Gauchos Remain at Home to Host Pacific Wednesday, Montana State Saturday

Gauchos Remain at Home to Host Pacific Wednesday, Montana State Saturday

Feb. 16, 2009

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• The Schedule
Game No. 24
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Pacific Tigers
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1490-AM in Santa Barbara
Game available on Gametracker

Game No. 25
Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
ESPNU BracketBusters
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Montana State Bobcats
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1490-AM in Santa Barbara
Game available on Gametracker

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KIST 1490-AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his fifth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of games, home and road. Steve Wendt, the voice of the UCSB women's basketball team, will handle the play-by-play for a handful of men's games.

• Gauchos Remain At Home; Final Coke Family Pack Night Scheduled For Wednesday
UC Santa Barbara played 14 of 19 games on the road. Before their Feb. 14 home game against Cal Poly, the Gauchos played just one home game over a 34-day span. Those days are over. UCSB hosted the Mustangs on Saturday and will remain at home for five of its final six games. The Gauchos host Pacific on Wednesday, Feb. 18, and then Montana State, as part of the ESPNU BrackBuster series, on Saturday, Feb. 21. The game against Pacific will be Coke Family Pack Night. For just $40.00, families can get four tickets, four t-shirts, four hot dogs, and four Cokes. Tickets for all Gaucho games can be purchased from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB, or online by clicking here.

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters the week with an overall record of 10-13 and a Big West record of 4-7. On Saturday, Feb. 14, the Gauchos defeated Cal Poly by a score of 68-66. The win gave Santa Barbara its fourth two-game winning streak of the season. On Feb. 7, UCSB won on the road at UC Irvine, 65-56. The Gauchos' win over Cal Poly gave them a 5-4 record at home.

• Devine Named Big West Player Of The Week
Chris Devine was named Big West Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 29 points, including a pair of game-winning free throws with 7.3 seconds left, in UCSB's 68-66 win over Cal Poly on Feb. 14. Devine, who made 10-of-16 field goal attempts, also had five rebounds and a season-high four assists in the victory. He is the first Gaucho to earn Player of the Week honors this season. It is the first time since early in the 2006-07 season that Devine has earned the Big West Player of the Week award.

• Devine's Career-High Game Gives UCSB 2nd Straight Win, 68-66 Over Cal Poly
Chris Devine scored a career-high 29 points, including two free throws with 7.3 seconds to play, breaking a 66-66 tie and leading UCSB to a come-from-behind 68-66 win over visiting Cal Poly. Devine scored 12 of UCSB's last 16 points over the final seven minutes of the game. His free throws capped a frenzied final 1:26 that began with Mustang forward Titus Shelton making one of two free throws to give his team a 66-64 lead. Shelton's missed attempt was rebounded by Cal Poly's John Manley. After a timeout, the Mustangs ran a play for Lorenzo Keeler who missed a jumper from about 10 feet. Keeler rebounded his own miss and then missed a lay-up that was rebounded by the Gauchos' Jaime Serna with 55 seconds left. UCSB got the ball in the left corner to freshman James Nunnally. Nunnally drove towards the left side of the lane and pulled-up. He turned and found senior Paul Roemer open and Roemer nailed a jumper from 12-feet out on the baseline, tying the score at 66-66. After a timeout by the Gauchos, Cal Poly got the ball to Shelton in the post. He took a couple of dribbles and then threw a pass, intended for Keeler. Nunnally, who was denying Keeler on the attempt, saved the ball from going out of bounds and got it to Will Brew. Brew brought the ball over midcourt and called UCSB's final timeout with 24.4 seconds to play. The Gauchos got the ball into Brew out of the timeout. After dribbling time off the clock, the freshman drove the lane and dropped the ball to Devine, who was fouled by Shelton going up for the lay-up with 7.3 seconds left. After he made both free throws, the Mustangs had one last chance, but a three-point attempt by Keeler at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim. In addition to Devine's 10-for-16, 29-point performance, four UCSB freshmen combined for 31 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, and three blocked shots. Greg Somogyi had 10 points, making 5-of-6 shots, six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Nunnally had nine points, four rebounds, a career-high four assists, one steal, and a blocked shot. Brew finished with eight points, two rebounds, and three assists, while Serna had four points and a game-high seven rebounds.

