UCSB Aims to Secure No. 1 Seed in Tournament, Hosts UC Irvine Wednesday

UCSB Aims to Secure No. 1 Seed in Tournament, Hosts UC Irvine Wednesday

March 2, 2010

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• The Schedule
Game No. 27
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Irvine
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1490 AM in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Game available on Gametracker

Game No. 28
Big West Tournament Semifinal Game
Friday, March 12, 2010 at TBA
UC Santa Barbara vs. TBA
at The Anaheim Convention Center Arena
Radio: KIST 1490 AM in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com

• Plenty Of Tickets Still Available For Important Game Against Irvine
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.

• Gauchos Collect "Soles4Souls" At Regular Season Finale
The UCSB men's basketball team will be accepting new and used shoes during its Wednesday, Mar. 3 game against UC Irinve. All shoes will go to Soles4Souls Inc., in an effort to help out the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. This is part of the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative. Soles4Souls accepts all types of shoes: athletic, running, dress, sandals, pumps, heels, work boots, cleats, dance, flip-flops - just as long as they are new or gently worn. Every 23 seconds, Soles4Souls Inc. gives away another pair of shoes to someone in need. The shoe charity has earned glowing endorsements from Hollywood stars and professional athletes, but the people who truly make the non-profit organization effective are those who partner with Soles4Souls in its mission of changing the world one pair at a time.

• UCSB's Magic Number For No. 1 Seed Is One
By virtue of its 73-65 win at Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 17, UC Santa Barbara has already guaranteed itself either a first or second-place finish in the Big West Conference regular season standings. The first and second-place teams automatically receive byes into the Big West Conference Tournament semifinals on Friday, Mar. 12. The Gauchos, however, still have a chance to earn the league's regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the tournament. A win by UCSB in its Wednesday night game against UC Irvine, or a loss by Pacific in either of its final two games, would give the Gauchos the No. 1 seed in the tournament for the second time in three seasons and the third time overall.

• Big West Standings

	                Big West		Overall
Team	                W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.
UCSB	                11	4	.733	17	9	.654
Pacific	                10	4	.714	18	10	.643
CS Fullerton	        8	6	.571	15	12	.556
UC Davis	        7	7	.500	12	16	.429
Long Beach State	7	8	.467	14	15	.483
Cal Poly	        7	8	.467	11	17	.393
CS Northridge	        5	9	.357	10	19	.345
UC Irvine	        5	9	.357	13	16	.448
UC Riverside	        5	10	.333	12	16	.429	

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Wednesday's game against UC Irvine with an overall record of 17-9 and a Big West mark of 11-4. The 17 wins are one more than the team won in 2008-09. The Gauchos had their season-best six-game winning streak ended on Saturday at Cal Poly. The Mustangs came from eight points behind in the second half to defeat UCSB, 60-57. Still, Santa Barbara has won six of seven, nine of 11, and 10 of 13. Dating back to the 2008-09 season, the Gauchos have won 17 of their last 22 Big West Conference games.

• Winning Streak Was Longest Since Early 2007
Prior to the loss at Cal Poly on Saturday, the Gauchos won six straight games. UCSB posted consecutive wins over Pacific (61-48), UC Davis (81-77), Long Beach State (64-62), Cal State Fullerton (73-65), Fresno State (64-60), and Cal State Northridge (74-69). Just two of the wins - Long Beach and Northridge - came at home with four coming on the road. The six-game winning streak was the longest of the year, two games longer than the team's season-opening four-game streak. The last time the Gauchos put together a winning streak longer than six in a row was during the 2007-08 preseason when they won eight in a row. The last time they won more than four straight road games was also in 2007-08 when they won five in a row. The last time UCSB won five straight Big West games was during the 2000-01 season.

