November 25, 2011

Gauchos Host San Diego State at Thunderdome Saturday

• The Schedule 
Game No. 5
Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. San Diego State Aztecs
A Salute To Servicemen and Servicewomen.
Pom-pom giveaway night.
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Livestats available on UCSBgauchos.com 

Game No. 6
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UNLV Runnin' Rebels

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

• Big West +1 Ticket Plan Still Available
The Big West +1 Ticket Plan remains available.  With the Big West +1, fans can purchase tickets for all eight Gaucho Big West games, plus one for either the Nov. 26 showdown against San Diego State or the Nov. 30 game against rival UNLV.  The cost of the plan is just $99.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, please stop by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.   

• Pimm Will Become Newest Legend Of The 'Dome  
A banner honoring former UCSB head coach Jerry Pimm as a Legend of the 'Dome will be unveiled at halftime of the Gauchos Nov. 30 game against UNLV.  Pimm, who built UCSB into a top-25 program, experienced many of his greatest moments in wins over the rival Runnin' Rebels.  He will become the fourth men's basketball honoree as he joins three of his greatest Gaucho players - Brian Shaw, Carrick DeHart and Eric McArthur - to earn the honor.  Overall, Coach Pimm is the 10th honoree.  Former women's basketball great Erin Alexander (Brown) will have her banner unfurled on Feb. 4 against Cal Poly.  Tickets for both of the legends games are available by clicking here.  

• Gauchos Host Powerful San Diego State Saturday
UCSB will face its most daunting task of the season thus far when it hosts San Diego State on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.  The Gauchos (4-0) will put their perfect record on the line against an Aztec team that was ranked in the top-10 virtually all of last season and has opened the 2011-12 campaign with a 6-1 record.  Their record includes a win at No. 23 Arizona and against Long Beach State.  SDSU's lone loss on the season came at Baylor, which is ranked among the top-15 in all polls.

• The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara is 4-0 after an 83-69 win over the University of Portland on Tuesday, Nov. 22.  The Gauchos are 4-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season when they  also started the year at 4-0.  The last time they had a better start was in 1992-93 when they jumped out to a 6-0 start.  Last season UCSB went 18-14 overall and 8-8 in the Big West before winning the Big West Tournament and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row.

• The Gauchos Jump To 12th In Mid-Major Poll
UCSB opened the season ranked 23rd in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll.  The Gauchos remained at No. 23 in the second poll, but after opening the year with three wins, jumped to No. 12.  Gonzaga and Creighton are 1-2 in the latest poll while the Big West's Long Beach State is No. 8.

• Williams Moves Within One Of Wins Record
Bob Williams is in his 14th season at the helm of the UCSB basketball program and his 23rd overall.  Including wins in the first four games this season,  Williams has led his Gauchos to a 221-170 record.  The 221 wins are the second most in school history and he needs just one more to tie the all-time victory leader, Jerry Pimm.  Overall, Williams is in 23rd season overall and has a 410-270 all-time record. 

• Gauchos Use Big Second Half To Cruise Past Portland, 83-69
Orlando Johnson had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Jaimé Serna had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and James Nunnally added 22 points as UCSB overcame its first halftime deficit of the season and defeated Portland 83-69 on Tuesday night.  The trio of Johnson, Serna and Nunnally combined for 42 of its 63 points in the second half as the Gauchos came back from trailing 35-31 at the intermission.  UCSB, which shot 37.5% in the first half and missed all eight three-point attempts, hit 54.8% overall in the second half, including 7-of-12 three-point attempts, 58.3%.  Freshman forward Alan Williams also sparked the rally and finished with career-highs of eight points and eight rebounds in just 12 minutes of play.  Santa Barbara limited the Pilots to 38.6% shooting from the field and the Gauchos won the rebounding battle, 45-28. 

• And Then There Were Two
The Gauchos opened the season with a home exhibition game and six regular season home games.  Things have gone well so far as they have gone 4-0, however, they have just two home games remaining - Nov. 26 vs. San Diego State and Nov. 30 vs. UNLV - before bidding farewell to the Thunderdome, not to return for 37 days.  UCSB will play road games at San Diego (Dec. 13), Washington (Dec. 16), Cal (Dec. 19), BYU (Dec. 22) and Cal Poly (Jan. 2) before returning home to host Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 5.  