• The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his 11th season as head coach at UC Santa Barbara. In 2007-08, Williams guided the Gauchos to a 23-9 overall record. The 23 wins were a school record, and UCSB also won its second Big West regular season title with a 12-4 conference record. Following the campaign, the Gauchos were awarded a bid to the National Invitation Tournament. It was the third time that a Williams-coached UCSB team advanced to postseason play. The 2002 Gauchos won the school's first Big West Tournament title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament, and in 2003, they won the league's regular season championship and played in the NIT. Williams has been selected Big West Coach of the Year twice, in 1998-99 and 2002-03. In 1998-99, he took over a UCSB program that had not recorded a winning season in five years, and after seeing his team lose its first eight games that year - extending a two-season losing streak to 16 straight games - the Gauchos turned things around, winning 15 of their final 20 games and finishing on top in the Big West's Western Division. Williams has a UCSB record of 173-144. He guided the program to eight winning seasons in his first 10 years, and a pair of 20 win seasons. He has a career record of 104-71 in Big West games. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, Williams spent eight years at UC Davis and in those eight years, his teams recorded 20 or more wins five times and a 158-76 record. In Williams's final season, the Aggies went 31-2, won the NCAA Division II National Championship and he was named NABC Division II Coach of the Year. Including two seasons at Menlo College, Williams has an overall career record of 362-244 (.597) at four-year schools.

• Possible Starters - Notes
G - 1 - D.J. Posley - Has had three or more assists in three of the last four games.
G - 4 - Paul Roemer - His basket in the final minute tied the score on Feb. 14 vs. Cal Poly.
G - 20 - Will Brew, Jr. - Averaged 11.0 points. 2.5 rebounds, and 2. 5 assists in last two games.
F - 0 - Jaimé Serna - Averaged 9.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in the last three games.
F - 10 - Chris Devine - Scored a career-high 29 points on Feb. 14 against Cal Poly.

• Possible Reserves - Notes
G - 2 - Nick Quick - Played a career-high seven minutes on Jan. 24 at Pacific.
G - 3 - Jordan Weiner - Ranks second on the team with 19 three-point baskets.
G - 21 - James Nunnally - Scored nine and had career-high four assists vs. Cal Poly.
G - 42 - James Powell - Scored five points in last three games.
F - 15 - Sam Phippen - Has nine rebounds in last two games.
F - 44 - Jesse Byrd - Has 13 rebounds in the last two games, a total of 24 minutes.
C - 55 - Greg Somogyi - Scored 10 points and tied career-high with six rebounds vs. Cal Poly.

• UCSB To Host Montana State In Feb. 21 ESPNU BracketBuster Match-Up
UCSB will host Montana State in an ESPNU BracketBuster game. The Gauchos will play the Bobcats on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. The meeting with Montana State will be UCSB's fifth as part of the BracktBuster series. The Gauchos played Detroit in the inaugural event in 2003, losing 75-59. In 2006, they traveled to San Jose State and won, 76-72. In 2007, Santa Barbara hosted, and lost to Eastern Washington by a score of 71-70. Last year, UCSB lost at Utah State, 72-59.

• Then There Was One: The Injury Report
Junior point guard Justin Joyner is the only UCSB player remaining on the injured list. Joyner had surgery on his right wrist prior to the season and will not play in 2008-09. He will apply to the NCAA for a redshirt year and should return as a junior in 2009-10. Jesse Byrd, who missed eight games with a knee injury, has played in the last four games. While his time has been limited, Byrd has 4.7 points and 4.2 rebounds since his return. Junior guard Paul Roemer missed three games with a shoulder injury, but has been back for the last four games as well.

• Home Cooking, Less Heartburn
After opening the season with three consecutive home games, UCSB spent a lot of time on the road. Prior to Saturday's game against Cal Poly, the Gauchos played 14 of 19 on the road, including seven of their first 10 Big West Conference games. Prior to the game against the Mustangs, Santa Barbara had played just one home game over a 34-day span. UCSB has gone 5-9 in games away from home, including 3-9 in true road games. At home, UCSB is now 5-4. Statistically, the difference in road games vs. home games is striking, particularly the various shooting percentages for the Gauchos and their opponents. As noted in the chart, Santa Barbara shoots better and defends better at the Thunderdome. While UCSB is being outscored in road games by a 7.1 point per game margin, it is outscoring opponents in home games by a margin of 3.6 points per game. Keep in mind, the home schedule included nationally-ranked North Carolina and Utah State.