• Cal Poly Shuts Down Gauchos Late In Come-From-Behind Win
Jordan Lewis made a lay-up with 30 seconds left and David Hanson hit a pair of free throws with five seconds to play as Cal Poly rallied in the second half to defeat visiting UC Santa Barbara, 60-57 on Saturday night. The loss ended the Gauchos' six-game winning streak. UCSB made just one field goal in the final nine minutes - a 3-pointer by Justin Joyner with 5:54 to play - and the Mustangs came from eight behind to earn the win. Hanson was dominant on the boards with 17 rebounds. He also had 11 points, including the final two that iced the win. After he made his second free throw, the Gauchos got the ball in but a desperation 3-pointer by James Powell went awry as the horn sounded. Charles Anderson led four Cal Poly players in double-figures with 15, all on 3-point baskets. Shawn Lewis added 14. Orlando Johnson led UCSB with 21 points, but he was the only player in double-figures. He scored 15 of his points in the first half as the Gauchos came from eight behind to claim a six-point lead. Trailing 16-8 UCSB went on a 14-0 run to take a 22-16 lead. A 3-pointer by James Nunnally capped the rally with 7:36 to play in the first half. During that stretch, Cal Poly missed eight straight shots before Shawn Lewis had a slam dunk with 6:47 to play, igniting a 7-0 run. Despite the late Mustang charge, Santa Barbara led at the half, 33-27. The Gauchos shot just 30.4% in the second half and were held to 24 points. Overall, they finished at 34.0%. The Mustangs hit just 31.6% of their shots overall and just 25.7% from 3-point range.

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
G 3 Jordan Weiner - Gauchos are 6-1 when he is in the starting lineup.
G 20 Will Brew, Jr. - Has gone 0-for-9 from the field in the last two games.
G 33 Orlando Johnson - Only Gaucho to score in double-figures in all 26 games.
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Averaged 6.5 rebounds in the last two games.
F 21 James Nunnally - Recorded five or more rebounds in 10 of the last 11 games.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Chris Brew - Has not played in the last eight games.
G 4 Paul Roemer - Has totaled 13 minutes in five games since returning from foot injury.
G 11 Justin Joyner - Has 43 assists and 19 turnovers in 271 minutes this season.
F 15 Sam Phippen - Has totaled nine minutes in the last two games.
F 25 Lucas Devenny - Did not play in Saturday's loss at Cal Poly.
F 32 Jon Pastorek - Has nine rebounds in the last three games, a total of 32 minutes.
G 42 James Powell - 210 career 3-pointers ranks him second in school history.
C 55 Greg Somogyi - Averaging 6.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in last five games.

• The Opponent
The Gauchos and UC Irvine have played 72 times in a series that began in 1968. UCSB holds the all-time edge, 43-29, but the Anteaters won the first game between the schools this year, 57-55 on Jan. 2 in Irvine. The first game was the Big West opener for both teams.

• Dome, Sweet Dome
UCSB is 10-2 at home in 2009-10, including a perfect 7-0 against Big West opponents. The Gauchos have never gone unbeaten at home in Big West play. Santa Barbara has won seven straight home games, defeating UC Davis, Pacific, UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly, Long Beach State, and Cal State Northridge. After beginning the year 3-0 at the Thunderdome, UCSB lost consecutive games to Santa Clara and San Diego State. The loss to Santa Clara on Dec. 1 ended a seven-game home winning streak. Dating back to the 2008-09 season, Santa Barbara has won 16 of its last 18 games at the Thunderdome, including 12 straight games against Big West opponents.

• Waiting Game
Back when Pat Riley was coaching the Los Angeles Lakers and they were demolishing their Western Conference finals opponents in four games, he would bring the team to Santa Barbara in a training camp-type setting before the start of the NBA Finals. Well, the Gauchos are already in Santa Barbara, but they are definitely going to have a few extra days between their last regular season game and the Big West Tournament. Because of a quirk in the league schedule, UCSB plays its final league game on Wednesday, Mar. 3 but won't open league tournament play until Friday, Mar. 12, a period of eight full days. Eight days will be the longest span that the Gauchos have ever had between the end of the regular season and the start of the league tournament.

• UCSB Aims For Program First
The Gauchos enter their final regular season home game with a 10-2 mark at the Thunderdome. Both of UCSB's home losses were against non-conference opponents (San Diego State and Santa Clara). In Big West games, Santa Barbara has been perfect, 7-0. The Gauchos have never gone unbeaten at home throughout a full Big West season, regardless of the conference's make-up. They will have that opportunity on Wednesday against UC Irvine.

