Gauchos Host UC Riverside, Long Beach State To End Regular Season

Gauchos Host UC Riverside, Long Beach State To End Regular Season

March 2, 2009

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• The Schedule
Game No. 28
Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1490-AM in Santa Barbara
Game available on Gametracker

Game No. 29L
Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Long Beach State 49ers
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1490-AM in Santa Barbara
Game available on Gametracker

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KIST 1490-AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his fifth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of games, home and road. Steve Wendt, the voice of the UCSB women's basketball team, will handle the play-by-play for a handful of men's games.

• Massari On The Radio Tuesday
UC Santa Barbara Director of Athletics Mark Massari will join Steve Wendt on Tuesday, Mar. 3 from 7-8 p.m. at The Paradise Café to discuss the state of Gaucho Athletics. The show will air live on KIST 1490-AM in Santa Barbara and will replace the Bob Williams Show, which normally airs at that time. In addition to discussing Gaucho Athletics with Wendt, Massari will answer the emailed questions of UCSB fans. To send a question, click here. It will be the final show of the year.

• Gauchos Remain Home For Final Two Regular Season Games
UC Santa Barbara will play its final two games of the 2008-09 campaign at the Thunderdome, hosting UC Riverside (Mar. 5), and Long Beach State (Mar. 7). All Gaucho players will take part in an autograph session following Saturday's game against Long Beach. Tickets for all Gaucho games and for the Big West Tournament, which will run from March 11-14 at the Anaheim Convention Center, can be purchased from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB, or online by clicking here.

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters the final week of the 2008-09 regular season with an overall record of 13-14 and a Big West record of 6-8. The Gauchos are in eighth-place in the Big West. After having its season-best four-game winning streak end on Feb. 25 at Cal State Northridge, Santa Barbara got back on the winning track with a narrow 66-64 win over UC Davis on Saturday, Feb. 28. The Gauchos have now won five of six games, their best stretch of the season. UCSB finished the regular season with a 3-10 record in true road games and a 5-10 overall record away from home. They will enter the two-game stretch with an 8-4 record at the Thunderdome.

• UCSB Clinches Big West Tournament Berth
By virtue of their win over UC Davis on Saturday night, the Gauchos have clinched a berth in the Big West Tournament. Cal Poly, which will finish ninth, will be the odd-team out. While UCSB is currently in eighth-place in the league, it is conceivable that they could still finish as high as fourth.

• Freshmen Lead The Way As Gauchos Edge UC Davis, 66-64
Freshman James Nunnally scored 18 points and freshman Jaimé Serna added 13 as UC Santa Barbara came from behind to edge UC Davis on Saturday night, 66-64. The Gauchos have now won five of their last six games. UCSB trailed the Aggies by as many as 13 points twice in the fist half, but clawed back to pull within four, 32-28, at halftime. Nunnally scored nine of his points during a 16-7 Gaucho run that ended the half and narrowed what had been a 25-12 lead to just four points. After the teams traded baskets to open the second half, a lay-up by Dominic Calegari with 17:19 to play gave Davis a 36-30 lead. A three-point play by Chris Devine, a short jumper by Jesse Byrd, and one free throw by D.J. Posley tied the score at 36 apiece with 14:51 remaining. It was the first tie of the night. The Aggies regained the advantage, but a slam dunk by Serna gave the Gauchos their first lead at 38-37 with 13:00 to play. Davis scored the next five points, the last three of which came from a three-point shot by Calegari, to take a four-point lead, 42-38. The lead was still four, 43-39, when UCSB went on an 11-2 run to take a 50-45 lead. Nunnally and Serna each had four of the 11 points. The Gaucho lead ballooned to as many as eight, 56-48 with 4:58 remaining in the game. The Aggies edged closer as Santa Barbara went 7-for-16 from the free throw line in the final 3:05. When Posley missed a pair with just under three seconds to play and a two-point lead, Davis guard Vince Oliver rebounded and had one final shot from just behind the halfcourt line. The shot missed and the Gauchos held on. Devine did finish with 11 points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots. Nick Quick played a career-high 12 minutes and scored seven points, six of which were on three-point baskets. Nunnally added five rebounds and a pair of assists to his team-high 18 points. Serna made all four of his free throws and added four rebounds. UCSB had 12 steals for the game, led by Posley with five. The Gauchos have 26 steals in their last two games.

