Tournament Seeds at Stake as Gauchos Host Long Beach State in Regular Season Finale, Seniors Saluted in Pre-Game Ceremony
March 6, 2009
Game No. 29
Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Long Beach State 49ers
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1490-AM in Santa Barbara
Game available on Gametracker
Game No. 30
Wed., Mar. 11, 2009-Sat. Mar. 14, 2009
The Big West Tournament
at the Anaheim Convention Center
Radio: KIST 1490-AM in Santa Barbara
Note: Opponent, date and time TBA
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. Steve Wendt, the voice of the UCSB women's basketball team, will handle the play-by-play for a handful of men's games.
The Gauchos And 49ers
The Gauchos and Long Beach State have played 104 times dating back to 1952. The 49ers have a 53-51 all-time lead, including a 76-64 win in Long Beach on Jan. 2. The first game between the schools was the conference opener.
Gauchos Host Long Beach State In Regular Season Finale
UC Santa Barbara will host Long Beach State on Saturday, Mar. 7 in the regular seaosn finale for both teams. The Gauchos will salute their three seniors - Chris Devine, D.J. Posley, and Nick Quick - prior to the 7:00 p.m. game. Tickets for the final regular season game and the Big West Tournament, which will run from March 11-14 at the Anaheim Convention Center, can be purchased from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB, or online by clicking here.
UCSB Moves Into Tie For 4th-Place, Back To .500 Mark With Win Over UC Riverside
UCSB's 66-53 win over UC Riverside on Thursday night moved the Gauchos back to the .500 mark overall at 14-14. They also improve to 7-8 in Big West play, moving into a tie with Riverside, Cal State Fullerton, and UC Irvine for fourth-place in the league standings. UCSB entered Thursday night in eighth-place. With six wins in the last seven games, Santa Barbara has reached the .500 mark overall for the first time since they were 6-6 entering Big West play on Jan. 2. UCSB finished the regular season with a 3-10 record in true road games and a 5-10 overall record away from home. They will enter the Saturday night's game with a 9-4 record at the Thunderdome.
Gauchos Could Finish Fourth, If...
It is conceivable that UCSB could finish fourth in the league standings. The two absolutes that would have to happen are that the Gauchos would need to defeat Long Beach State and UC Irvine would have to beat Cal State Fullerton. If those things happen, it wouldn't matter what UC Riverside does at Cal Poly. Even a Riverside win would mean a three-way tie for fourth between the Highlanders, Irvine, and the Gauchos, and Santa Barbara wins that tiebreaker with a 3-1 record against the other two.
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 177-145. 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 107-72 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 366-245 (.599) at four-year schools.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - 1 - D.J. Posley - Had 11 points vs. UCR, his first double-figure game since Jan. 17.
G - 4 - Paul Roemer - Tied his career-high with two blocked shots vs. UCR.
G - 20 - Will Brew, Jr. - Leads the Gauchos in three-point field goal percentage at 40.0%.
F - 0 - Jaimé Serna - Scored six points, all in pivotal two minute stretch, vs. UCR.
F - 10 - Chris Devine - With 1,562 career points, needs 19 to move into third all-time.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - 2 - Nick Quick - Torn medial collateral ligament in left knee has him sidelined.
G - 3 - Jordan Weiner - 25 of his 29 baskets on the season have come from three-point range.
G - 21 - James Nunnally - Averaged 16.5 points in the last two games.
G - 42 - James Powell - Fractured right eye socket has him sidelined indefinitely.
F - 15 - Sam Phippen - Has made 7-of-13 three-point attempts this season, 53.8%.
F - 44 - Jesse Byrd - Had one rebound in 12 minutes vs. UCR, his second lowest total of the year.
C - 55 - Greg Somogyi - His 37 blocked shots are second most ever by a Gaucho freshman.
Powell, Quick Join Joyner On Injured List
Junior guard James Powell and senior guard Nick Quick have joined junior point guard Justin Joyner on the injury list for the Gauchos. Powell fractured the lower part of his right eye socket and is out indefinitely. He will be reexamined on Monday, Mar. 9 and it will be determined then whether he will play again this season. Quick tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in practice on Mar. 4 and will be sidelined the rest of the season. Joyner had surgery on his right wrist prior to the season and has not played in 2008-09. He will apply to the NCAA for a redshirt year and should return as a junior in 2009-10.
