December 10, 2010

Gauchos Travel to Nationally-Ranked UNLV, San Diego State

Dec. 10, 2010

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• The Schedule
Game 8
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at UNLV
at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: NewsPress.com
Game available on Gametracker

Game 9
Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at San Diego State
at SDSU's Viejas Arena
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: NewsPress.com

Tickets Available For All Home Games
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online and print at home by clicking here. The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

• UCSB Embarks On Toughest Non-Conference Trip In Years
Based on national rankings, UC Santa Barbara will embark on its most difficult non-conference road trip in years when it travels to No. 19 UNLV and No. 15 San Diego State on Dec. 15 and 18 respectively. In a search of the records, we are unable to find a single non-conference or conference road trip that pitted the Gauchos against consecutive ranked teams. There were a couple of trips to UNLV and New Mexico State in the early 1990's but none when both programs were ranked. UCSB played at North Carolina and Arizona State on the same trip in December of 2005, but the Sun Devils were not ranked at the time. In December of 1993, the Gauchos played Louisville and Oklahoma State, both of which were ranked, but the games were part of the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu.

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its game at UNLV with a 4-3 record. The Gauchos have won two straight games and three of their last four. The current two-game winning streak marks the first time this season that they have won consecutive games. On Saturday Dec. 4, they won at Santa Clara by an 80-69 count and on Dec. 1, they defeated Loyola Marymount at the Thunderdome, 77-67.

• Nunnally Namd Big West Player Of The Week After Leading UCSB To Two Wins
Junior James Nunnally was named Big West Player of the Week on Dec. 6 after leading UCSB to wins over Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara. Nunnally scored a career-high 29 points in the victory over LMU and three days later he set another career-high with 34 points at Santa Clara. In the two games, the Stockton, Calif., native averaged 31.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals. He made 19-of-25 field goal attempts, a sparkling 76.0%, and 8-of-11 shots from three-point range, 72.7%. In addition, Nunnally made 17-of-19 free throw attempts, 89.5%. Perhaps most importantly, he scored 19 of his 34 points against Santa Clara in the first half when the team's other leading scorer, Orlando Johnson, was limited to four minutes because of foul trouble.

• The Last Time Out
On Dec. 4, UCSB won its first road game of the season, an 80-69 decision at Santa Clara. If you read the preceding paragraph, you know that James Nunnally scored a career-high 34 points to lead the way. Although limited to four minutes in the first half and 23 overall, Orlando Johnson added 16 points. Jaimé Serna had 11 points and career-highs of 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. Nunnally''s performance in the first half against the Broncos was particularly impressive. With Johnson limited because of foul trouble, Nunnally scored 19 points, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the half.

• Williams Posts 200th Win As UCSB Coach
Head coach Bob Williams recorded his 200th win in the opener against Denver. Williams, who is now 203-159 at UCSB, became just the third coach in school history to record 200 or more victories. He joined Jerry Pimm (222-202) and Willie Wilton (205-163) in the exclusive club.

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
G 20 Will Brew - Scored a season-high six points in season-high 36 minutes at Santa Clara.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Started each of the last two games for the Gauchos.
G 33 Orlando Johnson - Has scored in double-figures in all 37 of his games at UCSB.
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Had first career double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds at Santa Clara.
F 21 James Nunnally - Averaging 25.0 points in the last five games.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 3 Jordan Weiner - Had season-high nine points and three assists at Santa Clara.
G 11 Justin Joyner - Missed the last two games with an injured hip. Status is questionable.
G 24 Christian Peterson - Has not played in the last three games.
F 25 Lucas Devenny - Recorded his first DNP of the season at Santa Clara.
F 32 Jon Pastorek - While he is fifth on the team in minutes, he is third in rebounds at 3.7 rpg.
G 43 Troy Leaf - Played eight minutes at Santa Clara, his second lowest total of the year.
C 55 Greg Somogyi - Has two or more blocked shots in six of seven games.

• The Opponents
UCSB and UNLV have played 35 times in a series that began in 1969. The Runnin' Rebels have won 28 of the 35 games between the programs but since winning the first 16, they are 12-7. In fact, the Gauchos have won the last three match-ups. The last time the teams played was on Nov. 27, 2007 and UCSB posted a 63-60 win at the Thunderdome. On Nov. 17, 2006, the Gauchos defeated UNLV at the Thomas & Mack Center, 79-76. Santa Barbara and San Diego State have squared-off 80 times in a series that began in 1937. The Aztecs have won 44 times, including the last four in a row. Last season, on Dec. 5, 2009, SDSU posted a 69-61 win at the Thunderdome. The last time the teams played in San Diego was on Dec. 20, 2008 and the Aztecs won that one, 68-51.