• Gaucho Streak Of Leading Or Tied At Half Ends At Cal Poly
Entering Saturday's 60-57 loss at Cal Poly, UCSB had led at halftime 14 times this season and been tied once. In those first 15 games, the Gauchos were a perfect 15-0. Against the Mustangs, UCSB carried a 33-27 lead into the final 20 minutes and, for the first time this season, lost. Cal Poly outscored Santa Barbara by a 33-24 count in the second half on Saturday. When they have been behind at half, they have won twice in 10 games. On Jan. 4 they trailed 23-14 at the break before beating UC Riverside, 57-53. On Feb. 13, Santa Barbara trailed Long Beach State 33-30 at the half before coming from behind to win, 64-62.

• A Win-Loss Barometer
UCSB has won 12 of its last 15 games. The three losses over that stretch have one thing in common: poor shooting by the Gauchos. In each of the three losses UCSB has shot 34.0% or below. On Jan. 14, they made just 32.7% and lost at Long Beach State, on Jan. 30 they made just 33.3% and lost at Cal State Northridge, and on Feb. 27 they hit 34.0%. In 11 of the 12 wins, Santa Barbara made 40-percent or better.

• Shooting Blanks From Distance
UCSB leads the Big West in 3-point field goal percentage defense. In their last game, the Gauchos held Cal Poly to 25.7% from beyond the arc and opponents are now making exactly 30.0% of their attempts. 15 Big West opponents are making 28.6% of their 3-pointers and Cal Poly was the 15th opponent overall to make less than 30-percent in a game.

• Sophomores Of The World Unite!
UCSB's sophomores continue to dominate the team's statistics. In Wednesday's win over Cal State Northridge, Orlando Johnson, James Nunnally, Jaimé Serna, Will Brew, and Greg Somogyi combined for 43 of the team's 57 points. On the season, they have scored 1,223 of 1,755 points, 69.7%. If you include freshmen Lucas Devenny and Chris Brew, UCSB's underclassmen have scored 1,302 points, 74.2% of the team's total.

• Production By Class

Class	        Pts.	Rebs.	Asts.	Stls.	BS
Senior	        259	74	55	26	2
Junior	        194	130	88	42	10
Sophomore	1,223	513	186	101	68
Freshman	79	60	25	14	2

• Super Sophomores Leaving Their Marks
Orlando Johnson enters Wednesday's game against UC Irvine as UCSB's leading scorer at 17.9 points per game, a figure that ranks him second in the Big West Conference. James Nunnally is averaging 14.5 points per game, ninth in league. If Johnson could maintain his current scoring average, it would be the highest scoring average by a Gaucho sophomore ever. In 1968-69, Doug Rex averaged 17.8 points per game.

• Top-Scoring Sophomore Duos
The sophomore duo of Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally combine to average 32.4 points per game. Unless things go completely haywire, they will become the highest scoring sophomore pair in UCSB history. On a side note, the ninth-highest scoring sophomore duo of all-time was Doug Rex and Ron Wyden. Rex averaged 17.8 and Wyden 2.6. Incidentally, Wyden is now a U.S. Senator from Oregon. Nunnally's average would rank third all-time. Combined, the tandem is averaging 32.4 points per game, 48.1% of the team's total. In Big West games, the Johnson-Nunnally duo is averaging 35.0 of the Gauchos' points, 52.4% of the team's 67.5 points per game average. Finally, with 829 combined points, Johnson and Nunnally need just 41 more to become the 10th-highest scoring tandem in school history.