• The Opponents
The Gauchos and UC Riverside have played 24 times in a series that goes back to 1955. Santa Barbara holds a sizeable 19-5 advantage all-time, but the Highlanders overcame a 13-point deficit to win the first game between the schools this season, 71-69 on Jan. 4. UCSB swept the season-series in 2007-08, including a 73-55 win at home that ended the regular season. The Gauchos and Long Beach State have played 104 times dating back to 1952. The 49ers have a 53-51 all-time lead, including a 76-64 win in Long Beach on Jan. 2. The first game between the schools was the conference opener.

• Possible Starters - Notes
G - 1 - D.J. Posley - Had a season-high five steals in just 15 minutes vs. UC Davis.
G - 4 - Paul Roemer - Tied his career-high with five assists vs. UC Davis.
G - 20 - Will Brew, Jr. - Has nine fouls in the last two games.
F - 0 - Jaimé Serna - Has been in double-figures in scoring three times, all in last eight games.
F - 10 - Chris Devine - With 1,554 career points, needs 27 to move into third all-time.

• Possible Reserves - Notes
G - 2 - Nick Quick - Scored career-high seven and played career-high 12 minutes vs. UC Davis.
G - 3 - Jordan Weiner - 23 of his 27 baskets on the season have come from three-point range.
G - 21 - James Nunnally - Had team-high 18 points vs. UC Davis, his second-highest total.
G - 42 - James Powell - Averaging 12.4 points per game at home.
F - 15 - Sam Phippen - Has made 7-of-13 three-point attempts this season, 53.8%.
F - 44 - Jesse Byrd - Has had five or more rebounds 15 times in his 19 games.
C - 55 - Greg Somogyi - His 37 blocked shots are second most ever by a Gaucho freshman.

• The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his 11th season as head coach at UC Santa Barbara. In 2007-08, Williams guided the Gauchos to a 23-9 overall record. The 23 wins were a school record, and UCSB also won its second Big West regular season title with a 12-4 conference record. Following the campaign, the Gauchos were awarded a bid to the National Invitation Tournament. It was the third time that a Williams-coached UCSB team advanced to postseason play. The 2002 Gauchos won the school's first Big West Tournament title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament, and in 2003, they won the league's regular season championship and played in the NIT. Williams has been selected Big West Coach of the Year twice, in 1998-99 and 2002-03. In 1998-99, he took over a UCSB program that had not recorded a winning season in five years, and after seeing his team lose its first eight games that year - extending a two-season losing streak to 16 straight games - the Gauchos turned things around, winning 15 of their final 20 games and finishing on top in the Big West's Western Division. Williams has a UCSB record of 176-145. He guided the program to eight winning seasons in his first 10 years, and a pair of 20 win seasons. He has a career record of 106-72 in Big West games. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, Williams spent eight years at UC Davis and in those eight years, his teams recorded 20 or more wins five times and a 158-76 record. In Williams's final season, the Aggies went 31-2, won the NCAA Division II National Championship and he was named NABC Division II Coach of the Year. Including two seasons at Menlo College, Williams has an overall career record of 365-245 (.598) at four-year schools.

• Then There Was One: The Injury Report
Junior point guard Justin Joyner is the only UCSB player remaining on the injured list. Joyner had surgery on his right wrist prior to the season and will not play in 2008-09. He will apply to the NCAA for a redshirt year and should return as a junior in 2009-10. Jesse Byrd, who missed eight games with a knee injury, has played in the last seven games. Junior guard Paul Roemer missed three games with a shoulder injury, but has also been back for the last seven games. Freshman center Greg Somogyi suffered a broken nose in UCSB's Feb. 25 game at Cal State Northridge, but he remains active, although he will continue to wear a protective mask.