• Away From Home
UCSB has opened the season with a 2-3 record in games away from home. The Gauchos are 1-2 in true road games and 1-1 in neutral site contests. In their last game, they recorded their first road victory of the season, an 80-69 decision at Santa Clara on Dec. 4. In 2009-10, UCSB went 6-7 in true away games and 3-1 in neutral court games.

• Thirtysomethings
On Nov. 20, Orlando Johnson scored 35 points in a home win over Fresno State. James Nunnally scored 34 points in UCSB's Dec. 4 win at Santa Clara and when he did so, it marked the first time since the 2001-02 season that two Gauchos have scored 30 or more points in a game in the same season. In 2001-02, Adama Ndiaye had a 31-point game in a win at Cal Poly and Mark Hull poured in 32 in UCSB's NCAA Tournament game against Arizona.

• Nerves Of Steal
Through seven games, UCSB is averaging 10.0 steals. The Gauchos have had six or more steals in all seven games and have had nine or more five times. In the season opener against Denver at the Basketball Traveler's Invitational, Santa Barbara produced 17 steals, the third most in school history. The Gauchos also had 13 steals on Nov. 20 against Fresno State and 10 on Dec. 1 against Loyola Marymount. UCSB leads the Big West in steals by a margin of 2.57 per game. The Gauchos are ranked 15th in the nation as well.

• Nunnally/Johnson Rank 1-2 And 14-20
With his recent surge in scoring, James Nunnally has taken over the team and Big West lead in scoring from teammate Orlando Johnson. Nunnally has scored 153 points in his seven games, 21.9 per game. Johnson has 150 points and is averaging 21.4 points per game. Not only does the dynamic duo rank 1-2 in the Big West Conference in scoring, they also rank among the nation's top-20. Nunnally began the week as the 14th leading scorer in the country while Johnson was tied for 20th.

• Home Sweet Home
UCSB can't be happy about going on the road for the next two games. There are the obvious reasons: hotel rooms, buses, airports, etc. Then there are the MOST obvious reasons: 10 straight home wins and wins in 19 of the last 21 games at the Thunderdome.

• Freebies
It's still early in the season, but UCSB has been outstanding at the free throw line. There is no getting past the fact that free throws were an issue for the Gauchos in 2009-10. As a team, they hit just 68.1% for the season and on just two occasions they made 80.0% or better in a game Fortunately for last year's Gauchos, one of the two times they made 80-percent or better was in the Big West Tournament championship game against Long Beach State. Through seven games this year, UCSB is shooting a sparkling 79.4% from the charity stripe. In addition, the Gauchos have made 80.0% or better in five of the seven games and only once have they been below 78.1%. In fact, Santa Barbara not only leads the Big West in free throw percentage but is ranked fourth out of 336 schools on the national level. James Nunnally has been the Gauchos' best free throw shooter this season. He has made 44-of-49, 89.8%.

• Road Blocks
In its 80-69 win at Santa Clara on Dec. 4, UCSB equaled its season-high with eight blocked shots. While the eight blocks do not qualify as a surprise, what kind of qualifies as a surprise is that 7-foot-3 Greg Somogyi didn't lead the charge. While Somogyi did have two blocks in the game, it was Jaimé Serna leading the way with a career-high five. As a team, the Gauchos have blocked 34 shots this season, an average of 4.9 per game, tops in the Big West Conference.

• Playing The Percentages
After making just 64-of-161 (39.8%) shots over the first three games of the season, UCSB's shooting has started to improve. The Gauchos made a modest 24-of-54 from the floor at Santa Clara, 44.4%. In the previous game, against Loyola Marymount, they hit 29-of-47 for a season-best 61.7%. In the last four games, Santa Barbara has made 102-of-204 field goal attempts, 50.0% and is now shooting 45.5% overall.

• Balancing Act
With James Nunnally averaging 21.9 points per game and Orlando Johnson at 21.4, UCSB has the top two scorers in the Big West Conference. Combined, the duo is averaging 43.3 of the Gauchos' 69.1 points per game, 62.7%. Johnson and Nunnally have each scored in double-figures in all seven games this season and only one other player has done so. Jaimé Serna has scored in double-figures twice, once each against Denver (12) and Santa Clara (11).

