UCSB Hosts UC Riverside in Televised Game Saturday

T.J. Taylor (Photo by Vince Agapito)
T.J. Taylor (Photo by Vince Agapito)

This Week
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

Game No. 22
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Irvine Anteaters

at UCI's Bren Center
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: Big West TV

• Tickets Available For All Games
Tickets for all UCSB basketball games are available from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB(8272) or online by clicking here.

• If You Can't Be There...
If you can't be at the Thunderdome to watch the Gauchos, tune-in to AM 1290 KZSB, the Santa Barbara News-Press Radio Station, for all the action.  Gerry Fall, The Voice of the Gauchos, is in his neight season calling play-by-play.  Fall is joined on the broadcasts by former Gaucho and Laker Don Ford, who is in his 15th year behind the mike.  Longtime Santa Barbara News-Press Senior Sports Writer Mark Patton joins the broadcasts for the pregame and halftime shows, bringing with him 28 years of covering UCSB basketball games.  The games can also be heard live online at UCSBgauchos.com.

UCSB Returns Home For One, Hits Road For Three
UC Santa Barbara is in the midst of a portion of the schedule that sees it play seven out of eight games on the road.  The Gauchos, who played the last three on the road, will play one game this week, and that's the only home game in the stretch, a Saturday, Feb. 11 contest against UC Riverside.  After the game against the Highlanders, they will go on the road for three more (Feb. 15 at UC Irvine, Feb. 18 at Utah State and Feb. 22 at Long Beach State) and those, mercifully, will be the last scheduled road games of the season.

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 12-8 overall and 7-3 in the Big West Conference, tied with Cal State Fullerton for second-place.  The Gauchos had their three-game winning streak ended on Saturday, Feb. 4, when they lost a 99-86 decision at Fullerton.  The defeat also snapped Santa Barbara's three-game road winning streak.  The three wins in the streak came at UC Davis, Pacific and Cal State Northridge.        

Johnson Moves Into Third All-Time, Becomes Fourth Gaucho Over 1,600 Points
Senior guard Orlando Johnson scored 28 points in UCSB's 99-86 loss at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday and he has 53 in the last two games.  The 28-point performance against the Titans pushed Johnson past the 1,600 point mark for his career.  He is just the fourth player in school history to eclipse reach that milestone.  Also on Saturday, he moved past Chris Devine (1,607 points from 2005-09) into third-place on the all-time list.  With a minimum of eight games remaining, he has a solid chance to scale even higher up the list.  For Johnson, the only two targets remaining are Carrick DeHart (1,687 points from 1986-90) and Alex Harris (1,696 points from 2004-08).

Nunnally Seeks A Milestone Of His Own
Senior James Nunnally scored 19 points in UCSB's game at Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 4 and in doing so, moved his career scoring total to 1,491 points.  Nunnally, who is sixth on the all-time list, needs just nine points to become the sixth Gaucho ever to score 1,500.  If he can get to 1,581 points, he would move past Mark Hull and into fifth on the school's all-time list.

Williams Is UCSB's All-Time Wins Leader
Bob Williams is in his 14th season at UCSB.  On Jan. 2, in a win at Cal Poly, he became the school's all-time leader in coaching victories.  The win over the Mustangs was the 223rd of his career, one better than Jerry Pimm recorded in his 15 seasons.  Williams now has 229 wins.

Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Averaging 12.0 points per game in the last four.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Has hit 4-of-8 three-point shots in the last three games.
F 15 Alan Williams - Scored in double-figures in four of the last five games.
G 21 James Nunnally - Needs just nine points to become sixth Gaucho over 1,500 for his career.
G 33 Orlando Johnson- With 53 points in the last two games, now has 1,615 in his career, third all-time.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Played a season-low four minutes in loss at Cal State Fullerton.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Six points at Cal State Fullerton after scoring seven in previous four games. 
G 10 Kyle Boswell- Has 10 three-point baskets in the last four games.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Since playing 16 total minutes over two-game span, has played one in last three.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Played six minutes in each of the last two games.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - Did not attempt a field goal at Cal State Fullerton, a first this season.