Wins In Six Of Last Seven: The Numbers Tell The Story
UCSB has won six of its last seven games, and the numbers really do tell the story. In the last seven, the Gauchos are averaging 66.7 points per game and allowing just 61.3, a margin of +6.4 per game. In addition, they are outrebounding the opposition by 2.0 rebounds per game over that time, and outshooting them 45.4% to 42.2%. Perhaps the biggest difference is in the turnover category. Santa Barbara is averaging 13.6 turnovers in the last seven while forcing 15.7. If you throw out the 26 turnovers they had in the only loss during the past seven games - 62-57 at Cal State Northridge - the Gauchos have averaged 11.5 turnovers in the six wins.
Fade To Black
By outscoring UC Riverside 66-53 on Thursday night, UCSB has now outscored its opponents on the season, 1,821 to 1,815. It is the first time since the season was just six games old that the Gauchos have been in the black in the points category.
In Defense Of The Gauchos
UCSB has held each of its last three opponents to 64 points or fewer. In the three games, two of which were wins, opponents averaged just 59.7 points. The 53 scored by Riverside on Thursday were the fewest by an opponent since Ball State tallied 51 on Dec. 29, and the third fewest on the year.
Men Of Steal
UCSB had 14 steals on Feb. 2 at Northridge, a season-high. They followed-up that performance with 12 steals in a Feb. 28 win over UC Davis and seven on Thursday night against UC Riverside. The 33 steals over three games is easily the best three-game total that the Gauchos have had this season. Junior guard Paul Roemer and senior guard D.J. Posley have each had nine steals in the last three games.
The Gauchos have won six of their last seven games and in five of the six they have had to come from behind to do so. On Feb. 28 UCSB overcame a 13-point first half deficit to beat UC Davis. It was the fourth double-digit deficit that they have had to overcome during the six recent wins. The only wins in the last six in which they did not have to climb out of at least a 10-point hole were Thursday night's win over UC Riverside when they never trailed and a 67-57 win over Pacific on Feb. 18. Against the Tigers, the Gauchos never trailed by more than eight.
Turnover Saga Takes Another Turn
After turning the ball over a season-high 26 times on Feb. 25 at Cal State Northridge, UCSB cut back in wins over UC Davis and UC Riverside. After piling-up nine in the first half against Davis, the Gauchos had just four in the second half and finished with 13. On Thursday night, they had just 12 turnovers against Riverside. They have had 13 or fewer turnovers in six of the last seven games, all wins. Hmmm. Coincidence? I think not. On the other side of the coin, UCSB forced Riverside into 16 turnovers on Thursday. Davis had 22 and Northridge had 24 in the two previous games. In the last three, the opposition has had 62 turnovers, an average of 20.7 per game. Santa Barbara has forced 15 or more turnovers in four of the last five and 15 times in 28 games this season. Opponents have had 20 or more six times.
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 28 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 has the most starts of any of UCSB's freshmen with 20. Combined, the foursome has 45 starts.
Freshmen Point The Way
In the Gauchos' last two wins, the four freshmen have made major scoring contributions. In the Feb. 28 win over UC Davis, the freshmen - specifically James Nunnally (18) and Jaimé Serna (31) - combined for 31 of the team's 66 points, 47.0%. On Thursday against UC Riverside, there was more balance as the foursome tallied 33 of 66 points, 50.0%. Once again Nunnally led the way scoring 15, but Will Brew, Jr., added eight, Serna six, and Somogyi four.
A Fresh 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 nine different starting fives.
Chris Devine has hit a little bump in the road offensively. While he is averaging 15.5 points per game, he has scored just 28 total in the last three games, 9.3 per game. On Thursday night, he tallied eight, making just 3-of-9 field goal attempts. He did have a game-high 10 rebounds. Also, since making 50.0% or better in seven straight, hitting 57.0% by going 49-of-86 over that span, he has been below that mark in the last two. Devine has made 7-of-20 shots in the last two games, 35.0%. Prior to the last three games, Devine was on a roll, scoring 20 or more in three straight and four out of five. Twice in the last three weeks he was named Big West Player of the Week. In UCSB's Feb. 21 win over Montana State, he scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds, had three assists, and a pair of blocked shots. Seven of his points came in overtime. He had 26 points and eight rebounds in a Feb. 18 win over Pacific and on Feb. 14, he scored a career-high 29 points in a win over Cal Poly. The senior from Eagle River, Alaska, is now averaging 15.5 points per game. In six games prior to the last three, he averaged 21.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.9 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. He has four double-doubles on the year and 13 in his career. His overall field goal percentage is at 52.5%, second in the Big West. On Feb. 18 against Pacific, Devine was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line. When he missed one in the overtime against Montana State, it ended a streak of 19 in a row. Devine has made 30-of-35, 85.7%, from the free throw line in the last seven games. On the season, in addition to averaging 15.5 points per game, Devine is averaging 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. He has also blocked 10 shots, including a season-high three on Feb. 28 against UC Davis, and six in the last four games. 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 1,562 career points. He needs 19 to move past Mark Hull and into third all-time. On Feb. 14 against Cal Poly, he had five rebounds, moving him past Scott Fisher and into fifth all-time. He remains in fifth with 705 boards and he has joined Doug Rex (1968-71) as the only players in school history to rank in the top-five in points and rebounds. He has also scored 20 or more eight times this season, including seven times in the last 16 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. He has had seven or more rebounds in 13 of the last 16 games, averaging 7.7 per game over that span.