• Men Of Steal
UCSB had 14 steals on Feb. 2 at Northridge, a season-high. They followed-up that performance with 12 steals in Saturday's win over UC Davis. The 26 steals over two games is easily the best two-game total that the Gauchos have had this season. Junior guard Paul Roemer has had eight steals in the last two games, including a career-high five in the loss to Northridge. D.J. Posley had five in just 15 minutes of action in the game against UC Davis.

• Comeback Kids
The Gauchos have won five of their last six games and in each they have had to come from behind to do so. On Saturday night, UCSB overcame a 13-point first half deficit to beat UC Davis. It was the fourth double-digit deficit that they have had to overcome during the last five recent wins. The only win of the last five in which they did not have to climb back from at least a 10-point hole was a 67-57 Feb. 18 win over Pacific. Against the Tigers, the Gauchos never trailed by more than eight.

• Turnover Saga Takes Another Turn
After turning the ball over a season-high 26 times on Feb. 25 at Cal State Northridge, UCSB cut back in the win over UC Davis. After piling-up nine in the first half, the Gauchos had just four in the second half and finished with 13. They have had 13 or fewer turnovers in five of the last six games, all wins. Hmmm. Coincidence? I think not. On the other side of the coin, UCSB forced UC Davis into 22 turnovers on Saturday. Northridge had 24 in the previous game. Santa Barbara has forced 20 or more in two straight for the first time this season. Also, for the first time in 2008-09, Gaucho opponents have more turnovers than they do, 423-419.

• UCSB Makes Progress In Close Games
Of the first 22 games this season, UCSB played six games with margins of five or less. The Gauchos were just 1-5 in those six games. In the last five games, they have played four close games, winning three. One of those games, a 78-71 win over Montana State, had a seven-point margin but it was an overtime game. Santa Barbara has won its last two two-point games. In addition to defeating UC Davis 66-64 on Feb. 28, they edged Cal Poly by a 68-66 count on Feb. 14.

• Although Free, They Almost Proved Costly
In Saturday's win over UC Davis, the Gauchos attempted a season-high 35 free throws, making just 19, 54.3%. In fact, the "free" throws almost cost UCSB the game as they made just 7-of-16 in the final minutes, 43.7%. In three games prior to the game against the Aggies, the Gauchos made 53-of-64 from the charity stripe, 82.8%.

• Rebounding Regression
Since outrebounding five straight opponents, a season-long streak, UCSB has been outrebounded by six in each of the last two games. The Gauchos were actually winning the rebounding battle through one half on Saturday, but UC Davis finished with a 36-30 edge by the end of the game. On the year, Santa Barbara is still outrebounding its opposition by a 33.4 to 32.0 count, a +1.4 margin.

• A Fresh Approach
When UCSB played four freshmen in the season-opener against Cal State Los Angeles, it was the first time that four freshmen had played in the same game for the Gauchos since the 2000-01 season. The four freshmen, guards James Nunnally and Will Brew, Jr., forward Jaimé Serna, and center Greg Somogyi have each played in all 27 games. In the Big West Conference opener at Long Beach State, they started three of the freshmen - Nunnally, Brew and Somogyi - also a first since the 2000-01 season. In 2000-01, the Gauchos started Branduinn Fullove, Jacoby Atako, and Nick Jones together on several occasions. Brew has the most starts of any of UCSB's freshmen with 19. Combined, the foursome has 43 starts.

