UCSB Takes Three-Game Streak to Fullerton Saturday, Johnson Moves into Fourth All-Time in Scoring

UC Santa Barbara's Jaime Serna.
UC Santa Barbara's Jaime Serna.

• This Week
Game No. 20
Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Fullerton Titans

at Fullerton's Titan Gymnasium
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com

Game No. 21
Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Riverside Highlanders

at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
TV: Prime Ticket
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com 
LiveStats: UCSBgauchos.com

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 UCSBgauchos.com and NewsPress.com. Gerry Fall is in his eighth 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.

UCSB Off To Good Start On Road Stretch, Travel To Fullerton Saturday
UC Santa Barbara is in the midst of a stretch that will see it play seven out of eight games on the road.  The Gauchos are off to a 3-0 start with wins at UC Davis, Pacific and Cal State Northridge.  Saturday, they will travel south to play Cal State Fullerton in a battle for second-place in the Big West Conference.  The game at Fullerton will be televised on ESPNU and will have an early tip-off time of 6:00 p.m.  After the game against the Titans, UCSB will return home for one contest (Feb. 11 vs. UC Riverside) before going on the road for three more (Feb. 15 at UC Irvine, Feb. 18 at Utah State and Feb. 22 at Long Beach State).

Gauchos Travel To Utah State For Sears BracketBuster Game
UCSB will travel to play former Big West Conference rival Utah State in Logan, Utah, on Feb. 18 in a Sears BracketBuster game.  The announcement of the match-ups was made on Monday, Jan. 30.  The Gauchos-Aggies tilt will not be televised.  Utah State was a longtime member of the Big West before jumping to the Western Athletic Conference.  The teams also met in a BracketBuster game in 2008 with the Aggies posting a 72-59 victory.  2012 marks the eighth year that UCSB has played in the BracketBuster series.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB is 12-7 overall and 7-2 in the Big West Conference, all alone in second-place.  The Gauchos won at Cal State Northridge on Thursday night, 85-80, and in doing so, extended their overall winning streak, league winning streak and road winning streak to three games in a row.  Last weekend, UCSB swept a pair of conference road games, winning at UC Davis on Jan. 26 by a score of 86-59 and at Pacific on Jan. 28, 56-53.  They have now won five of their last six games with the only loss coming on Jan. 21 to league-leading Long Beach State.  Since opening the year with a 4-0 record, UCSB has gone 8-7, 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 Moves Into Fourth All-Time, Closes In On 1,600 Points
In Thursday night's win at Cal State Northridge, Orlando Johnson scored 25 points and  he has now scored 1,587 in his time at UCSB.  The 25-point performance allowed Johnson to move past Mark Hull (1,580) and into fourth on the school's all-time scoring list.  Johnson is now threatening to become just the fourth player in Gaucho history to score more than 1,600 points in his career.  His next target on the career list is Chris Devine (2005-09) who completed his four years with 1,607 points.  Johnson should challenge the school's record for career points.  Currently, Alex Harris (2004-08) holds the record with 1,696 points while Carrick DeHart (1986-90) is second all-time with 1,687.

Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Big West Player of the Week averaged 16.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg in last weekend's wins.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Five assists at Cal State Northridge were his high in Big West play.
F 15 Alan Williams - Scored a career-high 19 points in win at Cal State Northridge.
G 21 James Nunnally - All 14 of his points at Cal State Northridge came in the second half.
G 33 Orlando Johnson- Scored 25 points at Northridge, moving into fourth all-time with 1,587.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Has had two or more assists in five of the last six games.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Played a season-low one minute at Cal State Northridge 
G 10 Kyle Boswell- Has eight three-point baskets in the last three games.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Since playing 16 total minutes over two-game span, has played one in last two.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Played six minutes at Cal State Northridge, his highest total in four games.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - With two blocked shots at Cal State Northridge, now has 170 in his career.

The Opponents
UCSB and Cal State Fullerton have played 73 times since the series began in 1977.  Santa Barbara holds a 40-33 advantage all-time, including a 77-64 win at the Thunderdome on Jan. 5.  Last year, the teams split regular season games with the Titans winning on their home court, 63-58.  The Gauchos and UC Riverside have played 30 times dating back to 1955.  While UCSB holds a 24-6 lead in the series, the Highlanders won the first match-up between the schools this season, 79-70 in overtime on Jan. 12 at Riverside.

