Gauchos Host Northridge Thursday, Long Beach State Saturday on ESPNU

T.J. Taylor (Photo by Tony Mastres)
T.J. Taylor (Photo by Tony Mastres)

• The Schedule 
Game No. 15
Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors

at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:
On-Line Video:
Live Stats:

Game No. 16
Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Long Beach State 49ers

at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
Television: ESPNU
On-Line Audio:
Live Stats:

• Tickets Available For All Gaucho Games
Tickets for all UCSB basketball games are still available.  To purchase tickets or for ticket information, please visit the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.

 • UCSB Plays Pair At Home Before Hitting The Road
UC Santa Barbara will host Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State this week in its final two home games before playing four consecutive contests on the road.  In fact, following the games against the Matadors and 49ers, the Gauchos will play seven out of eight games away from home.  The lone home game over that span will be a Feb. 11 game against UC Riverside.  Included in the seven road games will be a Feb. 18 game of the ESPNU Bracket Busters series.  The opponent will be known in late-January. 

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB is 8-6 overall and 3-1 in the Big West Conference.  The Gauchos improved to 3-1 in league play with a 74-56 home win over UC Irvine on Jan. 14.  The win over the Anteaters came on the heels of a difficult 79-70 overtime loss at UC Riverside on Jan. 12.  Since opening the year with a 4-0 record, UCSB has gone 4-6, but, in addition to the OT loss at Riverside, the defeats came in overtime to San Diego State, double overtime to UNLV, at Washington, at Cal and at BYU.        

• Johnson Named To John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-25 
Senior Orlando Johnson has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-25, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced this week.  Johnson, who was named to the Preseason Top-50 in October, is the first Gaucho player ever to play his way onto either list.  A native of Seaside, Calif., Johnson leads UCSB in scoring (20.2 points per game), rebounds (6.6 per game), assists (2.9 per game) and steals (13).  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 he was named to the Naismith Player of the Year Preseason Watch List.  

• Williams Passes Pimm For All-Time Victory Lead
UCSB's 58-57 win at Cal Poly on Jan. 2 pushed head coach Bob Williams to the top of the school's all-time list for coaching wins with 223.   Williams now has 225 victories in his 13-plus seasons and on Thursday, Jan. 12 at UC Riverside, he coached his 400th game since arriving at UCSB for the 1998-99 season.  Finally, unless something catastrophic occurs, Williams will coach his 700th collegiate game on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Long Beach State.

• After The Matadors...
Following Thursday night's game against Cal State Northridge, UCSB will have its first rematch of the season with a team that it has beaten in each of the last two Big West Tournament championship games.  The Gauchos will face-off against Long Beach State on Saturday, Jan. 21.  The game, which will be televised live on ESPNU, will be the first of two regular season match-ups between the schools this season.  The second, on Feb. 22 in Long Beach, will be televised on ESPN2.  

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Scoreless in nine minutes vs. UCI after missing Jan. 12 game at UCR.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Had career-highs of 14 points, 5 rebs., 4 steals, 3 assists vs. UCI.
F 15 Alan Williams - Averaging 10.5 rebounds in Big West play.  Had 13 in UCI game.
G 21 James Nunnally - The only Gaucho to score in double-figures in all 14 games.
G 33 Orlando Johnson- Needs three points to become fifth Gaucho to hit 1,500.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Made 5-of-9 three-pointers in the last four games. 
G 10 Kyle Boswell- Has at least one three-point basket in 13 out of 14 games.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Played six minutes in first two league games, has played 43 in last two..
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Has totalled just four minutes in first four Big West games.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Had career-high two steals vs. UC Irvine.
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 164 blocked shots rank second in school history.

• Serna Likely To Play Thursday 
On Jan. 5 against Cal State Fullerton, UCSB senior forward Jaimé Serna fell hard to the floor on a lay-up attempt.  He was originally diagnosed with a bruised hand and sprained wrist.  Serna missed the Gauchos' Jan. 12 game at UC Riverside, but not because of the hand.  He missed the game against the Highlanders with back and hip issues that also occurred when he hit the floor against the Titans.  Serna returned to action on Jan. 14 against UC Irvine, but played just nine minutes and didn't play at all in the second half.  He is, however, expected to play in this weekend's games against Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State.