• Freshmen Block Party
The Gauchos have blocked 73 shots on the season, an average of 2.7 per game. Freshman Greg Somogyi leads the way with 37, 50.7% of the team total. Somogyi, however, is not the only freshman getting into the shot-blocking act. Jaimé Serna ranks second on the team with 12, while James Nunnally has five, and Will Brew, Jr., has two. Combined, the first-year foursome has 56 of the team's 73 swats, an impressive 76.7%.

• A Fresh Start
Last season, only seven UCSB players started games and the Gauchos had just three different starting lineups. In 2008-09, 11 different players have started games while UCSB has trotted out nine different starting fives.

• Devine Intervention
Chris Devine had his streak of 20+ scoring efforts end at three in the Feb. 25 loss at Cal State Northridge. In fact, by scoring nine points, Devine's streak of six-straight double-figure games ended. On Saturday against UC Davis, he was back in double-figures, but finished with just 11 points, making 4-of-11 shots from the field and 3-of-5 free throws. Prior to the last two games, Devine was on a roll, scoring 20 or more in three straight and four out of five. Twice in the last three weeks he was named Big West Player of the Week. In UCSB's Feb. 21 win over Montana State, he scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds, had three assists, and a pair of blocked shots. Seven of his points came in overtime. He had 26 points and eight rebounds in a Feb. 18 win over Pacific and on Feb. 14, he scored a career-high 29 points in a win over Cal Poly. The senior from Eagle River, Alaska, is now averaging 15.8 points per game. In six games prior to the last two, he averaged 21.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. Also over that span, Devine had a pair of double-doubles, going for 16 points and 12 boards on Jan. 29 against Cal State Northridge, and 20 points and 12 rebounds on Feb. 5 at Cal State Fullerton. He now has four double-doubles on the year and 13 in his career. Before making 4-of-11 shots against the Aggies, Devine had made at least half of his shots in seven straight games, going 49-of-86, 57.0%, over that span. His overall field goal percentage is at 53.1%, tops in the Big West. On Feb. 18 against Pacific, Devine was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line. When he missed one in the overtime against Montana State, it ended a streak of 19 in a row. Devine has made 28-of-33, 84.8%, from the free throw line in the last six games. On the season, in addition to averaging 15.8 points per game, Devine is averaging 6.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. He has also blocked 10 shots, including a season-high three against UC Davis, and six in the last three games. When he scored 20 points on Feb. 5 at Cal State Fullerton, Devine jumped from sixth-place on UCSB's all-time scoring list to fourth, where he still resides with 1,554 career points. He needs 27 to move past Mark Hull and into third all-time. On Feb. 14 against Cal Poly, he had five rebounds, moving him past Scott Fisher and into fifth all-time. He remains in fifth with 695 boards and he has joined Doug Rex (1968-71) as the only players in school history to rank in the top-five in points and rebounds. He has also scored 20 or more eight times this season, including seven times in the last 15 games. Prior to scoring a career-high 29 on Feb. 14 against Cal Poly, Devine had a season-high 27 points on Jan. 22 at UC Davis. He has had seven or more rebounds in 12 of the last 15 games, averaging 7.6 per game over that span.

• Old Buddy, Old Powell
James Powell continued to have his problems offensively on Saturday night against UC Davis. Playing a season-low 10 minutes, Powell was 1-for-4 from the field and finished with just two points. In the last two games, he has gone 2-for-13 overall and 1-for-9 from three-point territory, scoring a total of five points. His problems on Saturday were an aberration for him in home games. Including that game, Powell is averaging 12.4 points per game at home while shooting 38.9% overall and 32.8% from three-point range. In 13 true road games, he is averaging 6.3 points per game while shooting 26.4% overall and 23.5% from beyond the three-point arc. Ironically, Powell scored his season high - 22 points - on the road in San Francisco. He has been in double-figures 13 times, including nine times in 12 home games and once on a neutral court. Powell is now averaging 9.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. In addition to his 22-point effort at USF, he had back-to-back 19-point games on Jan. 8 and Jan. 10 against UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. On the year, he continues to lead the Gauchos in three-point baskets with 43, and he has made at least one in 21 of 27 games. Powell has 160 career three-point baskets, seventh most in school history. He needs four to move into fifth all-time. Powell made a season-best six on Nov. 24 at San Francisco. He had a season-high five assists on Jan. 2 at Long Beach State and a career-high seven rebounds on Nov. 14 against Cal State Los Angeles.

