UCSB-Long Beach State Set For ESPNU Showdown Saturday at Thunderdome

Orlando Johnson (Photo by Matt Brown)
Orlando Johnson (Photo by Matt Brown)

• The Schedule 
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 with Dave Flemming on play-by-play and Jalen Rose on color.
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Live Stats: UCSBgauchos.com

• Tickets Still Available
Tickets remain available for Saturday's UCSB-Long Beach State showdown at the Thunderdome.  They are available at the Thunderdome ticket booth one hour prior to tip-off or online by clicking here.   

• 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.  You can also listen live online by clicking here.

 Gauchos-49ers Meet In Remath Of Last Two Championship Games
UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State meet in a rematch of the teams that have met in the last two Big West Tournament championship games.  In 2010, the Gauchos won the Big West regular season title, split a pair of regular season games against the 49ers and then won the title game 69-64.  In 2011, Long Beach easily won the league's regular season crown while Santa Barbara struggled to a fifth-place finish.  In the tournament, it was a different story.  UCSB defeated three teams in the tourney that had each beaten them twice during the regular season, Pacific, Cal State Northridge and the 49ers.  In the championship game, the Gauchos came out on top, 64-56.

• UCSB Plays One More At Home Before Hitting The Road
UC Santa Barbara will host Long Beach State Saturday night its final home game before playing four consecutive contests on the road.  In fact, following the games against the 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 ESPNU BracketBuster game.  The opponent will be known in late-January. 

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB is 9-6 overall and 4-1 in the Big West Conference.  The Gauchos improved to 4-1 in league play with a 69-61 win over Cal State Northridge on Thursday night.  The win over the Matadors was their second in a row and fourth in the last five games.  Since opening the year with a 4-0 record, UCSB has gone 5-6, but two of the losses (San Diego State and UC Riverside) came in overtime, one (UNLV) came in double overtime) and the three others came on the road to Cal, BYU and Washington.        

• 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 (20.3 points per game), rebounds (6.5 per game) and assists (3.1 per game).  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.  In August of 2011, he was a member of Team USA at the World University Games in China and, in fact, carried the flag for the United States delegation at the opening ceremonies.

• 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 226 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.

• Johnson Becomes Fifth Gaucho Over 1,500 Points
In Thursday night's win over Cal State Northridge, Orlando Johnson scored 21 points and in the process, became just the fifth UCSB player to move past the 1,500 point mark.  Johnson enters the game against Long Beach State with 1,518 points as a Gaucho, fifth all-time.  He needs 63 points to pass Mark Hull and move into fourth-place all-time.  Johnson is also within striking distance of the rest of the list.  The school's all-time leading scorer is Alex Harris (1,696 points).  Harris is followed by Carrick DeHart (1,687) and Chris Devine (1,607).

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0 Jaimé Serna - In 2nd game back from injury, had 7 points in 17 mins. vs. CSUN.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Had career-high 5 steals vs. CSUN and now has 9 in last two.
F 15 Alan Williams - Averaging 10.3 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots in last 3 games.
G 21 James Nunnally - The only Gaucho to score in double-figures in all 15 games.
G 33 Orlando Johnson- Had season-high 5 assists in Thursday's win over Northridge.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Played just 8 minutes and missed his only shot vs. Northridge. 
G 10 Kyle Boswell- Has at least one three-point basket in 14 out of 15 games.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - After playing 43 minutes over 2 games, logged just 8 on Thursday night.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Has totalled just 4 minutes in first 5 Big West games.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Had career-high two steals Jan. 14 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 166 blocked shots rank second in school history.

• The Gauchos And 49ers
According to our records, UCSB and Long Beach State have played 111 times in a series that dates to 1952.  The 49ers hold a narrow 56-55 advantage.  Long Beach swept the regular season series in 2010-11, winning 71-55 in Santa Barbara and 71-53 in Long Beach.  The Gauchos, however, beat the 49ers 64-56 in the championship game of the Big West Tournament.  It marked the second straight year that UCSB beat its rival in the league tournament title game.  Incidentally, Santa Barbara has played Long Beach State more than any other opponent.

• Dome, Sweet Dome 
UCSB is 7-2 at home this season.  On Jan. 5, the Gauchos snapped a two-game home losing streak by defeating Cal State Fullerton, 77-64.  Thursday night's win over Cal State Northridge extends their home winning streak to three games in a row.  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 48-15 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 129-50 home record, 72.6%.   

• Nunnally Joins Johnson In Hitting Milestone
On Thursday night, Orlando Johnson became the fifth player in school history to score 1,500 points, but he was not alone in achieving a milestone.  James Nunnally continue to climb UCSB's all-time scoring list as he tallied 16 to move past Lucius Davis and into seventh-place all-time.  He needs just four to pass the next target, Doug Rex, and move into sixth.  At that point he will be chasing a moving target in the fifth-place Johnson, but chances are he will join his teammate on the exclusive list of players who have exceeded 1,500 points.  This marks the first time in UCSB history that two teammates have had more than 1,400 points at the same time.