• Home-Road Comparison

Category           Home    Road
Scoring            67.3    62.8
Opp. Scoring       63.7    69.9
Margin             +3.6    -7.1
FG%                45.6%   42.7%
Opp. FG%           41.2%   47.8%
3-Pt. FG%          36.2%   29.0%
Opp. 3-Pt. FG%     32.2%   41.6%
FT%                70.7%   67.5%  

• Rebounding Revival
After being outrebounded in four straight games, UCSB has regained its rebounding edge in the last three games. On Feb. 5 at Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos crushed the Titans on the boards, 49-32. The total rebounds and the margin were both season-highs. On Feb. 7 at UC Irvine, UCSB outrebounded UC Irvine by eight, 34-26, and on Feb. 14 they outrebounded Cal Poly by two, 40-38. On the season, Santa Barbara is outrebounding its opponents by 1.6 per game.

• Getting Defensive
The Gauchos had another solid defensive performance in the Feb. 14 win over Cal Poly. UCSB limited the Mustangs to 66 points and 36.5% shooting. On the year, UCSB opponents are averaging 65.6 points per game, shooting 44.3% overall and 36.5% from three-point range. In the last five games, opponents are averaging 64.8 points per game and they are shooting 40.5% overall and 33.5% from three-point range. The Gauchos have allowed 70 or fewer points 15 times in their 23 games this season, including the last two.

• Comeback Kids
UCSB has been behind at halftime in each of its last two games. The Gauchos came back to win both games, defeating UC Irvine, 65-56, and Cal Poly, 68-66. Prior to overcoming a halftime deficit at UCI on Feb. 7, UCSB was 0-9 when trailing at the break.

• Three-Point Rollercoaster
In the last five games, UCSB has been on a three-point rollercoaster. Beginning on Jan. 24 at Pacific, the Gauchos have made 14.3%, 57.1% (vs. Cal State Northridge), 22.2% (at Cal State Fullerton, 53.8% (at UC Irvine), and 23.5% (vs. Cal Poly). On the season, UCSB has made 32.8% of its three-point field goal attempts. The Gauchos have hit 118 three-point baskets in 2008-09, an average of 5.1 per game.

• A Fresh Approach
When UCSB played four freshmen in the season-opener against Cal State Los Angeles, it was the first time that four freshmen had played in the same game for the Gauchos since the 2000-01 season. The four freshmen, guards James Nunnally and Will Brew, Jr., forward Jaimé Serna, and center Greg Somogyi have each played in all 23 games. In the Big West Conference opener at Long Beach State, they started three of the freshmen - Nunnally, Brew and Somogyi - also a first since the 2000-01 season. In 2000-01, the Gauchos started Branduinn Fullove, Jacoby Atako, and Nick Jones together on several occasions. Brew, Nunnally, and Serna have been in the starting lineup together four times this season.

• Freshmen Block Party
The Gauchos have blocked 57 shots on the season, an average of 2.48 per game. Freshman Greg Somogyi leads the way with 32, 56.1% of the team total. Somogyi, however is not the only freshman getting into the shot-blocking act. Jaimé Serna ranks second on the team with nine, while James Nunnally has four, and Will Brew, Jr., has two. Combined the first-year foursome has 47 of the team's 57 swats, an impressive 82.5%.

• A New Start
Last season, only seven UCSB players started games and the Gauchos had just three different starting lineups. In 2008-09, 11 different players have started games while UCSB has trotted out eight different starting fives.

• Devine Intervention
Chris Devine scored a career-high 29 points in UCSB's Feb. 14 win over Cal Poly. Devine scored 12 of the team's final 16 points, including the last two on a pair of free throws with 7.3 seconds to play, breaking a 66-66 tie and giving the Gauchos a 68-66 win. For that effort, he was named Big West Player of the Week. The senior from Eagle River, Alaska has improved his scoring average to a season-best 15.7 points per game, third in the Big West. In his last four games, he has averaged 21.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. Also over that span, Devine had a pair of double-doubles, going for 16 points and 12 boards on Jan. 29 against Cal State Northridge, and 20 points and 12 rebounds on Feb. 5 at Cal State Fullerton. In addition, he has made 29-of-48 field goal attempts, 60.4%, in the last four games. He now has four double-doubles on the year. On the season, in addition to averaging 15.7 points per game, Devine is averaging 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 54.0%. When he scored 20 points on Feb. 5 at Cal State Fullerton, Devine jumped from sixth-place on UCSB's all-time scoring list to fourth, where he still resides with 1,488 career points. He needs 93 to move past Mark Hull and into third all-time. In addition, on Feb. 14 against Cal Poly, he had five rebounds, moving him past Scott Fisher and into fifth all-time with 668. In doing so, Devine joined Doug Rex (1968-71) as the only players in school history to rank in the top-five in points and rebounds. While he is averaging 15.7 points per game overall, Devine has tallied 257 in the last 15 games, 17.1 per game. Over that span he scored in double-figures 13 times, including a stretch of eight straight games. He has also scored 20 or more six times this season, including five times in the last 11 games. Prior to scoring a career-high 29 on Feb. 14 against Cal Poly, Devine had a season-high 27 points on Jan. 22 at UC Davis. The Eagle River, Alaska-native has had seven or more rebounds in eight of the last 12 games, averaging 7.5 per game over that span.