• O.J. Points The Way
Junior Orlando Johnson is averaging 21.4 points per game but, for the first time since he pulled on a UCSB jersey, he is not the Gauchos' leading scorer. James Nunnally has taken over the team-lead at 21.9 points per game. Johnson, however, has nothing to be ashamed of. The Seaside, Calif., native has scored in double-figures in all seven games this season and all 37 since he arrived at UCSB after transferring from Loyola Marymount. Johnson's streak is the longest on record. The previous mark of 36 straight double-figure scoring games was set by Raymond Tutt during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons. He has set a new career-high twice this season. On Nov. 13 he poured in 30 points against North Dakota State and then, on Nov. 20 he had 35 points against Fresno State. In the game against the Bulldogs, he made 13-of-19 field goal attempts, 4-of-5 three-point attempts and also added a career-high 11 rebounds. For his effort, Johnson was named Big West Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career. In scoring 30 or more twice this season, he is the first Gaucho to do so since Alex Harris in 2006-07. In addition to his offensive exploits, Johnson is second on the team in rebound average at 5.7 per game and he leads the team at 2.3 assists per outing. He has had five or more rebounds four times and three or more assists four times, all in the last four games. In 37 games at UCSB, Johnson has scored 690 points, an average of 18.6 per game, a figure that would rank him second to Raymond Tutt (21.4 ppg) on the school's all-time list. Finally, if you include his one season at Loyola Marymount when he set a Lions' freshman record with 383 points, Johnson now has 1,073 points as a collegiate player.

• The Flying Nunnally
Junior James Nunnally has taken-over as UCSB's leading scorer at 21.9 points per game. He was named Big West Player of the Week last week after setting a pair of career-highs and averaging 31.5 points per game over a two-game span, both Gaucho wins. Nunnally scored 29 in a Dec. 1 win over Loyola Marymount, making 11-of-14 shots overall and 4-of-5 from three-point range. He also added six rebounds. One game later, in a Dec. 4 win at Santa Clara, he poured in 34 points on 8-of-11 from the field, 4-of-6 from three-point territory and 14-of-16 from the free throw line. The 63 points were the most that a UCSB player has scored over a two-game span since Raymond Tutt went for 37 and 35 in consecutive games during the latter portion of the 1996-97 season. Also, by shooting 76.0% from the field and 72.7% from three-point territory over the last two games, Nunnally has lifted his field goal percentage for the season to 51.1% and his three-point percentage to 36.6%. He has been in double-figures in all seven games and has scored 20 or more four times. In fact, Nunnally has set a new career-high three times this season. In addition to the last two games, he scored 28 on Nov. 14 at Oregon. Beginning with the 28-point outburst against the Ducks, he has scored 125 points in a five game span, 25.0 per game. Nunnally is also pacing the Gauchos in rebounds at 6.1 per game. He has averaged 7.0 per game over the last five games and he had a career-high 11 on Nov. 27 at Portland. That game also represented his first double-double of the season (he had 22 points) and third of his career. Nunnally has also been outstanding from the free throw line for UCSB. He has made 44-of-49 on the year, 89.8%, the 39th best mark in the nation. In the last three games, he has gone 23-of-25, 92.0%. Finally, in his career, the Stockton, Calif., native has scored 823 points.

• Serna Re-Emerges
During the earliest portion of the 2010-11 season, junior Jaimé Serna struggled with a calf injury and it limited him on the court. As his calf has gotten healthier, Serna has started to re-emerge as one of UCSB's most important players. While he is averaging 7.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, he has made progress in the last several games. In the Gauchos' Dec. 4 win at Santa Clara, Serna recorded the first double-double of his career as he went for 11 points and 10 rebounds. The 10 rebounds were his career-high. Additionally, he had a career-best five blocked shots against the Broncos. In the last three games, Serna has averaged 9.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots while making 11-of-17 field goal attempts, 64.7%. In fact, since he missed all seven of his field goal attempts in a Nov. 13 game against North Dakota State, Serna has gone 16-of-24, 66.7%. He actually scored his season-high of 12 points in the opener against Denver on Nov. 12.

• A Fine Weiner
Jordan Weiner made his mark early in his UCSB career primarily as a shooter. From the word go, he could shoot three-pointers, but now, as a senior, he has become an important all-around player for the Gauchos. Weiner is averaging 4.7 points per game and he leads the team with 13 steals. In addition, he is contributing 1.7 assists per game and he is third on the team with eight three-point baskets. Weiner had a season-high nine points in UCSB's win at Santa Clara on Dec. 4. He also had three assists against the Broncos. In the last two games, he is averaging 8.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game. He had a career-high five steals on Dec. 1 against Loyola Marymount. In Santa Barbara's four wins this season, Weiner is averaging 7.0 points, 2.2 steals and 2.0 assists while shooting 61.5% overall and 63.6% from three-point range.