The Opponents
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.  The Gauchos and UC Irvine have tangled on the hardwood 76 times since the series between the schools began in 1968.  With its 74-56 win on Jan. 14 in Santa Barbara, UCSB now holds a 46-30 all-time edge.  The Anteaters, however, have given the Gauchos fits at the Bren Center, winning the last two.  Last season, UCI beat UCSB in Irvine, 66-63.

Dome, Sweet Dome 
UCSB is 7-3 at home this season.  In their last home game, the Gauchos had a three-game home winning streak ended with a 71-48 loss to Long Beach State.  Santa Barbara's other two home defeats this season were significantly closer.  On Nov. 26, the Gauchos dropped a 76-75 overtime decision to San Diego State and on Nov. 30 they lost a double overtime game to UNLV, 94-88.

Three-Point Barrage Was Like A Broken Record 
In its last game on Feb. 4, UCSB fell under a barrage of three-point baskets by Cal State Fullerton.  The Titans made 17-of-26 three-point attempts, 65.4%, equaling the most ever by a Gaucho opponent and a new Fullerton record.  The only other time that an opponent made that many threes in a game against UCSB was on Jan. 4, 2007, when Long Beach State hit 17.

Maybe It Was Contagious  
Maybe the three-point onslaught in the Feb. 4 game at Cal State Fullerton was contagious.  The Gauchos had their best three-point shooting performance of the season against the Titans, making 11-of-18 from outside the arc, 61.1%.  Previously, the most three-pointers UCSB made in a game this season was nine and came in games at UC Davis on Jan. 26 and in a double overtime loss to UNLV on Nov. 30.  The previous highest percentage was 53.3%, which was achieved in the season opener against Chapman.  The only other time the Gauchos made half of their threes was on Jan. 5, also against Cal State Fullerton.

Maxwell Smart Wouldn't Have Enjoyed This 99
In the old 1960's television show Get Smart, which satirized the secret agent genre, there were two primary secret agents, Maxwell Smart – Agent 86 – and Agent 99, name unknown.  In UCSB's last game, Feb. 4 at Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos were beaten by the Titans, 99-86.  While Maxwell Smart had a great relationship with Agent 99, UCSB's 86 didn't enjoy its relationship with Fullerton's 99 one bit.  That's a long way to go to say that the last time the Gauchos allowed more than 99 points was on Dec. 22, 2007 in a 105-70 loss at top-ranked North Carolina.  The last time they allowed more than 99 in a Big West game was on Jan. 4, 2007 in a 101-65 loss at Long Beach State. 

That 80s Show
UCSB scored 86 points in its loss at Cal State Fullerton.  It equaled the third highest point total for the Gauchos this season and the eighth time they have scored 80 points or more.  They have also scored 80 or more in two straight and three of the last four games.  The last time they scored 80 or more in eight or more games was in 1989-90 when they hit the mark 10 times. 

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 off kilter.  If you include game No. 9, which included the original starting five, UCSB has started seven different lineups in the last 12 games.  Over that span, only two lineups have started more than once.  One of those two lineups has started each of the last four 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 20 games this season.  