• The Gauchos And Aztecs
The Gauchos and San Diego State have played 81 games in a series that goes back to 1937.  The Aztecs own a 45-36 edge all-time.  Last year, on Dec. 18, 2010, SDSU handed Santa Barbara its worst defeat of the season, 90-64, in San Diego.  The last time the teams met in Santa Barbara was on Dec. 5, 2009 and the Aztecs won that game too, 69-61.

• Dome, Sweet Dome 
UCSB is 4-0 at home this season and while the Gauchos had a relatively modest 9-4 record at home in 2010-11, they have found great success at the Thunderdome over the years.  In the last four seasons-plus, UCSB has gone 45-13 in home games.  In 2009-10, an 11-2 home record equaled the second best single-season home winning percentage in school history at 84.6%.  In Bob Williams' 13-plus seasons in Santa Barbara, the Gauchos have posted a 126-48 home record, 72.5%.  In his last 10 seasons-plus, they have gone 100-32, 75.9%.  Finally, in 2009-10, for the first time in school history, they were unbeaten at home in Big West Conference games going a perfect 8-0.

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Had 15 points, 10 rebounds vs. Portland for 2nd career double-double.
G 1  Nate Garth - Set a UCSB career-high with six assists in win over Portland. 
F 21 James Nunnally - Scored 20 or more points in three of four for first time in a year.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Has attempted eight free throws and just six field goals.
G 33 Orlando Johnson - Has back-to-back double-doubles for first time in his career.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle - Remains sidelined with a sore back but has practiced.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Played career-high 25 minutes in each of the last three games.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Had career-high five rebounds in win over Portland.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Logged a season-low six minutes in each of the last two games.
F 15 Alan Williams - Has 20 points and 19 rebounds in just 30 minutes.
F 20 Shawn Moore - Walk-on from Butte College has yet to play.
F 32 John Green - Injury to left foot could sideline him for most, if not all, season.
F 35 Taran Brown - Is expected to redshirt the 2011-12 season.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - Tied his career-high with eight rebounds vs. Westmont.

• Historically Marginal
UCSB has won its first four games by an average margin of 23.5 points per game.  The 14-point margin of victory over Portland was the smallest of the four.  The largest Gaucho margin through the first three games was 33 and came in an 89-56 win over Santa Clara.  The current four-game run marks the first time since February of 2000 that UCSB has won four in a row by double-digit margins.  Santa Barbara won its first three games by 20 or more point and that was the third time in school history that has occurred.  The last time, in December and January of 1989-90 and the wins were over Boston University (89-68), San Jose State (82-61) and Utah State (91-66).  In December of 1971, the Gauchos won four straight games by 20 more and those victories came against Montana State (80-48), Montana (86-43), Arizona (97-63) and Chicago State (108-56).

• Gauchos Win Six Of Seven Halves 
The Gauchos are outscoring their opponents by an average of 23.5 points per game, so they are obviously doing something right.  But not only has UCSB won all four of its games, it has outscored its opponents in five out of six halves.  When Portland held a 35-31 lead af halftime in the Gauchos' most recent game, it was the first time this season that they were outscored in any half.  In fact, Santa Barbara has outscored its opponents by double-figures in six of the eight halves this season.  Taking things a step further, in four first halves this season, UCSB has outscored its opposition by a margin of 28 points, 7.0 per game.  In four second halves, the Gauchos have an edge of 66 points, 16.5 points per half.  UCSB has won its last two second halves by an average of 18.5 points per half.

• A Williams Era Marginal Record
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 was the biggest in Williams' tenure in Santa Barbara.  Prior to the win over the Broncos, the largest margin 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.  Against a Division I opponent it goes back to Feb. 11, 1993 when the Gauchos beat Nevada, 93-60.  That same season, on Dec. 19, 1992, they blasted St. Mary's on the road, 79-37. 

• That 80s Show
Through four games in 2011-12, UCSB is averaging 82.0 points per game and has already achieved something that it did not last season.  The Gauchos have scored 80 or more points in three straight games for the first time since the final three games of the 1990-91 regular season when they did so against Utah State (twice) and San Jose State.  Last season, UCSB averaged 67.8 points per game and scored 80 or more just four times.  In fact, while the Gauchos are averaging 82.0 points per game this season, they scored at or over that total just three times in 2010-11, including an overtime win over UC Davis when they totaled 93.  UCSB's highest single-season scoring average ever was 84.8 in 1969-70.

