made
Freshman T.J. Taylor has started the last six games for UCSB, the first starts of his career, and the team has gone 5-1.  In the Gauchos' last game, at UC Irvine, he rebounded from his poorest game of the season with a solid effort.  Against the Anteaters, Taylor made 2-of-2 from the field, including his only three-point attempt, and finished with six points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist.  One game earlier, against UC Riverside, he was just 1-of-8 from the field, including 0-for-5 from outside the three-point arc.  It was his worst shooting performance of the season.  On the year, Taylor is averaging 3.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.  On the season, he has 42 assists and a mere 20 turnovers, a 2.1-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio, best on the team.   Also, he now has 16 three-point baskets on the season, fourth on the team.     

Sophomore Keegan Hornbuckle scored five points on 2-of-4 shooting, including 1-of-2 from three-point range, in Wednesday's win at UC Irvine. Hornbuckle has come off the bench in the last six games and has scored 17 total points over that span, 2.8 per game.  In four games as a starter, Hornbuckle scored 30 points, 7.5 per game, including a season-high 14 on Jan. 14 against UC Irvine. Overall, he is now averaging 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.  Despite ranking ninth on the team in minutes played, he is second with 18 steals.  He had nine of the steals in a two-game stretch against UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge on Jan. 14 and Jan. 19 respectively.  Hornbuckle has scored in double-figures twice.  In addition to his career-high 14 vs. UC Irvine, he had 11 on Dec. 16 at Washington.  Hornbuckle has nine three-pointers this season, including one in the last game.  He's hit two twice.

The World According To Garth
Nate Garth played 22 minutes in Wednesday's win at UC Irvine.  It was the most minutes Garth has played since he logged 23 on Dec. 13 at the University of San Diego.  The time paid off for Garth as he scored nine points, tied his season-high with six assists, grabbed one rebound and added a steal.  He did have a season-high five turnovers, but three came in the hectic final minute when the game was decided.  Garth has now had four or more assists nine times on the year and the Gauchos are 8-1 in those games.  His other six-assist game came on Nov. 22 vs. Portland.  The nine points were three shy of his season-high of 12 set at Cal Poly on Jan. 2.