• Something's Brewing
Junior Will Brew played a season-high 36 minutes in UCSB's win at Santa Clara and responded with a season-high six points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field. While Brew has had difficulty finding his shooting touch through seven games, he remains one of the Gauchos' best defensive players and he is second on the team an average of 1.7 steals per game. He has had as season-high three steals twice, on Nov. 12 against Denver and Nov. 20 against Fresno State. Brew's aggressive defense has gotten him into foul trouble this year. The Oakland native has fouled out of a pair of games.

• Somogyi's Block Party
Junior center Greg Somogyi struggled offensively in UCSB's game at Santa Clara, missing all three of his shot. He did, however, have two blocked shots in the game and now has 17 through seven games this season, 2.4 per game, the top figure in the Big West and 33rd in the country. In fact, Somogyi has his 17 blocks in just six games, having gone without a blocked shot on Nov. 20 against Fresno State. The 7-foot-3 native of Budapest has had two or more swats in six of seven games and three or more three times. Somogyi had a season-high five on Nov. 27 at Portland. In his career, he now has 92 blocks, the fifth most in school history. Prior to going scoreless against Santa Clara, Somogyi had consecutive season-highs with six on Nov. 27 at Portland and seven on Dec. 1 against Loyola Marymount. He enters the game at UNLV averaging 3.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game while shooting 52.9% from the field.

• Marginal Wins
UCSB has four wins this season and all have come by double-digit scoring margins. The Gauchos have beaten Denver (16 points), Fresno State (15 points), Loyola Marymount (10 points) and Santa Clara (11 points). In all, Santa Barbara outscores its opponents by an average of 4.3 points per game, the highest figure in the Big West. On the other hand, of UCSB's three losses only the Nov. 27 defeat at Portland (12 points) was by double-figures.

• Williams Approaches Three Other Milestones
Head coach Bob Williams, who is his 13th season at UCSB, reached one milestone in the season opener - he became the third coach in school history to hit the 200 win mark - and he is continuing to pursue three others. With 203 career wins, Williams needs three to move past Willie Wilton (205) and into second on UCSB's all-time list. He needs eight wins to hit the 400 victory plateau for his overall career. Finally, he needs 20 victories to move past Jerry Pimm (222) and become UCSB's all-time leader in coaching wins.

• TV Time
UCSB will be televised a minimum of four times and possibly as many as six in 2010-11. Gaucho home games on Dec. 28 against Long Beach State (ESPNU), Feb. 3 against Pacific (ESPNU) and Feb. 5 against UC Davis (Prime Ticket), as well as a Feb. 12 game at UC Irvine (Fox Sports West) are set in stone. Three of four Big West games scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 26 will also be selected for television and with UCSB scheduled to play at Long Beach State, it is likely that game will be on as well. Finally, the Gauchos' ESPNU BracketBusters game slated for Saturday, Feb. 19 at the Thunderdome, could be televised. If ESPN does choose the game, it could be moved to either Friday, Feb. 18 or Sunday, Feb. 20. The BracketBusters announcement is scheduled for Jan. 31.

• The Bob Williams File
2010-11 is Bob Williams's 13th season as head coach at UC Santa Barbara. In 2009-10, he guided the Gauchos to a 20-10 overall record, their second Big West Tournament title, and fourth NCAA Tournament berth ever. It was the program's second NCAA Tournament bid and its fifth regular season title in his 12 seasons. Following the season, Williams was named Big West Coach of the Year for the third time.

Last year also marked the third Williams coached Gaucho team to win 20 or more games and the 10th overall in program history. It was the second time in the three seasons that the UCSB won 20 or more.

In 2008-09, Williams coached 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 led 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.

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 203-159. He guided the program to 10 winning seasons in his first 12 years - including the last five in a row - and three 20 win seasons. He has a career record of 120-76 in Big West games and his .612 winning percentage in league games is tops 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 392-259 (.602) at four-year schools.

• Justin Hopes To Rejoin The Gauchos Senior guard Justin Joyner has missed UCSB's last two games with an injured hip. After using crutches for several days, he hopes to make his return on UCSB's road trip to UNLV and San Diego State. Joyner is averaging 1.8 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. He also ranks fourth on the team at 21.0 minutes per game.

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