• Feb. 4 UCSB-Cal State Fullerton Game Will Be Aired On ESPNU
ESPN has chosen the Saturday, Feb. 4 game between UCSB and Cal State Fullerton as its "Wild Card" selection and will air it on ESPNU beginning at 6:00 p.m.  The game at Fullerton was chosen from among the four Big West Conference games being played that night.  The addition of the Gauchos-Titans match-up to the league's TV slate gives Santa Barbara six appearances during the conference schedule.  The other games scheduled to air will be Jan. 21 vs. Long Beach State (ESPNU), Jan. 28 at Pacific (ESPN3), Feb. 11 vs. UC Riverside (Prime Ticket), Feb. 22 at Long Beach State (ESPN2) and Feb. 25 vs. Cal Poly (ESPNU).  UCSB's Feb. 18 ESPNU/Bracketbuster game could bring the total to seven.

• Johnson, Nunnally Continue To Scale The Scoring List
Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally continue to climb UCSB's all-time scoring list.  Johnson enters this week's games with 1,497 points and needs three to become just the fifth player in school history to go over the 1,500 mark.  Once he's done that, he will take aim at Mark Hull, the fourth leading scorer in school history with 1,580 points.  Last week, Nunnally became the ninth Gaucho to exceed 1,400 career points.  He now has 1,415 and needs just 20 to move into sixth-place all-time.

• Playing The Percentages
In its last game, UCSB limited UC Irvine to 33.3%  shooting from the field, the lowest mark by an opponent since Santa Clara shot 32.8% on Nov. 15.  In 14 games overall, Gaucho opponents are shooting exactly 40.0% and in the four Big West games, they have made just 85-of-238 shots, 35.7%.  Santa Barbara has held its opponents below 40.0% from the field nine times this season, including six times in eight home games.  The highest field goal percentage by an opponent this season was the 48.3% that BYU shot on Dec. 22.  

• Men Of Steal
Last season, UCSB averaged 7.3 steals per game, one of the highest totals in school history.  This season's Gauchos don't produce steals at nearly the same rate as last year's team, averaging 5.9 per game.  In their last game, however, they showed flashes of the past with a season-high 14.  Keegan Hornbuckle and James Nunnally each had a career-high four steals as UCSB tied its eighth highest steal total ever.  Not only was it the most steals in a game this season, it was the most steals by far.  The previous high was nine which the Gauchos had in three games. 

• Dome, Sweet Dome 
UCSB is 6-2 at home this season.  On Jan. 5, the Gauchos snapped a two-game home losing streak by defeating Cal State Fullerton, 77-64.  In their last game, they extended their home winning streak to two with a 74-56 win over UC Irvine.  The two home losses this season came against San Diego State on Nov. 26 (76-75 in overtime) and UNLV on Nov. 30 (94-88 in double overtime).  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 47-15 in home games.  In 2009-10, an 11-2 home record equaled the second best single-season home winning percentage in school history at 84.9%.  In Bob Williams' 13-plus seasons in Santa Barbara, the Gauchos have posted a 128-50 home record, 72.3%.  In his last 10 seasons-plus, they have gone 102-34, 74.9%.  

• Blockheads  
Through 14 games, UCSB has 84 blocked shots, an average of 6.0 per game, first in the Big West and 12th in the nation.  Senior Greg Somogyi, who has moved into the No. 2 spot on the school's all-time career list, leads the way with 27, 1.9 per game.   After four games, the Gauchos had 17 blocked shots, 4.2 per game, but in the last 10 games they have turned away 67 opponent attempts, 6.7 per game.  They recorded a season-high 11 blocked shots in two games this season, 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 2010-11, The Gauchos set a school record with 133 swats, an average of 4.1 per game.  

