Gauchos' Road Odyssey Continues at Washington Friday

Nate Garth (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Nate Garth (Photo by Tony Mastres)

• The Schedule 
Game No. 8
Friday, December 16, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of Washington Huskies

at UW's Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:

Game No. 9
Monday, December 19, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal Golden Bears

at Cal's Haas Pavilion
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:

• Tickets For All Home Games Remain On Sale
Beginning with a Jan. 5 game against Cal State Fullerton, UCSB has eight exciting Big West home games yet to be played at the Thunderdome.  Don't miss the thrilling action.  For single game tickets, call 805-893-UCSB(8272), drop by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus or to buy online, click here.

• 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 seventh 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 is also streamed live online and can be accessed by clicking here.  

• Williams Ties Pimm For All-Time Victory Mark
On Tuesday Dec. 13, UC Santa Barbara held on to win at the University of San Diego, 65-61.  The victory in the Gauchos' first road game of 2011-12 was also the 222nd of head coach Bob Williams tenure in Santa Barbara, tying him with Jerry Pimm for the most in school history.  Williams, who now has a 222-172 record, is in his 14th season in charge of the program.  Pimm achieved his wins over 15 campaigns. 

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB is now 5-2 after Tuesday night's win at the University of San Diego.  The Gauchos opened the season with a 4-0 record before losing consecutive games to San Diego State (76-75 in overtime) and UNLV (94-88 in two overtimes).  With the win over the Toreros, Santa Barbara has its best record after seven games since opening the 2007-08 season with a 6-1 mark.

• One Down, Four To Go
Tuesday's game in San Diego was UCSB's first road game, first game in December and the first game of a five-game road run, four of which will take place on the current road trip.  The trip is the longest of the Bob Williams era.  The Gauchos will remain on the road for a Dec. 19 game at Cal and a Dec. 22 game at BYU.  When they return on Dec. 23, they will have spent 12 days and 11 nights on the road.  After opening Big West play on Jan. 2 at Cal Poly, UCSB returns home for a Jan. 5 game against Cal State Fullerton, the first home game after a 35-day break. 

• Gauchos Now At 14th In Mid-Major Poll
UCSB remains ranked 14th in the Mid-Major Poll.  Creighton is No. 1 in the poll while Murray State is now No. 2.   

• Gauchos Hold On To Defeat San Diego, 65-61
Jaimé Serna's blocked shot of an attempted lay-up by the University of San Diego's Christopher Anderson with 3.5 seconds remaining capped his career night and helped UCSB hold on for a 65-61 win over the Toreros on Tuesday night.  Serna finished with a career-high 22 points, including 14 in the first half, and he matched a career-high with five blocked shots.  The senior scored 14 of his points in the first half, helping the Gauchos overcome a scoreless half by Orlando Johnson en route to a 32-30 lead.  UCSB led by as many as eight points but were ahead just 63-61 when Serna came up with his clutch block.  Johnson was fouled intentionally and made two free throws with 0.6 seconds left for the final score.  He ended with 12 points.  James Nunnally also had 14 points for the Gauchos who posted a win in their first road game of the 2011-12 season.

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0  Jaimé Serna - Had career-high 22 points and tied his career-high with 5 blocks at USD.
G 1  Nate Garth - Equaled his season-high with seven points at USD. 
F 21 James Nunnally - Scored in double-figures in all seven games this season.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Walk-on has just 12 field goal attempts in 127 minutes.
G 33 Orlando Johnson - Was scoreless in the first half at USD, a first in his UCSB career.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle - Played nine minutes in last two games after missing first five.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Leads UCSB in 3-point percentage at 46.2%.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Scored a career-high 10 points before fouling out on 11/30 vs. UNLV.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Played season-low two minutes at San Diego.
F 15 Alan Williams - Logged two minutes at USD after not playing in UNLV game.
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.
G 43 Duke DaRe - Walk-on from De La Salle HS has yet to play in a game this season.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - His put-back at the buzzer to end regulation sent UNLV game to OT.

