UCSB Travels to Pacific Seeking Second Straight Road Win

Orlando Johnson (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Orlando Johnson (Photo by Tony Mastres)

• The Schedule 
Game No. 18
Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Pacific Tigers

at Pacific's A.G. Spanos Center
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Television: Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area
Livestats: UCSBgauchos.com 

Game No. 19
Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Northridge Matadors

at Northridge's Matadome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.org
Livestats: UCSBgauchos.com 

• UCSB Off To Good Start On Tough Road Stretch
UC Santa Barbara is in the early part of a stretch that will see it play four straight and seven out of eight games on the road.  The first game of that stretch was a successful one.  UCSB used a strong inside attack and a huge rebounding advantage to post an 86-59 win at UC Davis on Thursday night.  The game against the Aggies was the first in a four week stretch that will see the Gauchos play just one home game, a Feb. 11 game against UC Riverside.  Following the game at Pacific, they will travel to Cal State Northridge (Feb. 2), Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 4), UC Irvine (Feb. 15), TBA ESPNU BracketBuster opponent (Feb. 18) and Long Beach State (Feb. 22). 

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB is 10-7 overall and 5-2 in the Big West Conference, tied with Cal State Fullerton for second place. The Gauchos posted an 86-59 win at UC Davis on Thursday night and have now won three out of their last four games.  The only loss in the last four games came on Jan. 21 to  league favorite Long Beach State. Since opening the year with a 4-0 record, UCSB has gone 6-7, but in addition to the loss against Long Beach, two of the defeats (San Diego State and UC Riverside) came in overtime, one came in double overtime (UNLV), three others came on the road at 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 last 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., he leads UCSB in scoring (19.6 points per game), rebounds (6.3 per game) and assists (3.0 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.  Johnson started four of eight games tor Team USA at the games.

• Williams Becomes UCSB's All-Time Leader In Victories
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 227 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.

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Made career-best 9-of-10 shots at UC Davis.  Scored 18 points.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Made first start of his career at Davis and had four assists, two steals.
F 15 Alan Williams - Had career-high 14 points at Davis.  Also had 12 rebounds and five blocks.
G 21 James Nunnally - Played season-low 23 minutes in each of the last two games.
G 33 Orlando Johnson- Had season-highs with six assists and four 3-pointers at Davis.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Has had two or more assists in three of the last four games.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Despite limited playing time, leads team in steals with 18. 
G 10 Kyle Boswell- Made a career-high four 3-point baskets on Thursday at Davis.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Logged nine minutes at UC Davis, his longest stint in Big West play.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Grabbed two or more rebounds in four of last five games.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - Averaged 6.2 rebounds per game in the last four.

• Johnson Becomes Fifth Gaucho Over 1,500 Points, And He's Still Going...
In Thursday night's win at UC Davis, Orlando Johnson scored 21 points and  he has now scored 1,549 in his time at UCSB.  Johnson, a two-time Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player and the 2010 Big West Player of the Year, is consistently moving up the school's all-time scoring list.  In a Jan. 19 win over Cal State Northridge, he became the fifth player in school history to score more than 1,500 points and he could threaten the school's record for career points.  Currently, Alex Harris holds the school record for career points with 1,696.  Johnson's next two targets on the list are Mark Hull, who finished his career with 1,580 points, and Chris Devine, who completed his career with 1,607 points. 

• Nunnally Joins Johnson In Hitting Milestone
Orlando Johnson's climb up the school's all-time scoring list is not a lonely one.  Senior James Nunnally continues to ascend UCSB's list as well.  With 11 points in the team's win at UC Davis, Nunnally has now poured in 1,447 points, the sixth most in school history.  Nunnally's next target is Johnson, who could prove to be elusive, but with several games remaining in his college career he can legitimately take aim at several others.