• The Honorable Orlando
Orlando Johnson, who was recently named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-25 List, continues to lead the Gauchos in four out of five major statistical categories.  Johnson paces the team in scoring (20.2 points per game), rebounding (6.6 per game), assists (2.9 per game) and steals (13).  He is bidding to become the first UCSB player since Brian Shaw to lead the team in scoring, assists and rebounds.  Shaw turned the trick in 1987-88.   Johnson has led the Gauchos in scoring in each of the last three games and nine times this season.  He has scored in double-figures 13 times in 14 games and 74 times in 76 games during his career and he's scored 20 or more nine times this season and a record 38 times in his career. Johnson scored a season-high 36 points while adding 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots in UCSB's double-overtime loss to UNLV on Nov. 30.  The 36 points were his second highest total ever and the double-double was one of four that Johnson has recorded this season.  In addition to UNLV, he had double-doubles against Washington (24 points and 10 rebounds), Portland (26 points and 12 rebounds) and Westmont College (20 points and 12 rebounds).   The 15 points that Johnson tallied in the Gauchos' last game against UC Irvine pushed his UCSB career total to 1,497 ranking him fifth on the school's career scoring list.  He needs 84 points to move into fourth all-time.  If the 383 points that Johnson scored as a freshman at Loyola Marymount are factored in, he has now tallied 1,880 in his collegiate career.  Among every thing else, he leads the team in three-point baskets with 26 and now has 138 in his career, ninth in school history.  Finally, Johnson seems to have remedied his free throw shooting woes.  After an 0-for-4 performance in the Gauchos game at BYU on Dec. 22, he had gone 6-for-15 over a three game span, 40.0%.  In the last three games, however, Johnson has made 20-of-23, 86.9%.

• The Flying Nunnally
Senior James Nunnally had 11 points in UCSB's won over UC Irvine on Saturday, making just 4-of-12 field goal attempts.  But what Nunnally lacked in terms of scoring against the Anteaters, he made up for with an outstanding all-around game, finishing with a season-high nine rebounds as well as career-highs in assists with six and steals with four.   Nunnally is second on the team in scoring at 16.1 per game and rebounding at 6.4 per game.  He is shooting 46.0% from the field, but made just 9-of-28 from the floor in the last two games, .32.1%  Nunnally remains the only Gaucho to score in double-figures in every game this season and, dating back to last season, he has done so in 18 straight, the longest stretch of his career.  Nunnally has scored 20 or more points four times this season, including a season-high 24 points on Nov. 15 against Santa Clara.  Also, in scoring 11 in the last game, he continued to climb up UCSB's list for career points with 1,415.  He was the ninth player in school history to exceed 1,400 points and now, with 1,415, ranks eighth all-time.  He needs just 20 to move past two more players and into sixth on the list.  While Nunnally has averaged 15.0 points per game in the last three games, he has also averaged 4.0 assists and, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals over the same span.  In fact, while nine rebounds against UCI were his season-high, he has had eight rebounds six times.  Finally, with 150 career three-pointers, he is tied for eighth all-time.

• Making A DisSERNAble Difference
After missing UCSB's game at UC Riverside with a variety of ailments, Jaimé Serna returned to play nine minutes, all in the first half, against UC Irvine.  He didn't have a point or rebound in his brief stint and, in fact, did not even attempt a field goal.  Serna is expected to play this weekend and should be closer to full speed than he was last weekend.  Despite going scoreless in the last game, he remains the Gauchos' third leading scorer at 9.0 points per game.  Serna also ranks fourth in rebounding at 4.2 per outing.  Before falling hard to the floor and injuring his wrist and hand in a Jan. 5 win over Cal State Fullerton, he was on his way to one of his best games of the season.  He finished the game against the Titans with eight points and eight rebounds, his second best rebound total of the year.  In that game, Serna made 3-of-4 shots from the field and is now shooting a glossy 69.2% for the season.  In his last 11 games, he has hit 40 out of his 56 attempts, 71.4%.  Serna has been perfect from the field in three games this season.  He went 4-for-4 vs. Westmont and then had 5-for-5 efforts against Portland and UNLV.  In his career,  the Laguna Beach, Calif., native has now made 280 of his 499 field goal attempts, 56.1%, the third highest mark in school history.  In a Nov. 22 win over Portland Serna tied his career-high with 10 rebounds and had 15 points to record his second career double-double.  He also ranks among the Big West leaders in blocked shots with 16 and he tied his career-high with five at San Diego on Dec. 13. 

• Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell played a season-low six minutes in the Gauchos' game against UC Irvine on Saturday, but there was a reason for that.  Early in the second half, he chased down an Anteater player on a fastbreak and went hard into the bleachers where he hit his head and needed to receive stitches.  He didn't return to the game.  Boswell scored seven points against Irvine and remains fourth on the team at 7.2 points per game.  He is second on the team in three-point field goal percentage at 39.6%. In the last two games he struggled from outside the arc, making 3-of-11.  Boswell is second on the team with 21 threes and has made at least one in eight straight and 13 times in 14 games.  He has two or more six times and season-high three in wins over Chapman and Westmont.  Boswell tied what was then his career-high with 11 points in the Nov. 11 opener against Chapman.  He then set new career-highs in the next two games, going for 12 on Nov. 15 vs. Santa Clara and 15 on Nov. 18 against Westmont.  In all, he's scored in double-figures four times. 

• The Other Williams
Freshman forward Alan "Don't Call Me Bob" Williams has started three straight games and he has responded, averaging 7.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots per game.  In the game prior to entering the starting lineup, a win at Cal Poly, Williams posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.  He is averaging 10.5 rebounds per game in Big West play, second in the league.  Overall, he is now averaging 4.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, third on the team.  He is also shooting 52.3%, second on team.  Despite averaging just 13.1 minutes per game overall, he has had five or more rebounds in eight out of his 13 games.  Williams had a career-high 13 rebounds, to go along with nine points and four blocked shots, in UCSB's win over UC Irvine on Saturday.  In the team's Jan. 12 overtime loss at UC Riverside, he had nine points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots, tying Greg Somogyi's record for blocks by a freshman.  Overall, he now has 16 blocked shots on the season, tying Eric McArthur for fourth on UCSB's all-time freshman list.  If he can maintain his 5.9 rebound per game average Williams would rank third on the freshman list.

• Buckle-Up
Sophomore Keegan Hornbuckle had his best game as a Gaucho in the win over UC Irvine.  Making his second straight start, Hornbuckle had career-highs of 14 points, four steals, three assists and five rebounds.  He made 6-of-9 shots overall, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, and played a career-high 30 minutes. While Hornbuckle is averaging 5.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, those numbers are up in the last three games.  Over that span, he is averaging 9.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while making 11-of-21 shots overall and 3-of-6 from three-point territory.  After missing UCSB's exhibition game and first five regular season games while recovering from a variety of injuries, Hornbuckle was limited to 13 total minutes in his first two games back.  In the last seven games, he has played 10 or more and in the last three, he played 19, 23 and 30, 24.0 per game. 

• Somogyi's Block Party 
Although he's been without a blocked shot in the last two games, Greg Somogyi still leads the Gauchos and the Big West in that category with 27.  In Saturday's win over UC Irvine, Somogyi played 16 minutes, his second highest total of the year and the most since he logged 17 on Nov. 15, and had six rebounds.  On the year, he is averaging 3.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game.  He has had at least one blocked shot in nine games and two or more seven times.  Somogyi recorded six swats in just 15 minutes on Nov. 26 vs. San Diego State, two short of his school record of eight set in February of 2010.  He now has 164 in his career, second on UCSB's all-time list.  

• Taylor Made
After playing just six total minutes in the first two games of Big West action, freshman T.J. Taylor has averaged 21.5 per game in the last two.  In Saturday's game against UC Irvine, Taylor scored nine points, one off of his career-high, making 4-of-6 shots from the field and 1-of-2 from three-point range.  It was his best shooting performance of the season and, interestingly, it was the first time since Nov. 30 that Taylor made a two-point basket.  Prior to the game against the Anteaters, Taylor had gone seven games without making a two.  Over that span, he made four three-point baskets. 

• Garth Comes Alive
Junior Nate Garth played 18 minutes in UCSB's game against UC Irvine on Saturday.  It was the most playing time that he received since he played 21 minutes on Dec. 16 at Washington.  In the win over the Anteaters, Garth made a pair of three-point baskets and had four assists.  On the year, he is averaging 4.1 points, 2.6 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game.  He scored a season-high 12 point, making a trio of three-point baskets, in a Jan. 2 win at Cal Poly.  In the next game, a Jan. 5 win over Cal State Fullerton, Garth had five assists, one short of his season-high.  He has one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios on the team at 1.9-to-1.0 and since having a season-high four turnovers on Dec. 22 at BYU, Garth has 10 assists and just three turnovers, a 3.3-to-1.0 ratio.