Gauchos Start Home Stretch With Cal Poly on ESPNU Saturday

UCSB Thunderdome Crowd (Photo by Vince Agapito)
UCSB Thunderdome Crowd (Photo by Vince Agapito)

Game No. 25
Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Mustangs

at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:
Television: ESPNU

• 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 and 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 Return Home For Final Three Games
With all deference to Thomas Wolfe, you can go home again.  After playing seven of its last eight games on the road, a period that spanned 34 days, the UC Santa Barbara basketball team will return home for its final three regular season games of the 2011-12 season.  First-up will be Central Coast rival Cal Poly.  The Gauchos and Mustangs will play an 8:00 p.m. game on Saturday, Feb. 25.  The game will be televised by ESPNU.  Next weekend, UCSB will host Pacific and UC Davis in its final two regular season games.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB is 15-9 overall and 9-4 in the Big West Conference, one-game back of Cal State Fullerton for second-place.  The Gauchos a three-game winning streak ended on Wednesday when they lost on the road to first-place Long Beach State.  Still, Santa Barbara has won six of its last eight and eight of its last 11, including four of five games at the Thunderdome.          

Johnson Moves Into Second All-Time In Scoring, Nears No. 1 Spot
On Wednesday night at Long Beach State, Orlando Johnson scored 20 points in the Gauchos 70-58 loss to the 49ers.  The 20 points moved Johnson past Carrick DeHart and into second on UCSB's all-time scoring list with 1,694 points.  DeHart, who played four seasons in Santa Barbara, completed his career in 1990 with 1,687 points.  Johnson is now within two points of tying Alex Harris (2004-08) for the No. 1 spot on the school's all-time scoring his.  If he can muster three points against Cal Poly on Saturday night, he would be come the all-time leader in just under three seasons.  If Johnson can score six points, he would become the first player in school history to eclipse 1,700 points. 

Williams Coaches 700th Game
UCSB head coach Bob Williams had 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.  On Wednesday at Long Beach State, he hit another career mark when he coached the 700th game of his collegiate coaching career.  Prior to arriving in Santa Barbara for the 1998-99 season, Williams coached at Menlo College and UC Davis.  

Nunnally Ascends Too
Orlando Johnson's ascent up UCSB's all-time scoring list has overshadowed the performance of senior James Nunnally.  Nunnally scored 13 points in Wednesday's game at Long Beach State and now has 1,550 for his career.  He is one of just six players in school history to score more than 1,500 points and needs just 31 to move past Mark Hull and into fifth on the all-time list.  With a minimum of four games remaining in the season, it is conceivable that Nunnally could become the fifth player in school history to score 1,600 points and he will threaten Chris Devine's hold on the No. 4 spot with 1,607 points.

Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Attempted just one shot in 20 minutes on Wednesday at Long Beach State.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Has 11 assists and two turnovers in the last six games.
F 15 Alan Williams - Grabbed six or more rebounds 11 times in the last 14 games.
G 21 James Nunnally - Has double-double last two games.  Had 12 boards at Long Beach.
G 33 Orlando Johnson- Scored 20 or more points in five of the last six games.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Has had three or more assists 10 times this season and Gauchos have gone 9-1.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Second on team in steals despite ranking ninth in minutes played. 
G 10 Kyle Boswell- Has made 13 of his last 22 three-point attempts, 59.1%.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Has played in just four of the last nine games.  
F 24 Christian Peterson - Averaged 3.5 rebounds per game in the last two.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - Has 176 career blocked shots, second on UCSB's all-time list.

Johnson Named Big West Player Of The Week
Senior guard Orlando Johnson was named Big West Player of the Week on Monday.  It was the sixth time that Johnson has earned the honor, tying him with Long Beach State's Casper Ware and Larry Anderson for third on the all-time list.  Johnson made 9-of-11 shots overall, including both three-point attempts, had 25 points, 10 rebound and four assists in a win over UC Irvine.  On Saturday at Utah State, he had 22 points and five rebounds, making 7-of-12 shots overall and 4-of-7 from three-point territory.  The four three-point baskets were a season-high for Johnson.

Gauchos Surpass Last Year's Big West Win Total
UCSB defeated UC Irvine  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.

That 70s Show 
On Feb. 18, UCSB won at Utah State 72-64.  In 24 games this season, UCSB has allowed fewer than 70 points 14 times, winning each time.  The 14-0 record is in stark contrast to the 1-9 record the team has allowed 70 or more.  Actually, on Wednesday night, Long Beach State scored exactly 70 points, the fewest points scored by an opponent in a Gaucho defeat this season.

That 80s Show
UCSB scored 85 points in its win at UC Irvine on Feb. 15, it was the 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. 

