UCSB Salutes Five Seniors in Saturday's Home Finale Against UC Davis

Orlando Johnson (Photo by Vince Agapito)
Orlando Johnson (Photo by Vince Agapito)

• This Week
Game No. 27
Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Davis Aggies

at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.org
Livestats: UCSBgauchos.com

Game No. 28
Big West Tournament - First Roiund 
Thursday, March 8, 2012 at TBA
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. TBA

at Honda Center - Anaheim, Calif. 
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.org
Livestats: BigWest.org

• Tickets Available For Final Home Games
Plenty of tickets remain available for UCSB's final two home games of the 2011-12 season.  The Gauchos will play Pacific on Thursday, March 1 and UC Davis on Saturday March 3.  Both games tip at 7:00 p.m.  To purchase tickets, drop by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.  The Ticket Office is open from 9-4 Monday-Friday.

• 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 handles the color commentary.  Santa Barbara News-Press legend Mark Patton gives his brilliant insight during pregame and halftime.

Gauchos Complete Regular Season At Home Saturday
UC Santa Barbara will play its final game of the 2011-12 regular season on Saturday night at the Thunderdome.  The Gauchos, who will have closed the season with three straight home games, will host UC Davis to finish things off.  The tip-off for the game against the Aggies is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Five Seniors Will Be Saluted Saturday
UCSB will salute its five seniors in a pre-game ceremony prior to Saturday's game against UC Davis.  Orlando Johnson, James Nunnally, Jaimé Serna, Greg Somogyi and Christian Peterson will each be playing their final game at the Thunderdome.  The ceremony will start at approximately 6:45, about 15 minutes prior to tip-off. 

UCSB Will Be Second Or Third Seed In Big West Tournament
Entering the final game of the regular season, UCSB is assured of finishing either second or third in the Big West Conference standings.  Long Beach State has wrapped-up the league's regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in the tournament.  The Gauchos and Cal State Fullerton are each 11-4 and tied for second-place in the conference standings, they are the only teams that can be seeded No. 2 and No. 3 in the tourney.  

The Gaucho Record
UCSB is 17-9 overall and 11-4 in the Big West Conference, tied with Cal State Fullerton for second-place.  The Gauchos won their last game, a 76-61 decision over Pacific on Thursday night, and have now won two in a row, five of their last six and eight of 10.  They have also won three in a row and six of seven at the Thunderdome.

UCSB Guaranteed Seventh Straight Winning Record
UCSB's 17-9 record guarantees that the program will post a winning record for the seventh straight year, the longest stretch in school history.  Previously, the most consecutive winning seasons was six in a row beginning in 1970-71 and running through the 1975-76.  The Gauchos have the longest run of consecutive winning seasons of any Big West Conference school.  The next closest is Pacific, which has winning records in its last four seasons.

Johnson Builds On Scoring Record
On Saturday, Feb. 25, in a win over Cal Poly, Orlando Johnson scored 16 points and in doing so, became UCSB's all-time leading scorer and the first player in school history to score more than 1,700 points in his career.  Johnson broke the record in only his third season in the program while the rest of the top-six all needed four seasons to achieve their marks.  The old record of 1,696 points was set by Alex Harris (2004-08).  On Thursday night against Pacific, Johnson added 24 points to his record and enters his final game at the Thunderdome with 1,734 career points.

UCSB Makes Season-High 12 Threes Against Pacific
The Gauchos made a season-high 12 three-point baskets in their 76-61 win over Pacific on Thursday night.  The 12 threes were one better than their previous season-high.  The last time UCSB made as many threes was on Feb. 12, 2011 when it hit 12 in a loss at UC Irvine.

Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Has attempted just 21 shots in the last four games, a span of 121 minutes.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Leads the team in assist to turnover ratio at 2.0-to-1.0.
F 15 Alan Williams - 82 of his 157 rebounds are offensive, 52.2%.
G 21 James Nunnally - Had career-highs of eight assists and six three-pointers vs. Pacific
G 33 Orlando Johnson- Has scored 20 or more points in four of last five, six of eight.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Has had three or more assists 12 times and Gauchos have gone 11-1.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Second on team with 18 steals despite ranking 10th in minutes played. 
G 10 Kyle Boswell- Has made 16 of his last 27 three-point attempts, 59.3%.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Had two rebounds in two minutes on Thursday night vs. Pacific.  
F 24 Christian Peterson - Played four minutes vs. Pacific, his fewest since Jan. 28 at Pacific.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - Has 177 career blocked shots, second on UCSB's all-time list.