• Speaking Of Orlando
Orlando Johnson scored 21 points and added seven rebounds in UCSB's Feb. 27 game at Cal Poly. He made three 3-point baskets in the game, his highest total since he made four on Jan. 10 against Pacific. It was the eighth time this season that Johnson has scored 20 or more points in a game, tying him for the team-lead with James Nunnally. He scored a career-high 28 in a Feb. 4 win at Pacific and continues to lead the Gauchos and rank second in the Big West in scoring at 17.9 points per game. In 15 league games, the sophomore from Seaside, Calif., is averaging 18.5 per game. Johnson has scored double-figures in all 26 games in 2009-10. The streak is five games longer than Alex Harris put together in 2006-07. The only UCSB player in recent years to score 10 or more in every game over a full season was Raymond Tutt who had 27 double-figure games in 1996-97. Tutt extended the streak to 36 games at the outset of the 1997-98 season. A two-time Big West Player of the Week, Johnson has two double-doubles on the season. His first came on Nov. 17 when he had 19 points and 10 rebounds against Weber State and his second came on Dec. 29 when he had 17 points and 10 assists against Cal. The 10 assists were the highest total by a Gaucho player since December of 2006. Johnson has three of UCSB's four highest assist totals this season. He went for eight on Feb. 13 against Long Beach State and seven on Feb. 24 against Cal State Northridge. Johnson has led the Gauchos in scoring 14 times this season. He led the way in the first three games of the year, becoming the first Gaucho newcomer ever to do so. Finally, while he is shooting 69.1% overall from the free throw line, he has made 64 of his last 75, 85.3%.

• Second To Nunnally
James Nunnally has been on a rollercoaster the past few games. After scoring 18 points in UCSB's win over Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 17, he had eight in the Feb. 20 win at Fresno State. On Feb. 24, he had 15 in the win over Northridge and then on Feb. 27 at Cal Poly, he had just eight. Nunnally made 2-of-8 shots in the game against the Mustangs, including 1-of-3 from 3-point range. In the last five games, the sophomore from San Jose, Calif., has made 18-of-64 shots overall, 28.1%, and 3-of-15 from 3-point range, 20.0%. Still, Nunnally has scored 20 or more points eight times this season, tied with Orlando Johnson for most on the team, and he has scored 10 or more 16 times, second on the team. He tallied a career-high 25, to go along with 10 rebounds, in a Jan. 23 win over Cal State Fullerton. Nunnally's first career double-double came on Jan. 4 when he had 19 points and 10 rebounds in a win at UC Riverside. He continues to rank second on the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game and he leads the team in 3-point field goal percentage at 43.8%. Nunnally has done an outstanding job on the boards since moving to the power forward spot. He had eight against Cal Poly and leads the team at 5.6 rebounds per game. He is averaging a team-best 6.5 per game in 15 Big West games. Nunnally has had five or more rebounds in 10 of the last 11 games.

• Old Buddy, Old Powell
James Powell is third on the team in scoring at 8.7 points per game. After having one of his best offensive games of the season in a Feb. 24 win over Cal State Northridge (17 points), Powell struggled in the game at Cal Poly, scoring just three points and making 1-of-7 from the field overall and 1-for-6 from 3-point territory. In the previous game, the win over the Matadors, he made 3-of-5 field goal attempts, all from 3-point range, and all eight of his free throws. Four of Powell's free throws came in the final 24 seconds and iced the win. He had 10 points in the Gauchos' Feb. 20 game at Fresno State, two of which came on a pair of clutch free throws in the final seconds. It marked the first time since early-January that Powell had scored in double-figures in two straight games. The 17 points were his highest total since he scored 20 on Dec. 5 against San Diego State. Powell scored a season-high 21 on Nov. 28 at Loyola Marymount, making five 3-point baskets in the process. In his 20-point performance against San Diego State, he made six 3-pointers, the second highest total of his career. In a Dec. 28 win over Furman, Powell became the 23rd player in UCSB history to score more than 1,000 points. He enters Wednesday's game against UC Irvine with 1,137 points, a figure that ranks him 17th in school history. He needs five more to move into 16th. In addition, he has 210 career 3-point baskets, second all-time and seven behind Mark Hull for the top spot. Powell has attempted 554 3-point shots in his career, second all-time. He needs six more to pass Hull for the number one spot in that category as well. Powell has made at least one 3-point basket in 15 straight games and 24 times in 26 games this season. He has made two or more 15 times.