Old Buddy, Old Powell
James Powell is out indefinitely with a fractured lower right eye socket. In his last game, he continued to have his problems. On Feb. 28 against UC Davis, Powell played a season-low 10 minutes and was 1-for-4 from the field finishing with just two points. In his last two games, he went 2-for-13 overall and 1-for-9 from three-point territory, scoring a total of five points. His problems on Saturday were an aberration for him in home games. Including that game, Powell is averaging 12.4 points per game at home while shooting 38.9% overall and 32.8% from three-point range. In 13 true road games, he is averaging 6.3 points per game while shooting 26.4% overall and 23.5% 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 13 times, including nine times in 12 home games and once on a neutral court. Powell is now averaging 9.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. 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 43, and he has made at least one in 21 of 27 games. Powell has 160 career three-point baskets, seventh most in school history. He needs four 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.
Junior forward Jesse Byrd was scoreless with one rebound in 12 minutes on Thursday night against UC Riverside. In the last two games, Byrd has totaled just four points, 2.0 per game. On Feb. 25, he had 11 points, four rebounds, and a pair of steals at Cal State Northridge. It was the most points he has scored since returning from a knee injury on Jan. 29. Byrd injured his knee in the Dec. 20 game at San Diego State and missed eight games. Overall, he is now averaging 6.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. He ranks second on the team in rebounds. In nine games since his return, he is at 4.4 points and 3.8 rebounds 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 15 of 20 appearances. The transfer from San Francisco still leads UCSB in field goal percentage at 55.8%. He has a pair of double-doubles this season. In the Dec. 17 game 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 five games before his injury, Byrd averaged 10.4 points and 9.8 rebounds.
Freshman forward Jaimé Serna had six points, all in a span of about two minutes in the second half, and added two rebounds on Thursday night against UC Riverside. On Feb. 28 against UC Davis, Serna had 13 points, including nine in the second half, to go with four rebounds, two blocked shots, and a steal. He made all four of his field goal attempts in recording his second-highest point total of the year. He is averaging 6.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, but in the last nine, he has averaged 7.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. On Feb. 5 at Cal State Fullerton, he made 8-of-12 shots from the field and scored a career-high 20 points. Serna also had a career-best eight rebounds against the Titans. The native of Laguna Beach, who has started the last 13 games, has had five or more rebounds 10 times this season.
The Hungary Hunter>
Playing with a mask to protect a broken nose suffered in the Feb. 25 game at Cal State Northridge, freshman Greg Somogyi logged a season-low two minutes on Feb. 28 against UC Davis. With a new and improved mask on Thursday night, he played eight minutes and had four points, making 2-of-3 shots. In the last four games Somogyi totaled 25 minutes and scored just six points. He is now averaging 3.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocked shots per game. His 37 blocks are second on UCSB's all-time freshman list. The Budapest native needs three to pass Doug Muse and move into first all-time. In addition, he is one blocked shot away from entering the single-season top-10. While he has not had a blocked shot in either of the last two games, Somogyi had a career-high five on Dec. 20 at San Diego State. He has had at least one blocked shot in 15 of the last 18 games and 22 of 28 overall. He scored a career-high 14 points on Jan. 22 at UC Davis. His other double-figure scoring effort came on Feb. 14 against Cal Poly when he had 10, to go along with a career-high six rebounds.