In Defense Of The Three-Pointers
In its Feb. 4 loss at Cal State Fullerton, UCSB allowed the Titans to make a blistering 17-of-26 shots from three-point range, 65.4%.  The 17 threes tied a Gaucho opponent record and set a Fullerton record.  In the four games since, UCSB has significantly shored-up its three-point defense.  On Feb. 11 against UC Riverside, the game immediately following the Fullerton game, the Highlanders made 1-of-13 shots from outside the arc, 7.7%, the lowest mark by an opponent this season.  Overall, the last four opponents – UCR, UC Irvine, Utah State and Long Beach State – have combined to make just 17 out of 70 three-point attempts, 24.3%.

A Lot Of Turnover 
The Gauchos could point to a number of reasons for their loss at Long Beach State on Wednesday night, but there was one culprit that stood above the rest: turnovers.  It was one thing that UCSB had a season-high 20 turnovers against the 49ers, but even more telling was the result of those turnovers.  The Gauchos allowed 24 points off of their turnovers and scored just four off of Long Beach's nine miscues.  

Nothing Is Free 
UCSB made just 14-of-25 free throw attempts on Wednesday at Long Beach State.  The Gauchos started the night by missing eight of their first 12 before making 10 of their final 13.  Still, 56.0% was the second lowest free throw percentage of the season for Santa Barbara.  The Gauchos made 6-of-11 from the line, 54.5%, on Dec. 19 at Cal.  

Johnson Makes His Points
Orlando Johnson, who was included on the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-25 List that was released last month, scored 20 points and had seven rebounds in UCSB's game at Long Beach State on Wednesday.  Johnson has now scored 20 or more points in three straight games and five of the last six.  In the last six games, he has averaged 22 points per game.  In the last three games, he has made 24-of-39 shots from the field, 61.5%, and 7-of-13 from three-point range, 53.8%.  On Feb. 15 at UC Irvine,  Johnson scored 25 points and added 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season, his first since Dec. 16 at Washington.  Johnson leads the team in scoring (20.0 points per game) and assists (3.0 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.   He has led the Gauchos in scoring in 10 of the last 12 games and 16 times this season.  He has scored 20 or more 16 times and 25 or more six times.  Johnson has scored in double-figures 23 times in 24 games and 84 times in 85 games during his career.  He's scored 20 or more a record 45 times at UCSB.  The Seaside, Calif., native tallied a season-high 36 points to go with 10 rebounds in Santa Barbara's double-overtime loss to nationally-ranked UNLV on Nov. 30.  The 36 points were his second highest total ever.  In addition to UNLV, Washington and UC Irvine, he's had double-doubles against Portland (26 points and 12 rebounds) and Westmont College (20 points and 12 rebounds).  The 20 points that Johnson scored in the Gauchos' last game pushed his UCSB career total to 1,694 second all-time.  On Wednesday, he passed Carrick DeHart for second on the all-time list.  Johnson needs three points to move past 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 2,077 in his collegiate career.  Also, he leads the team in three-point baskets with 48 and has 160 in his career, ninth in school history.  In the last five games, Johnson has made 11 out of 21 three-point attempts, 52.4%. 

The Flying Nunnally
James Nunnally has had consecutive double-doubles.  On Wednesday at Long Beach State, Nunnally had 13 points and a season-high 12 rebounds.  A week ago, at Utah State, he had his best game of the year and one of the best of his career.  Against the Aggies, Nunnally tied his season-high with 24 points and he pulled down 11 rebounds.  He made 9-of-14 shots overall and 3-of-4 from three-point range.  Nunnally is second on the team in scoring at 15.0 points per game and he leads the team in rebounding at 6.4 per game.  He has been in double-figures 22 times in 24 games this season and has scored 20 or more five times.  Also, by scoring 13 in the last game, Nunnally has moved his career point total to 1,550, sixth in school history.  He needs 31 to move into fifth all-time.  He has had five or more rebounds 19 times this season.  Nunnally is also acting the part of playmaker these days, averaging 2.4 assists per game.  He has passed off for two or more 18 times, including 16 of the last 17  Also, he had made two or more three-point baskets in four of the last six games and nine times this season.  Nunnally now has 35 threes on the year.  In his career, he has 165 three-pointers and ranks sixth on UCSB's career list.  

A DisSERNAble Difference
Jaimé Serna scored just one point in UCSB's game at Long Beach State on Wednesday.  In his 20 minutes, Serna attempted just one field goal and two free throws.  He did add five rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal before he fouled out for the third time this season.  In three games since scoring 19 points on Feb. 11 vs. UC Riverside, Serna has totaled just 12 points, 4.0 per game.  In those three games, he attempted a mere 10 shots in 67 minutes.   Overall, he is averaging 8.9 points per game, third on the team, and 4.8 rebounds per outing, fourth on the team. 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, a career first.  Serna is also third on the team in blocks with 23 and now has 79 in his career, eighth in school history.  By making 28-of-45 shots in the Gauchos' last eight games, Serna is now shooting a team-leading 64.7% from the field for the season.  In his career, he has made 312 out of 554 shots, 56.4%, the third highest mark in school history.  Also, he now has 838 career points.  