Nunnally Joins In The Climb
Orlando Johnson's ascent up UCSB's all-time scoring list has not been a lonely one.  Senior James Nunnally scored a season-high 28 points in Thursday's win over Pacific and now has 1,598 for his career.  In doing so, he passed Mark Hull (1,580 points) and moved into fifth on the all-time list.  Nunnally is now within two points of becoming just the fifth player in the history of the program to eclipse 1,600 career points.  He also needs a mere 10 points to pass Chris Devine (1,607 points) and secure the fourth highest career total in UCSB history.

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 surpassed their conference win total of 2011.  Now at 11-4, they are well ahead of their 8-8 record of a year ago.

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 Feb. 22 at Long Beach State, he hit another career mark when he coached his 700th game.  Prior to arriving in Santa Barbara for the 1998-99 season, Williams coached at Menlo College and UC Davis.  

A Right, A Left, A Right, A Left... 
In 2010-11, Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally combined for 1,194 points, the most ever by teammates at UCSB.  Johnson and Nunnally also rank No. 5 on that list, combining for 965 points as sophomores in 2009-10.  This year, the duo has combined for 928 points, tied for the eighth most ever.  They need just three points to move into seventh all alone and 30 to move into sixth.  Combined, they have scored 3,087 points during their three years as teammates, by far the most of any Gaucho duo. 

That 70s Show 
On March 1, UCSB defeated Pacific, 76-61.  In 26 games this season, the Gauchos have allowed fewer than 70 points 16 times, winning each time.  The 16-0 record is in stark contrast to the 1-9 record the team has when it allows 70 or more.  They have also allowed exactly 70 points on two occasions, going 1-1 in those games.

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. 

Few, If Any, Close Encounters 
In their last game, the Gauchos defeated Pacific by a margin of 15 points, 76-61.  In the previous game, they beat Cal Poly 68-60.  The eight-point margin against the Mustangs equaled the smallest margin to decide a UCSB game in the last eight.  Three times over that span, all wins, games were decided by eight points.  The other five games, three wins and two losses, were decided by double-figures.  Overall, the average margin in the last eight, win or lose, was 12.7 points.  The average margin in six wins was 12.8 points and the average margin in two losses was 12.5 points.  Overall this season, 15 games have been decided by double-digit margins and 11 by fewer than 10.

• A Historical Margin For Williams
UCSB's 89-56 win over Santa Clara on Dec. 15 set a standard for a Bob Williams-coached Gaucho team.  The 33-point margin of victory was the widest since Williams' arrived in Santa Barbara for the 1998-99 season.  Prior to the 33-point win over the Broncos, the largest margin in the last 13 seasons -plus was 32 in an 88-56 win at Montana State on Nov. 13, 2006.  The last time any UCSB team had a margin as large as 33 was on Dec. 6, 1997 in a 92-50 win over San Francisco State.  

• The Opponent
UCSB and UC Davis have played 24 times in a series that began in 1939.  The Gauchos hold a 20-4 edge all-time and defeated the in the first meeting between the schools this season, 86-59 on Jan. 26 in Davis.  Aggies twice last season.  Dating back to the 2008-09 season, UCSB has won seven straight games in the series.   

• Dome, Sweet Dome 
UCSB is 10-3 at home this season.  In their last home game, the Gauchos won their third straight game  and sixth in the last seven at the Thunderdome, a 76-61 decision over Pacific.  UCSB's home losses this season have come at the hands of Long Beach State (71-48 on Jan. 21), UNLV 94-88 in double overtime on Nov. 30) and San Diego State (76-75 in overtime on Nov. 26.