• The Honorable Orlando Johnson
Orlando Johnson has accumulated a laundry list of preseason honors. In early October, he became the first Gaucho ever named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top-50 list.  In November, Johnson earned three more accolades.  He was one of 21 players in the nation named to the Lute Olson Preseason All-America Team, one of 30 candidates announced for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and was named to the Naismith Player of the Year Preseason Watch List.  As is the case with the Wooden Award, Johnson is the first UCSB player in history to earn his way on to any of the latter three lists.

• Johnson Moves Into Top-10 In Scoring
Orlando Johnson scored a season-high 26 points Tuesday's win over Portland and now has 1,295 in his career at UCSB.  Two games earlier, in a win over Santa Clara, Johnson moved past Richard Anderson (1978-82) and into 10th on the Gauchos all-time scoring list.  His next target is Scott Fisher (1982-86) who is ninth all-time with 1,351 points.  If the 383 points that Johnson scored as a freshman at Loyola Marymount are factored in, he has now tallied 1,678 in his collegiate career. 

• Nunnally Also Approaches Top-10
Senior James Nunnally has been one of the most dependable scorers in UCSB history since late in his freshman season.  Last year, he averaged 16.3 points per game and teamed with Orlando Johnson to form the most potent scoring combinations in the Big West.  In the season-opener against Chapman, Nunnally scored a game-high 20 points and in doing so, moved past the 1,200 point mark for his career.  In the Nov. 15 win over Santa Clara, he scored a season-high 24 points and on Tuesday he had 22 against Portland.  Nunnally enters Saturday's game with 1,272 points in his career.  He needs 80 to move past Scott Fisher and into the all-time top-10.  Orlando Johnson is a moving target, so we will assume that he'll most likely remain ahead of Nunnally.  When he scored 20 and 24 in the first two games of the season, it marked the first time Nunnally has scored 20 in back-to-back games since mid-February of last season.  He has now scored 20 or more in three out of four games for the first time since December and November of 2010.

• Serna Rounds Into Form
Jaimé Serna battled a groin injury for much of the 2010-11 season, but when he was relatively healthy at the Big West Tournament, it was obvious just how important he is to UCSB's success.  With Serna making the All-Tournament team, the Gauchos won three in a row and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.  Serna has had his two best games of the year in the last two.  On Tuesday against Portland, Serna made all five of his shots from the field and finished with 15 points, the third highest total of his career.  He also tied his career-high with 10 rebounds and posted the second double-double of his career.  In the win over Westmont, he scored 10 points and collected seven rebounds.  Serna made all four of his field goal attempts against the Warriors and is now 9-for-9 in his last two games.  He has scored in double-figures in his last three games   and it is the second time in his career Serna has achieved that.  Through four games, the senior from Laguna Beach is averaging 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting 77.8% overall and 76.5% from the free throw line.

• Who's The Bos 
Guard Kyle Boswell took a bit of an offensive respite in the Gauchos win over Portland as he scored three points.  Despite that performance, Boswell is tied for third on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game.  In his first three games, he tied or set new career-highs in points.  After tying his previous mark of 11 in the opener against Chapman, Boswell had 12 vs. Santa Clara and 15 vs. Westmont.  When we scored in double-figures in three straight, he became the only UCSB player other than Orlando Johnson, James Nunnally and Jaimé Serna to achieve the feat in the last two seasons.  Boswell also leads the Gauchos in three-point baskets with eight and three-point percentage at 50.0%.  He has played a career-high 25 minutes in each of the last three games.

• Williams Makes His Minutes Count 
Freshman forward Alan Williams is making his on-court minutes count for UCSB.  The Phoenix native has logged just 30 minutes this season, an average of 7.5 per game, but he has scored 20 points and collected 19 rebounds in those 30 minutes.  He is averaging 5.0 points and 4.8 rebounds overall, but his averages per 40 minutes are staggering.  Williams is averaging 26.7 points and 25.6 rebounds per 40 minutes.  In the Gauchos' win over Portland on Tuesday, Williams set new career-highs with eight points and eight rebounds in just a 12 minutes, also a career-high.  Finally, despite his limited playing time, he has attempted 13 free throws, fourth on the team. 

• Somogyi Nears No. 2 On Block List
Senior Greg Somogyi has not have a blocked shot in either of the last two games, wins over Westmont and Portland, but he did block five shots in UCSB's Nov. 15 win over Santa Clara and now has 141 swats in his career, third all-time.  Somogyi needs just 14 to pass Doug Muse and move into second all-time.  Also, it was the ninth time in his career that Somogyi has blocked at least five shots in a game.