• Byrd Watching
Junior forward Jesse Byrd scored four points and had five rebounds in 15 minutes on Saturday night against UC Davis. On Feb. 25, he had 11 points, four rebounds, and a pair of steals at Cal State Northridge. It was the most points he has scored since returning from a knee injury on Jan. 29. Byrd injured his knee in the Dec. 20 game at San Diego State and missed eight games. Overall, he is now averaging 6.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He ranks second on the team in rebounds. In eight games since his return, he is at 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Prior to his injury, Byrd had five or more rebounds in every game in which he played and has now done so in 15 of 19 appearances. The transfer from San Francisco still leads UCSB in field goal percentage at 57.0%. He has a pair of double-doubles this season. In the Dec. 17 game at Weber State he had 10 points and 14 rebounds. The 14 rebounds were the most by a Gaucho in five seasons. He also had 13 points and 12 rebounds on Dec. 4 at Utah Valley. In five games before his injury, Byrd averaged 10.4 points and 9.8 rebounds.

• Yes, Serna
Freshman forward Jaimé Serna bounced back from a foul-plagued 10 minutes on Feb. 25 at Cal State Northridge with one of his best games of the season on Saturday night. Serna had 13 points, including nine in the second half, to go with four rebounds, two blocked shots, and a steal against UC Davis. He made all four of his field goal attempts in recording his second-highest point total of the year. Serna had four points and three rebounds in the game at Northridge. He is averaging 6.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, but in the last eight games, he has averaged 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. On Feb. 5 at Cal State Fullerton, he made 8-of-12 shots from the field and scored a career-high 20 points. Serna also had a career-best eight rebounds against the Titans. The native of Laguna Beach, who has started the last 12 games, has had five or more rebounds 10 times this season.

• The Hungary Hunter
Playing with a mask to protect a broken nose suffered in the Feb. 25 game at Cal State Northridge, freshman Greg Somogyi played a season-low two minutes on Saturday against UC Davis. In fact, in the last three games he played a total of 17 minutes and scored just two points. On Saturday night, Somogyi had a streak of six straight games with at least one blocked shot end. Still, he has 37 blocked shots on the season, second on UCSB's all-time freshman list. The Budapest native needs three to pass Doug Muse and move into first all-time. In addition, he is one blocked shot away from entering the single-season top-10. He had a career-high five blocks on Dec. 20 at San Diego State. He has had at least one blocked shot in 15 of the last 17 games and 22 of 27 overall. Somogyi scored a career-high 14 points on Jan. 22 at UC Davis. His other double-figure scoring effort came on Feb. 14 against Cal Poly when he had 10, to go along with a career-high six rebounds.

• The Flying Nunnally
Freshman James Nunnally had one of his finest games of the season on Saturday against UC Davis. Nunnally had 18 points, his second-highest total this season, to go with five rebounds, two assists, and one steal. He has scored 14 or more in two of the last three games. While he had just four on Feb. 25 at Northridge, he had 14 points, along with five rebounds and four assists on Feb. 21 against Montana State. The four assists tied his career-high, set previously on Feb. 14 against Cal Poly. In addition, it was Nunnally's spectacular tip-in with less than 30 seconds to play in regulation that tied the game against the Bobcats, sending it to overtime. He is now averaging 6.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Nunnally has averaged 9.0 points in the last seven games. He has averaged 2.9 assists in the last five games. In those five, he has 13 assists and just five turnovers. Nunnally has scored nine or more nine times, including five times in the last nine games. He set career-highs of 22 points and seven rebounds on Nov. 21 against North Carolina. While he is shooting 43.3% for the season, he has made 18-of-34 in the last six games, 52.9%. Also, while he is shooting 73.1% from the free throw line, Nunnally has made 33 of his last 41, 80.5%. Incidentally, 53 of his 67 free throw attempts have come in the last 16 games. Nunnally has had three or more rebounds in nine of the last 13 games and five or more six times.