• The Opponents
UCSB and Washington have played just twice and the Huskies won both games.  The teams met on Dec. 17, 1981 in Santa Barbara and the score was 71-62 and then again in Seattle on Dec. 21, 1982 and the final was 76-55.  The Gauchos and Cal have played seven games since 1948 with the Golden Bears winning all seven.  The last time the team's met was in the  championship game of the Golden Bear Classic on Dec. 29, 2009 and Cal won that one, 87-66.

• The Gauchos On The Road 
The Gauchos opened their road schedule on Dec. 13 with a 65-61 win at the University of San Diego and are now, prepare yourself, 1-0 on the road this season.  In 2010-11, they were 5-8 in true road games and 9-10 in all games away from the Thunderdome.  UCSB lost its last three true road games last season, dropping decisions at Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine.   

• Finally, The Gauchos Get The Banana
UCSB's win at the University of San Diego on Tuesday night came by the score of 65-61.  The game was actually closer than that...sort of.  Orlando Johnson was fouled intentionally with 0.6 seconds left and made both free throws for the final margin.  The win was the Gauchos' first close-call victory of the year and it came on the heels of consecutive heart-breaking losses when they were close, but didn't seize the banana.  On Nov. 26, UCSB lost a 76-75 overtime game to visiting San Diego State.  On Nov. 30, UCSB lost to then-No. 18 UNLV in two overtimes, 94-88.  The game against the Runnin' Rebels was just the third multi-overtime game that a Bob Williams-coached Santa Barbara team has played and the first since an 89-80 win at Pepperdine on Nov. 21, 2006.  On Dec. 6, 2000, UCSB defeated San Diego State in three overtimes, 80-67.  That game was the longest in school history.  Others have seemed longer, but that one truly was.

• First Blowouts, Then Close Calls
UCSB won its first four games (Chapman, Santa Clara, Westmont and Portland) by a combined 94 points, 23.5 per game.  The last three games have been a different story.  The largest margin of the three – a 94-88 loss to UNLV – came in double overtime.  Overall, in the last three, the combined margins of victory (two wins by the opponents and one by the Gauchos) was 11 points, an average of 3.7 per game.

• Playing The Percentages
UCSB had a better field goal percentage in each of its first four games this season.  In games five and six, however, the Gauchos made just a total of 54 out of 135 shots from the floor, 40.0%, and were outshot by San Diego State and UNLV.  On Tuesday, they turned that stat back into a plus by making 24-of-48 shots, 50.0%, while the University of San Diego hit just 21-of-57, 36.8%.  It was the fifth time in seven games that UCSB has made at least 47.3% of its shots and, perhaps more importantly, it was the fifth time in seven contests that an opponent has been below the 40.0% mark.  In the other two games, Gaucho opponents made 40.5% and 45.8%.   

• Let Freedom Ring
The Gauchos are making a season-high 71.3% of their free throws this season.  In Tuesday's at San Diego, they made 12-of-14 shots from the line for a season-best 85.7%.  After making 76 out of 111 free throw attempts in the first four games, UCSB has taken it up a notch in the last three games as it has made 51 out of 67 attempts, 76.1%.  In 2010-11, free throw shooting was one of the team's real strengths as it made 459-of-610, 75.2%, a single-season figure that ranks tied for fifth in school history.

• Blockheads  
Through seven games, UCSB has 45 blocked shots, an average of 6.4 per.  Senior Greg Somogyi, who is verging on the No. 2 spot on the school's all-time career list, leads the way with 17, 2.4 per game.  In fact, Somogyi has 17 in just 86 minutes this season.  After four games, the Gauchos had 17 blocked shots, 4.2 per game, but in the last three games they have turned away 28 opponent attempts, 9.3 per game.  They recorded a season-high 11 blocked shots in two of the last three games, Nov. 26 vs. San Diego State and Dec. 13 at the University of San Diego.  The 11 blocks rank as the sixth most in UCSB history.  In the game at USD, Jaimé Serna tied his career-high with five blocks.  In 2010-11, The Gauchos set a school record with 133 swats, an average of 4.1 per game.  Currently, they are on pace to surpass that mark. 