• Playing The Percentages
UCSB has limited each of its last two opponents to field goal percentages of precisely 33.3%, the lowest mark by an opponent since Santa Clara shot 32.8% on Nov. 15.  In 15 games overall, Gaucho opponents are shooting exactly 39.5% and in the five Big West games, they have made just 109-of-310 shots, 35.2%.  Santa Barbara has held its opponents below 40.0% from the field 10 times this season, including five straight and seven times in nine home games.  The highest field goal percentage by an opponent this season was the 48.3% that BYU shot on Dec. 22.  The Gauchos have yet to allow a Big West opponent to shoot better than 37.7% in a game. 

• That Goes For You Too Three-Pointers! 
In recent games, the Gauchos have also become rather stingy from outside the three-point line.  On Thursday night, Cal State Northridge made just 4-of-23 three-point attempts, 17.4%, an opponent season-low.  In five Big West Conference games, opponents have made just 27-of-102, 26.5%, and three have shot 29.2% or below.  Overall, UCSB's opponents are making just 32.3% from three-point range and six have been at 30.0% or below. 

• 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 6.1 per game.  In their last two games, however, they showed flashes of the past with a total of 23.  On Jan. 14 vs. UC Irvine, they had a season-high 14 and on Thursday night, they equaled their second-highest steal total of the year with nine.  Sophomore Keegan Hornbuckle has been the biggest contributor.  He had a career-high five steals on Thursday night and four in the previous game.  With nine steals in the last two games, Hornbuckle has taken over the team lead in the category with 16 and he has done so despite missing five games overall and playing minimal minutes in several others.  In fact, he leads the team in steals while ranking 10th in minutes played. 

• Share And Share Alike
UCSB had 17 assists on 26 baskets on Thursday night, equaling their third highest assist total of the year.  In the last two games, the Gauchos have assisted on 35 of a possible 54 baskets, 64.8%, their best two-game stretch of the season.  

• Block Party  
Through 15 games, UCSB has 92 blocked shots, an average of 6.1 per game, first in the Big West.  Senior Greg Somogyi, who has moved into the No. 2 spot on the school's all-time career list, leads the way with 29, 1.9 per game, while freshman Alan Williams has 19.  After four games, the Gauchos had 17 blocked shots, 4.2 per game, but in the last 11 games they have turned away 75 opponent attempts, 6.8 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.  At their current pace, if they play 13 more games, they would finish with 171. 

• Fast And Loose
In their last two games, the Gauchos have played a little faster and a lot looser than the coaches would prefer.  In other words, turnovers are up.  After committing just nine turnovers in a Jan. 12 overtime loss at UC Riverside, UCSB has had a total of 33 in two games.  The 18 turnovers against Cal State Northridge on Thursday night were the second most the Gauchos have had this season.  Their high in 2011-12 was 19 in a Dec. 19 loss at Cal.  Their low this year was seven in the season-opener against Chapman. 

• Johnson Makes His Points
Orlando Johnson, who was recently named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-25 List, continues to lead the Gauchos in three major statistical categories.  Johnson paces the team in scoring (20.3 points per game), rebounding (6.5 per game) and assists (3.1 per game).  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 four games and 10 times this season.  He has scored in double-figures 14 times in 15 games and 75 times in 77 games during his career and he's scored 20 or more 10 times this season and a record 39 times in his career. Johnson had a game-high 21 in Thursday night's win over Cal State Northridge and it was the third time in the last four games that he has had 20 or more.  He also made 7-of-13 shots against the Matadors and has made 20-of-40 in the last three games, 50.0%.  Johnson tallied 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 he 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 21 points that Johnson scored in the Gauchos' last game pushed his UCSB career total to 1,518 and he became the fifth player in school history to exceed 1,500 points.  He needs 63 more 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 1,901 in his collegiate career.  Among every thing else, he leads the team in three-point baskets with 29 and now has 141 in his career, 10th 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 four games, however, Johnson has made 24-of-28, 85.7%.

• The Flying Nunnally
Senior James Nunnally had 16 points in UCSB's win over Cal State Northridge on Thursday, making 6-of-9 field goal attempts.  The nine field goal attempts were a season-low.  Nunnally also added six rebounds and four assists against the Matadors.  In his last four games, he is averaging 7.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists.  On Jan. 14 vs. UC Irvine, Nunnally had just 11 points, but he added a season-high nine rebounds career-highs of six assists and four steals.   Nunnally is second on the team in scoring at 16.1 per game and rebounding at 6.43 per game.  He 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 19 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 16 in the last game, he continued to climb up UCSB's list for career points with 1,431.  He was the ninth player in school history to exceed 1,400 points and now, with 1,431, ranks seventh all-time.  He needs just four to move past Doug Rex and into sixth on the list.  While nine rebounds against UCI  on Jan. 14 were his season-high, he has had eight rebounds six times.  Finally, with 151 career three-pointers, he ranks eighth on UCSB's career list.