• Playing The Percentages: A Return To Normalcy
Through its first five games in Big West play, UCSB did not allow its opponents to shoot better than 37.7%.  At the same time, the Gauchos never shot below 36.4%.  In last Saturday's loss to Long Beach State, things turned totally upside-down as Long Beach shot 58.7%, the highest mark by an opponent this season, and UCSB shot just 35.1%, a season-low.  In Thursday night's win at UC Davis, things returned to normal.  The Gauchos made 35-of-64 shots overall, 54.7%, their highest mark since the Nov. 11 season opener against Chapman when they made 58.0%.  Not only did Santa Barbara made 54.7% overall, it made 26-of-41 shots from two-point range, 63.4%.  Defensively, UCSB limited the Aggies to 37.5% shooting from the field.  Davis was the 11th out of 17 opponents to shoot below 40.0%, including the sixth in the last seven games.

• For Starters, Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Through the first nine games this season, UCSB's starting lineup joined death and taxes on the list of things that are automatic.  In the first nine, the Gauchos started Orlando Johnson, James Nunnally, Jaimé Serna, Nate Garth and Christian Peterson.  Beginning with game No. 10 things went haywire.  If you include game No. 9, which included the original starting five, UCSB has started seven different lineups in the last nine games.  Over that span, only one lineup - Johnson, Nunnally, Serna, Keegan Hornbuckle and Alan Williams - has started more than once.  Finally, If you don't include freshman John Green, who broke a bone in his foot in the first regular season game, all 11 Gaucho players have started at least one game this season.  On Thursday night at UC Davis, freshman guard T.J. Taylor became the 11th.

• That 80s Show
UCSB scored 86 points in its win at UC Davis.  It was the third highest point total by the Gauchos this season and it marked the sixth time they've reached at least 80 points.  In 2010-11, they hit the 80 point mark just five times.  The last time they scored 80 or more six times was in 2009-10 when they did so six times.  

• Serna's Big Night
Senior forward Jaimé Serna leads the Gauchos in field goal percentage this season at 68.2%.  He ranks third in school history in that category at 56.5%.  Serna has made 5-of-5 a couple times this season and 4-for-4 on another occasion.  On Thursday night at UC Davis, despite missing a shot, he had his best night and the best by a UCSB player in nearly 11 years.  Serna hit 9-of-10 field goal attempts against the Aggies.  The last Gaucho to have a better shooting night was Mike Vukovich (1997-2002) who made 12-for-12 in a Feb. 3, 2001 game at Pacific.

• Block Party  
Through 17 games, UCSB has 103 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 31, 1.8 per game, while freshman Alan Williams has 26.  After four games, the Gauchos had 17 blocked shots, 4.2 per game, but in the last 13 games they have turned away 86 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.  At their current pace, if they play 11 more games, they would finish with more than 170, a school record. 

• Balancing Act
Prior to Thursday's win at UC Davis, the Gauchos had four players score in double-figures four times this season, but not once had five players eclipsed 10 or more points in the same game.  That changed against the Aggies.  On Thursday, Orlando Johnson (21), Jaimé Serna (18), Alan Williams (14), Kyle Boswell (12) and James Nunnally (11) each scored in double-figures.

Johnson Makes His Points
Orlando Johnson, who was recently named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-25 List, now leads the Gauchos in two major statistical categories.  He paces the team in scoring (19.7 points per game) and assists (3.2 per game).  Until the game at UC Davis when he had three rebounds and saw his season average drop to 6.1 per game, he led in rebounding as well.  While he has dropped out of the rebounding lead, Williams is still bidding to become the first UCSB player since Brian Shaw to lead the team in those three categories.  Shaw turned the trick in 1987-88.  Johnson has led the Gauchos in scoring in each of the last six games and 12 times this season.  He has scored in double-figures 16 times in 17 games and 77 times in 79 games during his career.  He's scored 20 or more 11 times this season and a record 40 times in his career. Johnson tallied 21 points, three rebounds, one blocked, one steal and a season-high six assists in Thursday's win at UC Davis.  He also rebounded from a poor shooting game against Long Beach State to make 8-of-13 overall and 4-of-8 from three-point range.  The four three-pointers were a season-high.  Johnson tallied a season-high 36 points to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots in UCSB's double-overtime loss to 14th-ranked 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 1,549.  A couple games ago, he became the fifth player in school history to eclipse 1,500 points.  He needs 32 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 1,932 in his collegiate career.  Among every thing else, he leads the team in three-point baskets with 33 and now has 145 in his career, 10th in school history.  