• 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, a Division II program.  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. 

• 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 Gaucho in history to earn his way on to any of the lists.

• Johnson Makes His Points
Orlando Johnson had an un-Johnson-like first half on Tuesday at San Diego.  The senior was scoreless, a first for his Gaucho career.  He had a more Johnson-like second half and finished with 12 points.  In his previous game, Johnson scored a season-high 36 points in the Gauchos' Nov. 30 game against UNLV.  The total was just three shy of his school record 39, scored against UC Davis last season.  In the game against the Runnin' Rebels, Johnson also had 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots and a career-high 47 minutes.  For his efforts, he earned Big West Player of the Week honors.  The double-double was Johnson's third of the season.  Overall, his average of 22.1 points per game leads the Big West Conference and ranks eighth nationally.  The 12 points that Johnson tallied against USD, pushed his UCSB career total to 1,369 ranking him ninth on the school's career scoring list.  If the 383 points that Johnson scored as a freshman at Loyola Marymount are factored in, he has now tallied 1,752 in his collegiate career.  Johnson has scored in double-figures in all seven games this season and has now done so 68 times in his 69 games at UCSB.  In addition to his scoring exploits, he leads the team in rebounds at 7.1 per game and he is tied for the team-lead with 24 assists, 3.4 per game.  Johnson, in fact, has four assists in each of the last four games.   

• The Flying Nunnally
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.  His 14 points on Nov. 30 moved him past the 1,300 point plateau and he now has 1,316 and needs just 36 to move into UCSB's all-time top-10.  In the Nov. 15 win over Santa Clara, Nunnally scored a season-high 24 points.  Despite struggling with his shooting touch in the last four games, Nunnally has scored 14 or more points in all seven games this season.  After making 24-of-38 (63.2%) shots in the first three games, he has made 18-of-51 (35.3%) in the last four.  When Nunnally scored 20 and 24 in the first two games of the season, it marked the first time he has scored 20 in back-to-back games since mid-February of last season.  He also ranks second on the team in rebounding with an average of 5.9 per game.  Nunnally had eight rebounds in two of the last three games and four times this season.

• Making A DisSERNAble Difference
Jaimé Serna came to the Gauchos rescue in more ways than one in Tuesday night's win over San Diego.  It was his career-high-tying fifth blocked shot of the game that staved off a Torero rally in the waning seconds and help secure the win.  Also, Serna scored a career-high 22 points, including 14 in the first half.  The 14 points were vital considering the team's leading scorer, Orlando Johnson, was scoreless through the first 20 minutes and the Gauchos still led, 32-30.  Serna is averaging a season-high 11.6 points per game and he has scored 10 or more in five of the last six games, averaging 12.5 per game over that span.  Not only is he averaging 11.6 points, but Serna is doing so in the most efficient manner.  The senior has attempted just 40 shots in seven games this season, 5.7 per game, and made 30 of them, 75.0%.  In the last five games, he has hit 25 out of his 31 attempts, 80.6%.  On Tuesday, not only did he set a career-high for points, but he set a personal-best with nine field goals in 12 attempts.  In three of the last five games, Serna has been perfect from the field.  He went 4-for-4 vs. Westmont and then had 5-for-5 efforts against Portland and UNLV.  When he has stayed out of foul trouble, he has generally been very effective for UCSB.  In the last two games, he has recorded 39 and 32 minutes respectively, his two highest totals of the year and two of the highest totals of his career.  In a Nov. 22 win over Portland he tied his career-high with 10 rebounds and had 15 points to record his second career double-double.  Serna is also third on the team in rebounds at 4.9 per game, but he has averaged 5.5 in the last four games.  He is second in blocked shots with 10.

• Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell is averaging 8.4 points per game and bounced back from a quiet game on Nov. 30 against UNLV with a solid effort in the win over San Diego.  Against the Toreros, Boswell made 3-of-6 shots, including 2-of-5 from three-point range, and finished with eight points.  He continues to lead the Gauchos in three-point field goal percentage at 46.2% and he has made at least one three in six out of seven games.  Despite his solid game on Tuesday, the sophomore struggled to get his shots in the last four games.  Boswell scored in double-figures in each of the first three games, averaging 12.7 per game and setting a new career-high in each.  He had 15 on Nov. 18 vs. Westmont, an all-time best mark for him.  Also over that span, he made 12-of-22 shots overall, 54.5%, and 7-of-13 from three-point range, 53.9%.  In the last four games, Boswell has totaled just 21 points, 5.2 per game, while making 8-of-17 shots overall, 47.1%, and 5-of-13 from three-point territory, 38.5%.   In the first three games, he 23.7 minutes and 7.3 field goals attempts per game.  In the most recent four games, he has averaged 22.5 minutes and 4.2 field goals attempts.

• Somogyi Nears No. 2 On Block List
Senior Greg Somogyi blocked a season-high six shots in just 15 minutes in UCSB's loss to San Diego State on Nov. 26.  He followed that up with one block on Nov. 30 vs. UNLV and four in the win at San Diego.  Somogyi now has 152 swats in his career, third all-time.  He needs just three to pass Doug Muse and move into second all-time.  With two games of five or more blocks this season, Somogyi has now done so 10 times in his career, second in school history.  Finally, the 7-foot-3 Hungarian holds UCSB's all-time record for blocks in a game with eight on Feb. 20, 2010 at Fresno State. 

• Pointing The Way 
Junior Nate Garth, a transfer from New Mexico who redshirted in 2010-11, is one half of UCSB's point guard committee.  Garth has started all seven games and has played 159 minutes, 22.7 per game.  He had his best game against Santa Clara when he had season-highs of seven points and five rebounds to go along with five assists.  On Tuesday at San Diego, he tied his Gaucho-high with seven points, and he added four assists.  In a Nov. 22 win over Portland, he had a career-high six assists.  Garth is tied for the team-lead with 24 assists, an average of 3.4 per game.  His 3.0-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is the best on the team and he has had more assists than turnovers in all seven games this season.   

• Taylor Made 
T.J. Taylor is the other half of UCSB's point guard committee.  Despite going scoreless in 18 minutes at San Diego on Tuesday, Taylor has shown a maturity this season that belies his freshman status.  On Nov. 30, in UCSB's double overtime loss to UNLV, Taylor scored a season-high 10 points, had three assists and collected a pair of rebounds in 29 minutes before fouling out.  He hit a big three-point basket late in the game and finished with two for the game.  In seven games, Taylor is averaging 4.4 points, 2.9 assists and 2.3 rebounds in an average of 20.3 minutes per game.  He played a career-high 29 minutes in the game against the Runnin' Rebels and, for the second time this season, made two three-point baskets.  Also, perhaps most importantly, Taylor has 20 assists and just seven turnovers, a 2.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.  Combined, he and Nate Garth have 44 assists and just 14 turnovers, a 3.1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

• More Fresh Faces
While T.J. Taylor is having the most consistent impact of any UCSB freshman this season, two others are getting regular minutes.  Lewis Thomas (The Australian Institute of Sport/Perth, Australia) has played in all seven games while averaging 8.4 minutes and 2.1 rebounds per game.  Alan Williams (North HS/Phoenix, Ariz.) has played in six of seven, averaged 7.3 minutes, 3.7 rebounds and 3.3 points per appearance.

• Slowly, But Surely
Sophomore forward Keegan Hornbuckle hasn't set the world on fire in his first two games as a Gaucho, but at least he is on the court.  A transfer from Colorado, Hornbuckle redshirted last season but didn't take part in practice because of a variety of injuries.  Additional injuries sidelined him during UCSB's tour of Canada in September and after missing the first five games Hornbuckle has played in the last two for a total of nine minutes.  Look for his contributions to increase as the season evolves.