• Yes, Serna
Jaimé Serna is averaging 7.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He had seven points, seven rebounds and one blocked shot in the game against Cal Poly. In the last five games he has averaged 11.6 points per game and scored in double-figures three times. Serna had a season-high 17 points in UCSB's Feb. 13 win over Long Beach State. In the game against the 49ers, he made 8-of-9 shots from the field and, at one point over a two-game span that began on Feb. 6 at UC Davis, he made 12 consecutive shots, the longest streak by a Gaucho player since 2000-01. Serna is now shooting 52.1% overall and has made at least half of his shots in each of the last six games. In those six games, the sophomore from Laguna Beach, Calif., made 27 out of 39 shots, 69.2%. The team's third-leading rebounder, Serna has averaged 6.5 rebounds in the last two games. The seven rebounds he recorded in the game at Cal Poly were his highest total since he had seven in back-to-back games against Long Beach State and UC Riverside in mid-January. Finally, Serna has had at least one blocked shot and one steal in each of the last three games.

• Somogyi's Emergence
Greg Somogyi scored six points, making 3-of-5 field goal, in the game at Cal Poly. Somogyi has six or more points in three straight games, a first for him this season. In the last three, he has averaged 6.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.7 blocked shots per game. Over that span, he has made 8-of-13 shots, 61.5%. Somogyi leads the Gauchos in blocked shots with 32, exactly half of which have come in the last six games. In fact, in a Feb. 20 win at Fresno State, he set a school record with eight blocked shots. His previous career-high was five, set on three occasions, including twice this season - Feb. 13 vs. Long Beach State and Dec. 29 at Cal. With his 32 blocked shots this season, Somogyi now has 69 in his two seasons, the eighth most in school history. He needs six more to move into a tie for 10th on the all-time single season list. Finally, while he is averaging 10.8 minutes per game, he is playing 14.0 per game in the last six games.

• Something's Will Brewing
Will Brew continues to lead the team in assists at 2.5 per game and he leads in steals at 1.4 per game. While he is averaging 5.0 points per game, he has scored just two points in the last two games combined. On Saturday at Cal Poly, Brew missed all five of his field goal attempts and had one point. In the last two games, he has gone 0-for-9 from the field overall and 0-for-2 from 3-point range. His two-game shooting slump comes on the heels of a four game stretch in which he made 12-of-19 shots from the field, 63.2%. Brew scored a season-high 12 points in a Feb. 13 win over Long Beach State and he has been in double-figures three times in 2009-10, all in the last 11 games. Brew has had three or more assists 14 times in 26 games and he had a season-high six on Nov. 23 against San Francisco. Brew has had two steals in four of the last seven games and now leads the team with 36. He has had at least one steal in 10 of the last 11, and two or more in seven of 11 and 13 times this season. Finally, the sophomore is the only Gaucho to start all 26 games in 2009-10. Dating back to the 2008-09 season, Brew has started 45 games in a row and 49 of the last 50.

• Justin Rejoins Gauchos Just In Time
Justin Joyner returned to action in the Jan. 23 game against Fullerton and has played a significant role in the last 10 games. Joyner has played in 18 games this season, averaging 2.4 assists per game. In the Gauchos' Feb 6 game, at UC Davis, he had eight assists in just 15 minutes. In the 10 games since returning from a sprained ankle, Joyner has 27 assists and 12 turnovers. In his career, Joyner now has 240 assists and 128 turnovers, a 1.9-to-1.0 ratio. Finally has moved into 10th on UCSB's all-time career assist list.

• The Jordan Rules
Jordan Weiner has started the last six games for UCSB. He scored six points on a pair of 3-point baskets in Saturday's game at Cal Poly. Weiner is now fourth on the team with 17 3-point baskets. On Feb. 6 at UC Davis, he scored a season-high 11 points and made a season-high three 3-point baskets. He saw his playing time increase significantly during the nine games that Paul Roemer was sidelined by a foot injury. While he is averaging 13.7 minutes in his 24 games, he has played at least 13 in 14 straight, averaging 18.3 over that span.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his 12th season as head coach at UC Santa Barbara. In 2008-09, Williams guided the Gauchos to a 16-15 overall record and an 8-8 mark in the Big West Conference. The record, however, doesn't tell the entire story. UCSB was forced to overcome a myriad of injuries and at one point stood at 8-13 overall and 2-7 in league play.

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 196-155. He guided the program to nine winning seasons in his first 11 years - including the last four in a row - and a pair of 20 win seasons. He has a career record of 119-76 in Big West games and his .611 winning percentage in league contests is the best among the league's active coaches.

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 385-255 (.602) at four-year schools.