The "Other" Williams 
Freshman forward Alan Williams had six points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in Wednesday's game at Long Beach State.  He made only 3-of-9 shots from the field and missed all five of his free throw attempts.  In two previous games, Williams played just 14 total minutes because of foul problems.  On the season, he is now averaging 6.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots per game.  In 13 Big West games, Williams is averaging 9.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.  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 13 games  and he's paid big dividends, averaging 9.0 points and 8.0 boards 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 and he has had 10 or more rebounds four times, all since the start of league play.  He has had five or more rebounds in 15 out of his 23 appearances and had a career-high 13 in UCSB's Jan. 14 win over UC Irvine.  He is the only player on the team with more offensive rebounds (73) than defensive rebounds (69).  Williams has blocked five shots twice this season, tying Greg Somogyi's freshman record  Overall, he now has 32 blocked shots on the season, third on UCSB's all-time freshman list and he is within seven of Doug Muse's record of 39.  Williams currently has 142 rebounds on the season, fourth most by a freshman in school history.   

Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell had 11 points in 20 minutes off the bench at Long Beach State on Wednesday.  It was the second time in the last three games that Boswell has scored in double-figures.  On Feb. 15 at UC Irvine, he 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 7.7 points per game, fourth on the team.  He's scored 10 or more points seven times this season.   In a Jan. 26 game at UC Davis, he made four three-point baskets.  Boswell is second on the team in three-point field goals with 43 and he is tops in three-point percentage at 42.6%.  In the last seven games, he has made 19 out of his 36 three-point attempts, 52.7%, and in the last four he is 13-of-22, 59.1%.  Boswell has made at least two three-point baskets in six of the last eight, seven of the last 10 and 13 times overall.  He has hit at least one three-pointer in 18 straight and 23 times in 24 games.  

Tall Tales
Greg Somogyi played 16 minutes in UCSB's game at Long Beach State.  He was 3-for-5 from the field and scored seven points.  Somogyi also had four rebounds, one assist and a blocked shot.  The seven points wer the most he has had since he made 5-of-6 shots and scored a season-high 10 against the 49ers on Jan. 21.  After playing just 41 minutes over a six-game span, Somogyi has totaled 47 in the last three.  On Feb. 15 at UC Irvine, he had one of his best all-around games with six points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.  He is averaging 3.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and a team-leading 1.7 blocked shots per game.   On Jan. 19 vs. Cal State Northridge, he had a career-high 10 rebounds.  Somogyi has had at least one blocked shot in 17 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 176 blocks in his career, second all-time.   

Taylor Made
Freshman T.J. Taylor has started the last eight games for UCSB, the first starts of his career, and the team has gone 6-2.  On Wednesday at Long Beach State, Taylor was scoreless for the second straight game, missing his only field goal attempt.   On the year, he is averaging 3.3 points, 1.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game.  Taylor has three or more assists eight times and had a high of six on Nov. 11 vs. Chapman.  Taylor has 46 assists and a mere 20 turnovers, a 2.3-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio, best on the team.   Also, his 16 three-point baskets rank fourth on the team.     

Senior Christian Peterson played 12 minutes and was scoreless at Long Beach State.  He did have three rebounds.  A week ago, at Utah State, he had his best game of the season.  Against the Aggies, Peterson played 21 minutes, easily the most since he also went 21 at San Diego on Dec. 13, and he tied his career-high with eight points, making all three of his field goal attempts.  He also grabbed four rebounds, his highest total since he collected six at Washington on Dec. 16, and has seven in his last two games.  In the last four games, he has totaled 61 minutes.  In five games prior to that, Peterson played just 24 total minutes.

The World According To Garth
Nate Garth played 15 minutes in Wednesday's game at Long Beach State.  He missed his four field goal attempts and was scoreless, but he did have a pair of assists and a steal.  On Feb. 18 at Utah State, Garth has played 24, the most since he logged 27 on Nov. 26 against San Diego State.   On Feb. 15 at UC Irvine, he played 22 minutes and had  nine points and tied his season-high with six assists.  Garth has now had three or more assists 10 times on the year and the Gauchos are 9-1 in those games.  His other six-assist game came on Nov. 22 vs. Portland.  The nine points  at Irvine were three shy of his season-high of 12 set at Cal Poly on Jan. 2 when he was 3-for-3 from three-point range.

Sophomore Keegan Hornbuckle was scoreless in six minutes at Long Beach State.  He is now scoreless in the last two games, a total of 17 minutes.  While he is averaging 4.0 points and 1.7 rebounds per game overall, Hornbuckle has scored just 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the last nine games. He had a season-high 14 points on Jan. 14 against UC Irvine.  Despite ranking 10th on the team in minutes played, he is second with 18 steals.