• UCSB Breaks Blocked Shot Record
UCSB blocked four shots in its March 1 win over Pacific and has blocked 138 on the season, a new school record.  The previous record of 133 was set in 2010-11.  Senior Greg Somogyi, who ranks second in school history with 177 blocks, leads the way this year with 41, the 10th most ever.  Somogyi, however, is getting plenty of help from freshman Alan Williams who has 36 swats, including 29 in Big West games.  Orlando Johnson (23) and Jaimé Serna (23) are also in double-figures.  Somogyi, Williams and Serna have each blocked at least five shots in a game this season.

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 year.  Overall, the last six opponents – UCR, UC Irvine, Utah State, Long Beach State, Cal Poly and Pacific – have combined to make just 31 out of 113 three-point attempts, 27.4% and three of those opponents shot below 30.0%.

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 16 points in UCSB's Feb. 25 win over Cal Poly and in the process became the school's all-time leading scorer.  Johnson exceeded Alex Harris' total of 1,696 points.  In Thursday's win over Pacific, he added 24 points to his total and now has 1,734.  He is the only player in school history to eclipse 1,700 points, doing so in just three seasons as a Gaucho.  Johnson is now averaging 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.  He leads the team in scoring and assists and should become the first player since 2004-05 to lead the way in those categories.  The 520 points Johnson has scored this season tie James Nunnally (2011) for eighth on the all-time single-season list.  He needs 21 to pass himself (2010) for seventh.  On Thursday, he also became the first player in school history to surpass 500 points three times.  Johnson has scored 20 or more points in four of the last five games and six of the last eight.  In the last eight games, he has averaged 21.5 points per game.  In the last four games, he has made 37-of-65 shots from the field, 56.9%, and 14-of-29 from three-point range, 48.3%.  His four three-pointers on March 1 vs. Pacific tied a season-high.  Johnson has had four threes in a game four times this season, all in the last 10 games.  On Feb. 15 at UC Irvine,  he scored 25 points and added 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season, his first since Dec. 16 at Washington.  He has led the Gauchos in scoring in 10 of the last 14 games and 16 times this season.  He has scored 20 or more 17 times and 25 or more six times.  Johnson has scored in double-figures 25 times in 26 games and 86 times in 88 games during his career.  He's scored 20 or more a record 46 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).  If the 383 points that Johnson scored as a freshman at Loyola Marymount are factored in, he has now tallied 2,117 in his collegiate career.  Also, he leads the team in three-point baskets with 55 and has 167 in his career, seventh in school history.   

The Flying Nunnally
James Nunnally had one of the best games of his career on Thursday night vs. Pacific.  Nunnally scored a season-high 28 points, had a career-high six three-point baskets and passed off for a career-high eight assists without committing a turnover.  He has now scored 20 or more in consecutive games for the first time since the first two games of the year.  Nunnally has also scored 20 or more in three of the last four, averaging 21.2 over that span.  Also, in the last four, he has made 31-of-57 field goals overall, 54.4%, and 12-of-24 from three-point range, 50.0%.  In the first two games of the current run, Nunnally recorded consecutive double-doubles.  On Feb. 22 at Long Beach State, he had 13 points and a season-high 12 rebounds and one game earlier, at Utah State, he had 24 points and 11 rebounds.   Nunnally remains second on the team in scoring at 15.7 points per game and he leads the team in rebounding at 6.3 per game.  He has been in double-figures 24 times in 26 games this season and has scored 20 or more seven times.  Also, by scoring 28 in the last game, Nunnally has moved his career point total to 1,598, fifth in school history.  He needs 11 to move into fourth all-time.  He has had five or more rebounds 20 times this season and now has 612 boards in his career, tied for ninth all-time. Nunnally is also acting the part of playmaker these days, averaging 2.6 assists per game.  He has passed off for two or more 20 times, including 18 of the last 19.  Finally, he had made two or more three-point baskets in six of the last nine games and 11 times this season.  Nunnally now has 43 threes on the year.  In his career, he has 173 three-pointers and ranks sixth on UCSB's career list.  