• A DisSERNAble Difference
After going scoreless in his Jan. 14 return from a one-game injury absence, Jaimé Serna scored seven points in 17 minutes on Thursday night against Cal State Northridge.  He also had three rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.  Serna missed UCSB's Jan. 12 game at UC Riverside after injuring himself on a hard fall to the court while attempting a lay-up on Jan. 5 vs. Cal State Fullerton.  He played only nine minutes on Jan. 14, none in the second half.  Serna continues to rank third on the team in scoring at 8.9 points per game and he is now fifth in rebounding at 4.1 per game.  Before getting injured in the game against the Titans, he was on his way to one of his best games of the season.  He finished that game with eight points and eight rebounds, his second best rebound total of the year.  While Serna doesn't shoot often – he has taken just 70 field goal attempts in 14 games for an average of 5.0 per game – he is quite successful when he does shoot, leading the team at 68.6% from the field.   In his last 12 games, he has hit 43 out of his 61 attempts, 70.5%.  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 283 of his 504 field goal attempts, 56.2%, 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 18 and he tied his career-high with five at San Diego on Dec. 13. 

• The Other Williams
Freshman forward Alan "Don't Call Me Bob" Williams has started four straight games and he has responded, averaging 7.5 points, 9.7 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 a career-high 13 points to go along with 10 rebounds.  He is averaging 9.8 rebounds per game in Big West play, second in the league.  Overall, he is now averaging 4.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, third on the team.  He is also shooting 53.1%, second on team.  Despite averaging just 13.6 minutes per game overall, he has had five or more rebounds in nine out of his 14 appearances.  Williams had a career-high 13 rebounds, to go along with nine points and four blocked shots, in UCSB's Jan. 14 win over UC Irvine.  In the team's Jan. 12 overtime loss at UC Riverside, he had nine points, 11 rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots, tying Greg Somogyi's record for blocks by a freshman.  Overall, he now has 19 blocked shots on the season, fourth on UCSB's all-time freshman list.  If he can maintain his 6.0 rebound per game average Williams would rank third on that freshman list.

• Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell played 24 minutes and scored six points in Thursday's win over Cal State Northridge.  In the previous game on Jan. 14 vs. UC Irvine, Boswell logged a season-low six minutes after he crashed into the bleachers while chasing down an opponent on a lay-up attempt.  He received stitches in his head and was done for the night.  Boswell remains fourth on the team at 7.1 points per game.  He is second on the team in three-point field goal percentage at 37.7%. In the last three games he struggled from outside the arc, making 5-of-19, 26.3%.  Boswell is second on the team with 23 threes and has made at least one in nine straight and 14 times in 15 games.  He has two or more seven 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. 

• Buckle-Up
Sophomore Keegan Hornbuckle had his best game as a Gaucho in the Jan. 14 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.  He followed that up on Thursday night with seven points, three assists and a career-high five steals.  While Hornbuckle is averaging 5.6 points, 2.3 rebounds  and 1.6 steals per game, per game, those numbers are up in the last four games.  Over that span, he is averaging 9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game while making 14-of-28 shots overall and 4-of-10 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, 30 and 27, 24.7 per game. 

• Somogyi's Block Party 
Greg Somogyi had two blocked shots, to go along with a career-high 10 rebounds, on Thursday night vs. Cal State Northridge.  He now has 29 blocked shots on the season, tops on the Gauchos and in the Big West.  Somogyi has had at least one blocked shot in 10 games and two or more eight times.  He 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 166 in his career, second on UCSB's all-time list.  Somogyi is averaging 3.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.  He collected his 10 rebounds in just 16 minutes on Thursday and now has 16 in 32 minutes in his last two games.   

• Taylor Made
After playing 43 minutes in two games preceding Thursday's win over Cal State Northridge, T.J. Taylor played just eight against the Matadors.  He was scoreless and missed his only shot. On Jan. 14 against UC Irvine, he scored nine points, one off of his career-high (10 vs. UNLV on Nov. 30), 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 buckets. 

• Garth Comes Alive
Nate Garth rollercoaster season took a dip on Thursday night against Cal State Northridge as he played just eight minutes and missed his only shot.  Garth was coming off of an 18-minute performance against UC Irvine that saw him score six and pass off for four assists. On the year, he is averaging 3.9 points, 2.5 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 just four turnovers in 65 minutes.