• Where There's A Will, There's A Way
Freshman guard Will Brew, Jr., had his first sub-par performance in a while on Saturday night against UC Davis. Brew missed all four of his shots and was scoreless in 18 minutes. On Feb. 25 at Northridge, he scored 10 points, had two assists, two rebounds, and one steal. He is now averaging 4.4 points per game. In five games prior to Saturday, Brew averaged 8.4 points per game and made 12-of-25 shots, 48.0%. He has scored in double-figures four times this season, including twice in the last six games. On Feb. 7 at UC Irvine, he scored 14 points, on 4-of-6 shooting overall and 2-of-3 from three-point range. Brew scored a personal-best 18 - making 6-of-7 three-point attempts - on Jan. 8 against UC Irvine. His other double-figure scoring game came on Dec. 4 at Utah Valley when he had 11. While he is shooting 40.8% overall, Brew has made 25-of-53 shots in 14 Big West games, 47.2%. He has made 48.1% of his three-point attempts in league games. Overall, he's made 40.0% from beyond the three-point arc, the best on the team among players with at least 20 attempts. His 18 three-pointers rank third on the team. Brew also has 25 steals, the 10th most by a freshman in school history.

• Strike A Posley
Senior guard D.J. Posley scored four points, had two assists, two rebounds, and a season-high five steals in just 15 minutes on Saturday night against UC Davis. Posley is averaging 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and a team-leading 2.7 assists per game. Posley scored a career-high 17 points on Jan. 17 at Cal Poly, making 6-of-9 shots from the field. He also had a career-high seven rebounds against the Mustangs. In 10 games since, he has averaged 4.5 per game. He's had a season-high five assists three times this year, the last time on Dec. 13 vs. Loyola Marymount. Posley has had two or more assists 20 times, including the last eight games.

• Roemer Wasn't Built In A Day
Junior guard Paul Roemer had seven points, five assists, three rebounds, and three steals in the win over UC Davis. The five assists tied Roemer's season-high and the seven points were the most he had scored since Dec. 13, when he had seven against Loyola Marymount. Roemer now has 23 steals on the season, including eight in the last two games and 10 in the last three. He had a career-high five steals on Feb. 25 against Northridge. Since returning from injury on Jan. 29, he has started seven of eight games. Roemer has the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team at 1.6-to-1.0 Roemer scored a season-high 11 on Nov. 28 against Winston-Salem State.

• Jordan Rules
Sophomore guard Jordan Weiner played eight scoreless minutes against UC Davis. On Feb. 25, he had six points, on a pair of three-pointers, at Northridge. Weiner has made 27 baskets on the year, 23 from three-point range. Of Weiner's last 17 baskets, 16 are three-pointers. He scored a career-high 14 on Jan. 17 at Cal Poly, making four three-pointers.

• Sam He Is
Sam Phippen played eight minutes on Saturday against UC Davis, and he too was scoreless. Although he did not attempt a field goal, he missed a pair of free throws. On Feb. 25 at Northridge, he hit his only field goal attempt, a three-pointer. He also had a blocked shot against the Matadors. Phippen is averaging 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. He had a career-high five rebounds on Feb. 7 at UC Irvine. He has had a career-high six points twice this year.

• Cut To The Quick
Senior Nick Quick sparked UCSB off the bench in the win over Davis. Quick scored a career-high seven points, making 2-of-4 three-point attempts and 1-of-2 free throws. He also played a career-high 12 minutes in the victory.

• The Gaucho Way
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."