UCSB is 5-4 in road games in 2011-12, including 4-1 in Big West games.  After winning at San Diego on Dec. 13, the Gauchos fell in three straight road encounters.  They lost at Washington, Cal and BYU, but have won three straight and four of their last five.  They won their league opener  on the road Jan. 2, edging Cal Poly, 58-57, then lost in overtime at UC Riverside on Jan. 12, 79-70.  Since the loss at Riverside, UCSB has won three straight away from home.  The Gauchos won at UC Davis on Jan. 26, 86-59, at Pacific on Jan. 28, 56-53 and at Cal State Northridge on Thursday night, 85-70.  The Jan. 26 win at Davis represents the Gauchos widest road margin of the season.

Serna Named Big West Player Of The Week 
Senior forward Jaimé Serna was limited because of foul trouble on Thursday night at Northridge, scoring seven points and collecting five rebounds, but he remains the reigning Big West Player of the Week after leading the Gauchos to wins at UC Davis and Pacific last weekend.  In the win at Davis, Serna had 18 points, five rebounds, one assist and one blocked shots.  Most impressively, he made 9-of-10 field goal attempts, his best performance ever and the best by any UCSB player since Mike Vukovich went 12-for-12 in a 2001 game.  At Pacific, Serna had 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.  It was his second double-double of the season.  The honor was a first for Serna.

• 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 14 points in the team's win at Cal State Northridge, Nunnally has now poured in 1,472 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 career he can legitimately take aim at several others.

• Playing The Percentages: Reverting To Form
Through its first five games in Big West play, UCSB did not allow any opponent to shoot better than 40.0%.  At the same time, the Gauchos never shot below 36.4%.  In a Jan. 21 loss to Long Beach State, things turned totally upside-down as the 49ers shot 58.7%, the highest mark by an opponent this season, and UCSB shot just 35.1%.  In the last three games, the pattern has reverted to form.  On Thursday night, the Gauchos held Cal State Northridge to 38.5% shooting and shot 55.6% themselves, their second highest percentage of the season.  On Jan. 26 at UC Davis, the Santa Barbara made 35-of-64 shots overall, 54.7% and limited the Aggies to 37.5% shooting.  In the second game of the trip, a win at Pacific, the Gauchos held the Tigers to a mere 15-of-48 from the field, 31.3%, the lowest mark by an opponent this season.  In all, they have held eight of nine league opponents and 13 of 19 overall under 40.0% shooting from the field.  

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 those 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 11 games.  Over that span, only two lineups have started more than once.  One of those two lineups has started each of the last three games and includes Johnson, Nunnally, Serna, Alan Williams and T.J. Taylor 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.  Johnson and Nunnally are the only players on the team to start all 19 games this season.  

That 80s Show
UCSB scored 85 points in its win at Cal State Northridge. It was the fourth highest point total by the Gauchos this season and it marked the seventh time they've reached at least 80.  In 2010-11, they hit the 80 point mark just five times.  The last time they scored 80 or more seven times was in 1990-91 when they did so exactly seven times. 

UCSB Takes Aim At School Blocks Record
UCSB blocked seven shots in their Thursday night win at Cal State Northridge and the Gauchos remain well on their way to breaking the school record for blocked shots in a season.  Through 19 games, UCSB has 111 blocked shots, an average of 5.8 per game, first in the Big West.  The school record was set by last year's Gauchos and stands at 133.  With at least nine games remaining, Santa Barbara would need to average just three per game to set a new standard.  Senior Greg Somogyi, who ranks second in school history with 170 blocks, leads the way this year with 33.  Somogyi, however, is getting a run for his money from freshman Alan Williams who has 27 swats, including 21 in Big West games.  Orlando Johnson (21) and Jaimé Serna (19) are also in double-figures.