• Old Buddy, Old Powell
After scoring 14 and making all four of his three-point attempts in a Jan. 29 game against Cal State Northridge, junior guard James Powell has struggled offensively in the last three games. In the games at Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine, and at home against Cal Poly, Powell totaled just five points and made only 1-of-16 shots from the field. He is now averaging 9.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. While Powell was scoreless in the Feb. 14 game against Cal Poly, he has been significantly better in home games than on the road. In home games, the Pomona, Calif., native is averaging 13.3 points per game while shooting 37.3% overall and 31.5% from three-point range. In 12 true road games, he is averaging 7.3 points per game while shooting 27.7% overall and 24.2% from beyond the three-point arc. Ironically, Powell scored his season high - 22 points - on the road in San Francisco. He has been in double-figures 11 times, including seven times in nine home games and once on a neutral court. Powell has gone scoreless three times this season, at Pacific and at Cal State Fullerton, and on Feb. 14 vs. Cal Poly. In addition to his 22-point effort at USF, he had back-to-back 19-point games on Jan. 8 and Jan. 10 against UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. On the year, he continues to lead the Gauchos in three-point baskets with 37 and he has made at least one in 18 of 23 games. Powell has 154 career three-point baskets, seventh most in school history. He needs 10 to move into fifth all-time. Powell made a season-best six on Nov. 24 at San Francisco. He had a season-high five assists on Jan. 2 at Long Beach State and a career-high seven rebounds on Nov. 14 against Cal State Los Angeles. Powell enters the week with 876 career points and needs 124 to become the 23rd Gaucho to score 1,000 points.

• Byrd Calls
Junior forward Jesse Byrd injured his knee in the Dec. 20 game at San Diego State. He was expected to be out until mid-February, but he returned early and has played in the last four games. In four games since his return, Byrd has averaged 4.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. On Feb. 14 against Cal Poly, he was scoreless in 14 minutes, but he had seven rebounds to tie for team-high honors. In fact, in the last two games, Byrd has 13 rebounds in just 24 minutes of play and in the last three games, he has 17 in 39 minutes. He remains the Gauchos' leader in rebounds at 6.7 per game. Prior to his injury, Byrd had five or more rebounds in every game in which he played and has now done so in 13 of 15 appearances. While he did not score a point against Cal Poly, Byrd attempted just one shot. He has made 9-of-16 shots, 56.2%, since his return. The transfer from San Francisco still leads UCSB in field goal percentage at 57.7%. Byrd has a pair of double-doubles this season. On Dec. 17 at Weber State he had 10 points and 14 rebounds. The 14 rebounds were the most by a Gaucho in five seasons. He also had 13 points and 12 rebounds on Dec. 4 at Utah Valley. In the five games prior to his injury, Byrd averaged 10.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

• Yes, Serna
Freshman forward Jaimé Serna had four points and seven rebounds in the Feb. 14 win over Cal Poly. The seven rebounds were one short of his career-high of eight, set on Feb. 5 at Cal State Fullerton. Also against the Titans, Serna made 8-of-12 shots from the field scored a career-high 20 points. The native of Laguna Beach has had one other double-figure scoring game, on Jan. 29 he had 11 against Cal State Northridge. In the last four games, Serna has averaged 9.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. He is now averaging 3.8 rebounds per game, third on the team. Finally, while Serna is averaging 19.9 minutes per game, he has played 20 or more in nine of the last 11, averaging 23.9 per game over that span.