UCSB Takes Aim At School Blocks Record
UCSB blocked four shots in their Saturday night loss at Cal State Fullerton and the Gauchos remain well on their way to breaking the school record for blocked shots in a season.  Through 20 games, UCSB has 115 blocked shots, an average of 5.7 per game, first in the Big West.  The school record was set by last year's Gauchos and stands at 133.  With at least eight games remaining, Santa Barbara would need to average just 2.25 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 29 swats, including 23 in Big West games.  Orlando Johnson (21) and Jaimé Serna (20) 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 28 points in Saturday night's loss at Cal State Fullerton, his highest total since we went for 36 against UNLV on Nov. 30.  In the last two games, he has scored 53 points, 26.5 per game.  Johnson leads the Gauchos in two major statistical categories.  He paces the team in scoring (20.1 points per game) and assists (3.3 per game).  If he maintains his lead in those two categories, he would become the first Gaucho since 2004-05 to lead the team in scoring and assists.   Johnson has led the Gauchos in scoring in eight of the last nine games and 14 times this season.  In the game at Fullerton, he tied his season-high with four three-point baskets (in six attempts), had a season-high seven assists and pulled down nine rebounds.  In his previous game, at Cal State Northridge, Johnson scored 25 and attempted a season-high 10 three-pointers.  He also added three blocks and three steals against the Matadors.  Johnson has scored in double-figures 19 times in 20 games and 80 times in 82 games during his career.  He's scored 20 or more 13 times this season and a record 42 times in his career.  The Seaside, Calif., native 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 28 points that Johnson scored in the Gauchos' last game pushed his UCSB career total to 1,615, moving him past Chris Devine and into third-place all-time.  He needs 73 more to move into second all-time and 82 to become the all-time leader.  If the 383 points that Johnson scored as a freshman at Loyola Marymount are factored in, he has now tallied 1,998 in his collegiate career.  Among every thing else, he leads the team in three-point baskets with 41 and now has 153 in his career, ninth in school history.  

The Flying Nunnally
James Nunnally scored 19 points in the Gauchos game at  Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 4, his highest total since he had 22 on Dec. 22 at BYU.  He scored 14 in the previous game at Cal State Northridge, all in the second half, so he has now scored 33 in the last game and a half and seems to be back on the beam offensively.  Nunnally remains second on the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game and tied for second in rebounding at 6.0 per game.  He has now been in double-figures 19 times in 20 games this season.  Nunnally has scored 20 or more points four times this season, including a season-high 24 on Nov. 15 against Santa Clara.  Also, in scoring 19 in the last game, he moved closer in his quest to become the sixth player in UCSB history to eclipse 1,500 points.  Nunnally will enter Saturday's game against UC Riverside with 1,491 career points.  In addition to his 19 points at Fullerton, the senior from Stockton, Calif., had eight rebounds, one shy of his season-high.  Nunnally has had eight or more rebounds eight times this season, five or more 15 times and he collected a season-high nine on Jan. 14 against UC Irvine.  He is also playing the part of playmaker these days, averaging 2.4 assists per game.  He has passed off for two or more 15 times, including the last 13 games in a row.  Finally, with 158 career three-pointers, he ranks eighth on UCSB's career list.

A DisSERNAble Difference
Jaimé Serna battled foul trouble in Saturday night's game at Cal State Fullerton, but he did finish with eight points, three rebounds and a blocked shot before committing his fifth foul and leaving the game.  Overall, Serna is averaging 9.2 points per game, third on the team, but in the last four games he has averaged 12.0 points per game.  Two weekends ago, he had, arguably, the best regular season weekend of his career.  On Jan. 26 at UC Davis, Serna scored 18 points and 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.  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.  For his efforts, he was named Big West Player of the Week.  He remains fourth on the team in rebounding at 4.7 per game.  He is also fourth in blocked shots with 20.  By making 17-of-25 shots in the Gauchos' last four games, Serna is now shooting a sparkling 66.0% from the field for the season.  In his career, he has made 301 out of 534 shots, 56.4%, the third highest mark in school history.  Also, he now has 807 career points.  Finally, with 20 blocked shots this season, he has 76 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 consecutive double-figure games.  He had a career-high 19 points on Feb. 2 at Cal State Northridge and then 14 on Feb. 4 at Cal State Fullerton.  Williams has started the last nine games and he has responded in a big way, averaging 10.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots per game over that span.  Williams has two double-doubles on the season.  On Jan. 2 at Cal Poly, he came off the bench to scored 13 points and grab 10 rebounds and on Jan. 26 at UC Davis, he had 14 points and 12 boards.  Overall, he has scored in double-figures five times, including four of the last five, and he has had 10 or more rebounds four times, all in the last 10 games. While Williams is averaging a team-leading 6.5 rebounds per game overall, that figure is at 8.8 per game in league games, third in the Big West.  Williams is also averaging 10.4 points per game in league, third on the team.  Despite averaging just 15.9 minutes per game, he has had five or more rebounds in 13 out of his 19 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 five blocked shots, tying Greg Somogyi's record for blocks by a freshman.  He repeated the five-block performance on Jan. 26 at UC Davis.  Overall, he now has 29 blocked shots on the season, third on UCSB's all-time freshman list and he is within 10 of Doug Muse's record of 39.  Williams currently has 123 rebounds on the season, seventh most by a freshman in school history.  His field goal percentage of 53.4% would rank seventh on the freshman list.  

Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell scored six points in Saturday's loss at Fullerton, making 2-of-3 three-point attempts.  Boswell is now averaging 7.3 points per game, fourth on the team.  He's scored 10 or more points five times this season, most recently going for 12 on Jan. 26 at UC Davis.  He scored a career-high 15 on Nov. 18 against Westmont.  In the game at Davis, he also made a career-high four three-point baskets.  In the next game, at Pacific on Jan. 28, he scored eight, including a three-point basket with 29 seconds left to break a tie and push UCSB to victory.   Boswell is second on the team in three-point field goals with 34 and he is tops in three-point percentage at 39.5%.  In the last four games, he has made 10 out of his 21 three-point attempts, 47.6%.  Boswell has made at least two three-point baskets in four straight, five of the last six and 11 times overall.  He has hit at least one three-pointer in 15 straight and 19 times in 20 games.  Finally, in six games since playing a season-low six minutes in a Jan. 14 win over UC Irvine, Boswell has averaged 22.3 minutes per game.

Tall Tales
While he is averaging 12.1 minutes per game this season, Greg Somogyi has totaled just 35 minutes in the last four games, 8.7 per game.  He played nine minutes in the game at Cal State Fullerton and, for the first time this season, had neither a point, a rebound or a field goal attempt.  Somogyi is averaging 3.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game.  The four-game stretch with just 35 minutes played has come immediately on the heels of a Jan. 21 game against Long Beach State in which Somogyi played a season-high 19 minutes, made 5-of-6 shots and scored a season-high 10 points.   The 10-point performance against the 49ers came one game after he had a career-high 10 rebounds in a win over Cal State Northridge.   Somogyi 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, two shy of his school record.  He has 170 blocks in his career, second all-time.   

Taylor Made
Freshman T.J. Taylor has started the last four games for UCSB, the first starts of his career.  In the Gauchos' last game, at Cal State Fullerton, he had five points, one rebound and one assist.  One game earlier, at Cal State Northridge, Taylor 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 3.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.  In the last two games, he has six assists and just one turnover.  On the season, he has 41 assists and a mere 19 turnovers, a 2.2-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio.   Also, with one three-pointer in the last game, he has 15 on the season, fourth on the team, and he's made four of his last eight attempts from outside the arc.  Taylor has made at least one three-pointer in three straight games.   

Sophomore Keegan Hornbuckle scored six points, on two three-point baskets, in 15 minutes on Feb. 4 at Cal State Fullerton.  It was the most points Hornbuckle has scored since he started coming off the bench four games ago.  In fact, the six points were just one shy of his combined total of seven in the previous four games.  Hornbuckle is now averaging 4.6 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.  Despite ranking 10th on the team in minutes played, he is second with 18 steals.  He had nine of the steals in a two-game stretch against UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge on Jan. 14 and Jan. 19 respectively.  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.  When he nailed two three-pointers at Fullerton, it was the second time he has made a pair in one game.  He also did so against Irvine.

The World According To Garth
Nate Garth played a season-low four minutes in Saturday's game at Fullerton.  He remains second on the team in assists at 2.5 per game despite seeing his playing time shrink.  After playing 20 or more minutes in the first eight games of the season, he has not done so in the last 12.  Garth had a season-high six assists on Nov. 22 against Portland and he's had four or more eight times.  He continues to have one of the best assist to turnover ratios on the team at 2.0-to-1.0.