The Flying Nunnally
Freshman James Nunnally is starting to evolve as one of the Gauchos' top offensive threats. On Thursday night against UC Riverside, he made 5-of-7 shots, including all three of his three-point attempts, and finished with a game-high 15 points. He also had four rebounds, four assists, and one steal. On Feb. 18, Nunnally made 7-of-11 shots and had 18 points, his second-highest total of the year. For the year, he is averaging 7.1 points per game, but despite a four-point game on Feb. 25 at Cal State Northridge, he has averaged 12.7 points while making 17-of-29 shots from the field, 58.6% in the last four. He scored 14 or more in three of the last four. The four assists he had against Riverside tied his career-high, set previously on Feb. 21 against Montana State and Feb. 14 against Cal Poly. Nunnally is averaging 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists to go with his 7.1 points per game. He has averaged 3.0 assists in the last six games, going for 18 assists and just eight turnovers in that span. Nunnally has scored nine or more 10 times, including six times in the last 10 games. He set career-highs of 22 points and seven rebounds on Nov. 21 against North Carolina. While he is shooting 44.6% for the season, he has made 23-of-41 in the last seven games, 56.1%. Also, while he is shooting 73.9% from the free throw line, Nunnally has made 35 of his last 43, 81.4%. He has had three or more rebounds in 10 of the last 14 games and five or more six times. Also, the three threes he made on Thursday night equaled his high, set on Nov. 21 vs. UNC.
Where There's A Will, There's A Way
Freshman guard Will Brew, Jr., had eight points, three assists, and two rebounds on Thursday night against UC Riverside. He made 2-of-5 shots from three-point range with both of the makes coming during the pivotal first half as the Gauchos piled-up a 32-10 lead. Brew bounced-back from his first sub-par performance in a while on Feb. 28 against UC Davis. He missed all four of his shots and was scoreless in 18 minutes against the Aggies. On Feb. 25 at Northridge, he scored 10 points, had two assists, two rebounds, and one steal. He is now averaging 4.5 points per game. In the last seven games, Brew has averaged 7.1 points per game and made 15-of-34 shots, 44.1%. He has scored in double-figures four times this season. Brew scored a career-best 18 - making 6-of-7 three-point attempts - on Jan. 8 against UC Irvine. In addition to the Feb. 25 game at Northridge and the Jan. 8 game against UC Irvine, his other double-figure scoring games came on Feb. 7 at UC Irvine (14 points) Dec. 4 at Utah Valley (11 points). While he is shooting 41.3% overall, Brew has made 28-of-59 shots in 14 Big West games, 47.5%. He has made 46.9% of his three-point attempts in league games. Overall, he's made 40.0% from beyond the three-point arc, the best on the team among players with at least 20 attempts. His 20 three-pointers rank third on the team. Brew also has 25 steals, the 10th most by a freshman in school history. Finally, he tied his career-high by playing 30 minutes against Riverside.
Strike A Posley
Senior guard D.J. Posley scored 11 points, had four assists, two rebounds, and three steals on Thursday night against UC Riverside. Posley is averaging 6.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and a team-leading 2.7 assists per game. He 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. The 11 he had on Thursday was his second-highest total of the year. He's had a season-high five assists three times this year, the last time on Dec. 13 vs. Loyola Marymount. Posley has had two or more assists 21 times, including the last nine games. He had a season-high five steals on Feb. 28 against UC Davis and has had eight in the last two games and one or more in five straight.
Roemer Wasn't Built In A Day
Junior guard Paul Roemer had eight points, two assists, four rebounds, and a steal in the win over UC Riverside. The eight points were his highest total since he had a season-high 11 on Nov. 28 against Winston-Salem State. In the last two games, Roemer hs averaged 7.5 points. On Feb. 28, he tied his season-high with five assists against UC Davis. Roemer had a career-high five steals on Feb. 25 at Northridge and he has had at least one in four straight and a total of 11 in the last four games. Since returning from injury on Jan. 29 - he missed three games with a sprained shoulder - he has started eight of nine games. Roemer has the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team at 1.6-to-1.0 In the last five, he has had 13 assists and just four turnovers. Also, he has averaged 3.7 rebounds in the last four contests.
Sophomore guard Jordan Weiner scored six points in 14 minutes on Thursday night against UC Riverside. He hit a pair of three-point shots. Weiner is now averaging 3.5 points per game. He has made 29 baskets on the year, 25 from three-point range. Weiner scored a career-high 14 on Jan. 17 at Cal Poly, making four three-pointers.
Sam He Is
Sam Phippen played six minutes on Thursday against UC Riverside, and he was scoreless. Phippen is averaging 2.1 points and 1.6 boards. He had a career-high five rebounds on Feb. 7 at UCI. He has had a career-high six points twice.
Cut To The Quick
Senior Nick Quick sparked UCSB off the bench in the Feb. 28 win over Davis. Quick scored a career-high seven points, making 2-of-4 three-point attempts and 1-of-2 free throws. He is out for the year with a torn MCL in his left knee.
The Gaucho Way
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."