Johnson Makes His Points
Orlando Johnson, who was recently named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-25 List, scored 25 points in Thursday night's win at Cal State Northridge, his highest total since we went for 36 against UNLV on Nov. 30.  Johnson leads the Gauchos in two major statistical categories.  He paces the team in scoring (19.6 points per game) and assists (3.1 per game).  Until the Jan. 26 game at UC Davis, he led the team in rebounding as well.  Now, with freshman Alan Williams emerging, Johnson is tied for second in boards at 5.8 per game.  While he has dropped out of the rebounding lead, Johnson still has an outside chance 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 seven of the last eight games and 13 times this season.  In the game at Northridge, Johnson attempted a career-high 10 three-point shots, making just two, but he was 8-for-10 from two-point range.  He also added three blocks and three steals against the Matadors.  Johnson has scored in double-figures 18 times in 19 games and 79 times in 81 games during his career.  He's scored 20 or more 12 times this season and a record 41 times in his career.  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 nationally-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 25 points that Johnson scored in the Gauchos' last game pushed his UCSB career total to 1,587, moving him past Mark Hull and into fourth-place all-time.  He needs 21 more to move into third all-time.  If the 383 points that Johnson scored as a freshman at Loyola Marymount are factored in, he has now tallied 1,970 in his collegiate career.  Among every thing else, he leads the team in three-point baskets with 39 and now has 151 in his career, ninth in school history. 

The Flying Nunnally
After a scoreless first half on Thursday night, James Nunnally bounced back with 14 points in the decisive second half of UCSB's win at Cal State Northridge.  Nunnally made 6-of-10 shots for the game, including 6-of-8 in the final 20 minutes.  He has now been in double-figures 18 times in 19 games and 22 of 24 dating to last season.  Nunnally remains second on the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game.  He is tied for second in rebounding at 5.8 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 14 in the last game, he continued to inch up UCSB's list for career points with 1,472.  He was the ninth player in school history to exceed 1,400 points and now, with 1,472, ranks sixth all-time.  Nunnally will almost undoubtedly become the sixth player in school history to hit the 1,500 point mark.  Nunnally has had five or more 14 times and he had 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 14 times, including the last 12 games in a row.  Finally, with 156 career three-pointers, he ranks eighth on UCSB's career list.

Making A DisSERNAble Difference
Jaimé Serna battled foul trouble in Thursday night's win at Cal State Northridge, but he did finish with seven points, five rebounds, two steals and two assists in 25 minutes.  The reigning Big West Player of the Week was coming off of, perhaps, his best back-to-back games since last year's league tournament.  On Jan. 26 at UC Davis, Serna scored 18 points and 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 also had five rebounds and a blocked shot.  On Jan. 28 at Pacific, he scored 15 points and collected a career-high 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.  Serna made 4-of-7 shots from the field, but also 7-of-8 from the free throw line.  He remains third on the team in scoring at 9.2 points per game and fourth in rebounding at 4.8 per game.  He is also fourth in blocked shots with 19.  By making 15-of-21 shots in the Gauchos' last three wins, Serna is now shooting a sparkling 66.7% from the field for the season.  In his career, Serna has made 299 out of 530 shots, 56.4%, the third highest percentage in school history.  Also, he now has 799 career points and needs just one to hit the 800 point mark.  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, bounced back from a four-point game at Pacific on Jan. 28 with a career-high 19 points in Thursday night's win at Northridge.  Williams made 6-of-8 shots from the field and 7-of-12 from the free throw line.  The free throws made and attempted were also career-highs.  He also added a game-high nine rebounds in his 28 minutes.  Williams has started eight straight games and he has responded in a big way, averaging 9.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots per game over that span.  On Jan. 26 at UC Davis, Williams had his second double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and collecting 12 rebounds.  He also tied his career-high and the school's freshman record with five blocked shots.  Williams has two double-doubles on the season, having also had one on Jan. 2 at Cal Poly with 13 points and 10 boards.  He has been in double-figures in rebounds four times, all in the last nine games, and he has scored 10 or more four times, also in the last nine games.  While he is averaging a team-leading 6.5 rebounds per game overall, that figure is at 9.1 per game in league games, second in the Big West.  Williams is also averaging 10.0 points per game in league, third on the team.  Despite averaging just 15.4 minutes per game, he has had five or more rebounds in 12 out of his 18 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 27 blocked shots on the season, third on UCSB's all-time freshman list and he is within 12 of Doug Muse's record of 39.  Williams currently has 117 rebounds on the season, tied with Nick Jones for the eighth most by a freshman in school history.  His field goal percentage of 54.4% ranks fourth all-time. 

Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell scored nine points in Thursday's win at Northridge, making 2-of-4 three-point attempts and 3-of-4 free throws.  He had eight in UCSB's 56-53 win at Pacific on Jan. 28, but it was his final three points in that game that were the key to victory.  With less than a minute to play, the Tigers tied the score for the first time in the game on a three-point basket.  With 29 seconds left, Boswell answered with his second three of the game to put the Gauchos up for good.  One game earlier, on Jan. 26 at UC Davis, he scored 12 points and made a career-high four three-point baskets.  The 12 points were his high since he scored a career-high 15 on Nov. 18 vs. Westmont.  Boswell was 4-for-8 from three-point range against the Aggies.  He remains fourth on the team at 7.3 points per game, but he has averaged 9.7 per game in the last three.  Boswell is second on the team in three-point field goals with 32 and percentage at 38.6%.  In the last three games, he has made eight out of his 19 three-point attempts, 42.1%.  Boswell has made at least one three-pointer in 13 straight and 18 times in 19 games.  He has two or more 10 times and three or more four times.  Also, in the win at Northridge, he had three assists, one short of his career-high and the most he has collected since he also had three on Jan. 2 at Cal Poly.

Tall Tales
After playing just six minutes in UCSB's Jan. 28 win at Pacific, Greg Somogyi played a productive 11 minutes in Thursday's win at Northridge.  Somogyi made both of his field goal attempts to finish with four points.  He also added three rebounds, two blocked shots and an assist.  In the two games prior to Thursday, the native of Budapest played a total of just 15 minutes.  Prior to that, on Jan. 14 against Long Beach State, Somogyi logged a season-high 19 minutes, made 5-of-6 shots and scored a season-high 10 points.  In the last four games, Somogyi has made 8-of-10 shots and is now shooting 50.0% for the year.  In his last six games, the he has collected 30 rebounds, 5.0 per game, to lift his season average to 4.0 per game.  Somogyi had a career-high 10 rebounds on Jan. 19 vs. Cal State Northridge and his 30 rebounds in the last six have come in just 77 minutes.  He has had four or more rebounds 11 times this season. He has also had at least one blocked shot in 13 games and two or more nine times.  Somogyi recorded six swats on Nov. 26 vs. San Diego State.  He has 170 in his career, second all-time.   

Taylor Made
Freshman T.J. Taylor has started the last three games for UCSB, the first three starts of his career.  On Thursday night at Cal State Northridge, he had one of his best all-around games. Playing 29 minutes, equaling his season-high, Taylor made 2-of-4 shots, both three-pointers, to score six points.  He also added five assists, his highest total since going for six in the season opener against Chapman, and he had four rebounds, one shy of his career-high.  On the season, Taylor is averaging 3.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.  Against the Matadors, he had just one turnover to go along with his five assists and he now has a better than 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio with 40 assists and just 19 turnovers.  Also, with two three-pointers, he has 14 on the season, fourth on the team, and he's made three of his last six attempts from outside the arc.  Thursday's game marked the third time Taylor has made two three-pointers in a game, the first since he did so on Nov. 30 vs. UNLV.   

Sophomore Keegan Hornbuckle seems to have hit a wall in the last few games.  Since a stretch of three games in which he averaged 9.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game, he has averaged 1.7 points, 1.0 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game over the most recent four games.  After starting four games in a row, Hornbuckle has come off the bench in the last three.  On Thursday night at Northridge, he played just one minute, by far his shortest stint since returning to active duty on Nov. 30 against UNLV.  Overall, Hornbuckle is now averaging 4.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and a team-leading 1.3 steals per game.  His team-leading steal total has come in spite of the fact he missed the team's first five games because of injuries.  Hornbuckle has scored in double-figures twice, on Dec. 16 at Washington when he had 11 and on Jan. 14 vs. UC Irvine when he recorded a career-high 14.

The World According To Garth
Nate Garth played 11 minutes in Thursday's game at Northridge.  He had two assists and two rebounds. He is second on the team at 2.6 assists per game.  Since Garth scored a season-high 12 points on Jan. 2 at Cal Poly, he has made just 3-of-21 shots overall, 14.3%.  He does have a team-leading 2.1-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 23 assists and just seven turnovers.