A DisSERNAble Difference
Jaimé Serna scored 10 points and had four rebounds in the Gauchos' win over Pacific on March 1.  The 10 points were his highest total since he scored 19 points on Feb. 11 vs. UC Riverside.  It marked the 10th time this season that Serna has scored in double-figures.  Despite scoring 10 in the last game, Serna attempted just six shots and has now taken a mere 21 in the last five games, a span of 121 minutes. Overall, he is averaging 9.0 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.  He continues to lead the team in field goal percentage at 64.1 and in his career, he has made 319 out of 565 shots, 56.5%, the third highest mark in school history.   Also, he now has 857 career points. 

The "Other" Williams 
Freshman forward Alan Williams had four points, six rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals in the March 1 win over Pacific.  He remains fourth in scoring at 6.4 per game.  In 15 Big West games, Williams is averaging 8.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.  He had a career-high 19 points on Feb. 2 at Cal State Northridge.  Williams has started the last 15 games and he's paid big dividends, averaging 8.8 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.  Additionally, he has nine rebounds in four other games and five or more in 17 out of his 25 appearances.  Williams is the only player on the team with more offensive rebounds (82) than defensive rebounds (75).  Williams has blocked five shots twice this season, tying Greg Somogyi's freshman record  Overall, he now has 36 blocked shots on the season, third on UCSB's all-time freshman list and he is within three of Doug Muse's record of 39.  Williams currently has 157 rebounds on the season, fourth most by a freshman in school history.   

Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell had five points in 25 minutes off the bench against Pacific on March 1.  In the previous game, he scored nine in a game against Cal Poly, making both of his three-point attempts.  On Feb. 15 at UC Irvine, 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.  In the last five games, Boswell has averaged 9.9 points per game and he is now averaging 7.6 per game overall, fourth on the team. He's scored 10 or more points seven times this season.  Boswell is second on the team in three-point field goals with 46 and he is tops in three-point percentage at 43.4%.  In the last nine games, he has made 22 out of his 41 three-point attempts, 53.7%, and in the last six he is 16-of-27, 59.3%.  Boswell has made at least two three-point baskets in seven of the last 10, eight of the last 12 and 14 times overall.  He has hit at least one three-pointer in 20 straight and 25 times in 26 games.  

Tall Tales
Greg Somogyi played a season-low four minutes in Thursday night's win over Pacific.  After playing 13 or more in three straight, Somogyi has now totaled just 10 minutes in the last two games.  Overall, he is averaging 3.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.  He leads the team in blocked shots with 40.  On Jan. 21, Somogyi made 5-of-6 shots and scored a season-high 10 points against Long Beach State.   On Feb. 15 at UC Irvine, he had one of his best all-around games with six points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.  On Jan. 19 vs. Cal State Northridge, he had a career-high 10 rebounds.  Somogyi has had at least one blocked shot in 18 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 177 blocks in his career, second all-time.   

Taylor Made
Freshman T.J. Taylor has started the last 10 games for UCSB, the first starts of his career, and the team has gone 8-2.  On Thursday against Pacific Taylor scored two points on a nifty first half lay-up.  He is averaging 3.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, but he has scored just four points in the last four games.  Taylor has three or more assists eight times and had a high of six on Nov. 11 vs. Chapman.  He has 49 assists and a mere 25 turnovers, essentially a 2.0-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 just four minutes on Thursday night vs. Pacific.  He had played 11 or more in each of the previous five games.  On Feb. 18, at Utah State, Peterson 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.   Peterson has 11 boards in his last four games.  On the season, he has collected 60 rebounds and scored just 37 points.

The World According To Garth
Nate Garth played 12 minutes in Thursday's game against Pacific.  He made 1-of-3 from three-point range and had three points and four assists.  While he is averaging 16.6 minutes per game on the year, Garth has averaged nearly 19 per game in the last five.  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 12 times on the year and the Gauchos are 11-1 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 played 11 minutes in the win over Pacific, four more than he'd played in two previous games.  He is scoreless in each of the last four games.  While he is averaging 3.6 points and 1.6 rebounds per game overall, Hornbuckle has scored just 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the last 11 games.  He has attempted just two shots in the last four games, 29 minutes.  Hornbuckle 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.