• The Flying Nunnally
Senior James Nunnally has played a season-low 23 minutes in each of the last two games.  In Thursday's win at UC Davis, he scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, collecting three rebounds and passing off for three assists.  One game earlier, vs. Long Beach State on Jan. 21, Nunnally had his poorest offensive showing of the season as he scored just five points on 1-of-7 from the field.  He made his only three-point attempt, but missed all six of his two-point attempts.  Prior to the game against the 49ers, Nunnally had played 30 or more minutes in every game since he logged 28 in the Nov. 11 opener against Chapman.  The single-digit scoring performance was his first of the season.  He has now been in double-figures 16 times in 17 games and 20 of 22 dating to last season.  Nunnally remains second on the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game.  He is now third in rebounding at 5.9 per game.  He 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 UCSB's list for career points with 1,447.  He was the ninth player in school history to exceed 1,400 points and now, with 1,447, ranks sixth all-time.  He passed Doug Rex two games ago.  While he has had just five total rebounds in the last two games, Nunnally has had five or more 13 times and a season-high nine on Jan. 14 against UC Irvine.  He is also distributing the ball these days.  He is averaging 2.4 assists per game and has had two or more 12 times, including the last 10 games in a row.  Finally, with 153 career three-pointers, he ranks eighth on UCSB's career list.

• A DisSERNAble Difference
Jaimé Serna didn't have a career-high scoring effort in Thursday night's win at UC Davis, but it might have been the best offensive game of his career.  Serna scored 18 points, but he did so by making 9-of-10 shots, his best shooting performance as a Gaucho and the best by any UCSB player since Mike Vukovich was a perfect 12-for-12 in a win at Pacific on Feb. 3, 2001.  The 18 points were one fewer than Serna had scored in his five previous Big West games.  He pushed his scoring average on the season to 9.0 points per game.  It was his seventh double-figure scoring game of the season.  On Dec. 13, in a win at San Diego, Serna scored a career-high 22 points, making 9-of-12 shots from the field.  The 9-of-10 shooting on Thursday now gives Serna a sparkling 68.2% mark on the season.  In his career, he has made 293 out of 519 shots from the field, 56.5%, third in school history.  Serna also added five rebounds on Thursday night and has averaged 6.0 per game in the last two and 4.3 per game on the season, fourth on the team.  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.  Finally, with 19 blocked shots this season, he now has 75 in his career, eighth in school history.

• Not The Other Williams For Long
Freshman forward Alan "Don't Call Me Bob" Williams has started six straight games and he has responded in a big way, averaging 9.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots per game over that span.  On Thursday night at UC Davis, Williams had, arguably, his best all-around game.  He scored 14 points, collected 12 rebounds, blocked five shots, had one steal and an assist.  The 14 points were a career-high, the five blocked shots tied his career-high and the school record for blocks in a game by a freshman, and the 12 rebounds were one short of his high.  Williams now has two double-doubles on the season.  He has been in double-figures in rebounds four times, all in the last seven games, and he has scored 10 or more three times, also in the last seven games.  In fact, while he is averaging 5.8 points and a team-leading 6.2 rebounds per game, his numbers through seven Big West games are even better.  In league play, Williams is averaging 9.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocked shots per game.  He has shot 54.9% in Big West play as well.  His first double-double came in a Jan. 2 win at Cal Poly when he had 13 points and 10 rebounds.  Despite averaging just 14.4 minutes per game overall, he has had five or more rebounds in 10 out of his 16 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 his first five blocked shot performance, tying Greg Somogyi's record for blocks by a freshman.  Overall, he now has 26 blocked shots on the season, third on UCSB's all-time freshman list.  Williams has 19 of his 26 blocked shots in the last five games.

• Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell scored 12 points and made a career-high four three-point baskets in UCSB's win at UC Davis on Thursday night.  The 12 points were his high since he scored a career-high 15 on Nov. 18 vs. Westmon.  Boswell was 4-for-8 from three-point range and 0-for-0 from two-point range.  He remains fourth on the team at 7.2 points per game.  He is second on the team in three-point field goals with 28 and percentage at 38.9%.  Boswell has made at least one three-pointer in 11 straight and 16 times in 17 games.  He has two or more eight times and three or more four times.  Also, in the win at UC Davis, he had three rebounds, one short of his career-high and the most he has collected since he also had three on Dec. 22 at BYU. 

• Somogyi Emerges
Greg Somogyi played just nine minutes in Thursday night's win at UC Davis, but it was more because of the play of Jaimé Serna and Alan Williams than anything else.  Somogyi made his only shot, scored two points, had five rebounds and a blocked shot in his minimal minutes.  In his previous game, against Long Beach State, he made 5-of-6 shots and scored a season-high 10 points.  In the last two games, Somogyi has made 6-of-7 shots and is now shooting 49.1% for the year.  In his last four games, the native of Budapest has collected 25 rebounds, 6.2 per game, to lift his season average to 4.2 per game.  Somogyi had a career-high 10 rebounds on Jan. 19 vs. Cal State Northridge and his 25 rebounds in the last four have come in just 60 minutes.  He has had four or more rebounds 11 times this season. He has also had at least one blocked shot in 12 games and two or more eight times.  Somogyi recorded six swats in just 15 minutes on Nov. 26 vs. San Diego State.  He now has 168 in his career, second on UCSB's all-time list.   

• Taylor Made
Freshman T.J. Taylor made his first start of the season on Thursday night at UC Davis.  He played 25 minutes, the most since he logged 28 in a Nov. 30 double overtime game against UNLV.   Taylor scored just two points, but he added four assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals.  The four assists were the most he has contributed since the Nov. 11 season-opener against Chapman when he had six, the two steals tied his season-high and the four rebounds were one short of his high, set on Nov. 22 vs. Portland.  Taylor is fourth on the team with 35 assists, 2.1 per game.  His 11 three-point baskets rank fourth on the team.   

• Buckle-Up
Sophomore Keegan Hornbuckle came off the bench for the first time in five games in UCSB's Thursday night game at UC Davis.  He went 16 minutes and finished with two points, two rebounds and one steal.  Hornbuckle made just 1-of-3 shots.  He had his best game as a Gaucho in the Jan. 14 win over UC Irvine.  Making his second of four starts, 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  Since the game against the Anteaters, Hornbuckle has struggled.  In the three game span, he averaged 4.0 points 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists while making 5-of-14 shots overall, 35.7%, and 2-for-7, 28.6%, from three-point range.  Even with his struggles in the last three games and despite missing the season's first five games, the transfer from Colorado leads the Gauchos in steal with 18.  He had five on Jan. 19 vs. Cal State Northridge.

• Garth Comes Alive
Nate Garth played 16 minutes in Thursday's game at UC Davis.  He missed all three of his field goal attempts, but scored two points.  He had a pair of assists as well.  Garth is second on the team with 43 assists, 2.5 per game and has had two or more 11 times in 17 games.  He had a high of six on Nov. 22 vs. Portland.  Garth has a team-leading 1.9-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio and since having a season-high four turnovers in a Dec. 22 game at BYU, he has collected 17 assists and just six turnovers, a 2.8-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio.  Garth is averaging 3.6 points per game.  In the Big West opener at Cal Poly, he made all four of his field goal attempts, three of which were from three-point range, and had a season-high 12 points.  In six games since he has scored 15 points and gone 4-for-19 from the field, 21.1%.