• The Hungary Hunter
Freshman Greg Somogyi made 5-of-6 shots and scored 10 points in UCSB's Feb. 14 win over Cal Poly. He also had six rebounds, tying his career-high. It was Somogyi's second-best scoring effort of the season. He had a high of 14 on Jan. 22 at UC Davis. On the year, the native of Budapest is now averaging 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He also had a pair of blocked shots vs. the Mustangs and now has a team-leading 32 on the year, the second most by a freshman in school history. Somogyi needs seven to tie Doug Muse for first all-time. He had a career-high five on Dec. 20 at San Diego State, and he has blocked at least one shot in 12 of the last 13 and 19 of 23 overall.

• The Flying Nunnally
Freshman James Nunnally came off the bench and had one of his best all-around games in the Feb. 14 win over Cal Poly. Nunnally had nine points, four rebounds, a career-high four assists, and a key steal in the final minute against the Mustangs. He is now averaging 6.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Nunnally has scored nine or more seven times, including three times in the last five games. He set career-highs of 22 points and seven rebounds on Nov. 21 against North Carolina. His other double-figure scoring game came on Dec. 29 against Ball State when he had 12. While he is shooting 41.2% for the season and made 6-of-12 in the last two games, both wins. Also, while he is shooting 71.7% from the free throw line, Nunnally made both of his attempts on Saturday and has now made 23 of his last 28, 82.1%. Incidentally, 39 of his 53 free throw attempts have come in the last 12 games. Finally, Nunnally has had three or more rebounds in seven of the last nine games and five or more five times this season.

• Where There's A Will, There's A Way
Freshman guard Will Brew, Jr., has put together his best back-to-back games this season. On Feb. 14 against Cal Poly, Brew scored eight points - on 3-of-5 from the field - and had three assists and a pair of rebounds. On Feb. 7 at UC Irvine, he scored 14 points, on 4-of-6 shooting overall and 2-of-3 from three-point range. Although he did not get credited with an assist, it was his drive and dump-off pass to Chris Devine that set-up Devine's game-winning free throws with 7.3 seconds to play against Cal Poly. Brew scored a personal-beset 18 - making 6-of-7 three-point attempts - on Jan. 8 against UC Irvine. He has scored in double-figures three times this season, also doing so on Dec. 4 at Utah Valley when he had 11. In the last two games, Brew is averaging 11.0 points, 2.5 rebounds,, and 2.0 assists. He has made 7-of-11 shots overall, 63.6%, and 3-of-6 from three-point range, 50.0%. While he is shooting 43.8% overall, Brew has made 22-of-41 shots in 11 Big West games, 53.7%. He also has 22 steals, equaling the 10th most by a freshman in school history. He is shooting 44.1% from three-point range, the best on the team among players with at least 20 attempts. Brew now has 15 three-pointers on the year, third on the team.

• Strike A Posley
Senior guard D.J. Posley had six points, three rebounds, and three assists vs. Cal Poly. A game after playing just 14 minutes, Posley played 23 against the Mustangs. He is averaging 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and a team-leading 2.6 assists per game. Posley scored a career-high 17 points on Jan. 17 at Cal Poly, making 6-of-9 shots from the field. He also had a career-high seven rebounds against the Mustangs. In six games since, he has averaged 4.8 per game. He's had a season-high five assists three times this year, the last time on Dec. 13 vs. Loyola Marymount.

• Roemer Wasn't Built In A Day
Junior guard Paul Roemer returned to the lineup on Jan. 29. He had missed three games with a shoulder injury. Roemer has been in the starting lineup in each of the four games since his return. On Feb. 14 against Cal Poly, he scored just two points, but his basket came in the final minute and tied the game at 66. Roemer is averaging 3.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He scored a season-high 11 on Nov. 28 against Winston-Salem State.

• Jordan Rules
Sophomore guard Jordan Weiner was scoreless in four minutes on Feb. 14 vs. Cal Poly. In fact, he is scoreless in seven minutes in the last two games. After averaging 17.5 minutes over a four-game span, Weiner has totaled just eight in the last three games. He has made 22 baskets on the year, 19 from three-point range. Weiner's last 12 baskets have been from beyond the arc. He scored a career-high 14 on Jan. 17 at Cal Poly, making four three-pointers.

• Sam He Is
Sam Phippen played arguably his best game as a Gaucho on Feb. 7 at UC Irvine. In 17 minutes, his highest total since Dec. 4, he scored five points our minutes and had a career-high five rebounds. On Feb. 14 vs. Cal Poly, he was scoreless in six minutes, but he did have four rebounds. Phippen is averaging 4.5 rebounds in the last two games.