Dec. 16, 2010
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: 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 Plays Highest Ranked Opponent Since 2008-09
UCSB will travel to San Diego State on Saturday, Dec. 18 for a game against the 10th-ranked team in the nation. The Aztecs will be the highest ranked opponent that the Gauchos have faced since they played top-ranked North Carolina at the Thunderdome on Nov. 21, 2008. Coupled with Wednesday's game against No. 22 UNLV, the current stretch is the program's first two-game trip against ranked teams ever. The last time UCSB played consecutive ranked opponents was in December of 1993 when it played Louisville and Oklahoma State in Hawai'i's Rainbow Classic.
The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its game at San Diego State with a 5-3 record. The Gauchos have won three straight games and four of their last five. The current three-game winning streak is the longest of the season. If you think about it, that's kind of a no-brainer. On Wednesday Dec. 15, UCSB won at No. 22 UNLV by a 68-62 count. The first two wins of the streak came on Dec. 1 against Loyola Marymount (77-67) and on Dec. 4 at Santa Clara (80-69).
A Win That Ranks Highly
UCSB's victory at 22nd-ranked UNLV on Wednesday was the program's first win over a nationally-ranked opponent under head coach Bob Williams and its first overall since an 86-83 win over the Runnin' Rebels on Feb. 22, 1993. It was also the Gauchos' first road win over a nationally ranked opponent since a 62-60 victory on Jan. 7, 1988 at UNLV.
The Last Time Out: UCSB 68, No. 22 UNLV 62
James Nunnally scored 23 points, Orlando Johnson had a career-high 15 rebounds and UCSB limited UNLV to 29.0% shooting overall and 20.7% from three-point range en route to a 68-62 road win on Wednesday night. The Gauchos led by 12 points in the first half but a 12-0 run by the Rebels tied the score at half, 30-30. After falling behind by four early in the second half, UCSB used a 14-1 spurt to reclaim a 48-39 lead that it never relinquished. UNLV pulled within 58-57 with 2:44 left in the game, but the Gauchos staved off every rally. Santa Barbara made 10 straight free throws in the clutch to clinch the win. Johnson added 12 points to his career-best rebounding effort. Jaimé Serna had 12 points, six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots while Justin Joyner had his best game of the season with eight points - including 2-of-2 from three-point range - six assists and four steals.
UCSB 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. The Gauchos' Dec. 21 game against Cal Baptist will be a first.
Away From Home
UCSB has opened the season with a 3-3 record in games away from home. The Gauchos are 2-2 in true road games and 1-1 in neutral site contests. They have won their last two road games, winning 80-69 at Santa Clara on Dec. 4 and 68-62 at UNLV on Dec. 15. In 2009-10, UCSB went 6-7 in true away games and 3-1 in neutral court games.
Williams Posts 200th Win As UCSB Coach
Head coach Bob Williams recorded his 200th win in the opener against Denver. Williams, who is now 204-159 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 - Had three assists and three steals in 15 minutes at UNLV.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Made his only shot - a three-pointer - in the win at Las Vegas.
G 33 Orlando Johnson - Collected a career-high 15 rebounds - 10 in the 2nd half - at UNLV.
F 0 Jaimé Serna - Has scored in double-figures in the last two games.
F 21 James Nunnally - Averaging 24.7 points in the last six games.
Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 3 Jordan Weiner - Fouled out of Wednesday night's game at UNLV.
G 11 Justin Joyner - Best game of the year at UNLV: eight points, six assists, four steals, one block.
G 24 Christian Peterson - Has not played in the last four games.
F 25 Lucas Devenny - Has played a total of six minutes in the last three games.
F 32 Jon Pastorek - Had a clutch three-pointer and a big steal late in the win at UNLV.
G 43 Troy Leaf - Played three minutes at UNLV, his lowest total of the year.
C 55 Greg Somogyi - Has at least one blocked shot in seven out of the eight games.
UCSB has been outstanding at the free throw line in 2010-11. 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 eight games this year, UCSB is shooting a sparkling 80.4% from the charity stripe. In addition, the Gauchos have made 80.0% or better in six of the eight 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, as of Monday, ranked fifth out of 336 schools on the national level. James Nunnally has been the Gauchos' best free throw shooter this season. He has made 50-of-55, 90.9%.
Nerves Of Steal
Through eight games, UCSB is averaging 9.8 steals. The Gauchos have had six or more steals in all eight 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.
UCSB Enters Lockdown Mode
In Wednesday night's win, UCSB stifled UNLV's offense. The Rebels entered the game as one of the top shooting teams in the country but the Gauchos limited them to just 18-of-62 overall, 29.0%, and 6-of-29 from three-point range, 20.7%. Overall, opponents are now shooting just 40.2%. In the last five games, Santa Barbara's opponents have made 104-of-275 overall, 37.8%. The last two Gaucho opponents, UNLV and Santa Clara, have combined to make 39-of-121 field goals overall, 32.2%, and 14-of-51 from beyond the three-point arc, 27.4%.
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 solid 22-of-44 from the floor at UNLV, 50.0%. In the last five games, they have made 124-of-248, 50.0%. UCSB, which has made 50.0% or better three times in eight games, made 29-of-47 for a season best 61.7% on Dec. 1 against Loyola Marymount.
With James Nunnally averaging 22.0 points per game and Orlando Johnson at 20.3, UCSB has the top two scorers in the Big West Conference. Combined, the duo is averaging 42.3 of the Gauchos' 69.0 points per game, 61.3%. Johnson and Nunnally have each scored in double-figures in all eight games this season and only one other player has done so even once. Jaimé Serna has scored in double-figures three times, including the last two games. That being said, UCSB's balance was actually pretty good on Wednesday. Nunnally and Johnson combined for 35 points and the rest of the team went for 33.
UCSB has five wins this season and four of them 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 4.5 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.
James Nunnally and Orlando Johnson are the only two Gauchos to score in double-figures in every game this season. In fact, the only other player to score 10 or more in a game is Jaimé Serna and he has done so three times.
Player GP 10+ Orlando Johnson 8 8 James Nunnally 8 8 Jaimé Serna 8 3
UCSB's list of double-doubles this season is not a lengthy one. James Nunnally, Orlando Johnson and Jaimé Serna are the only players to hit double-figures in two statistical categories in the same game this season. Johnson has posted a pair of double-doubles. Last year Johnson and Nunnally were the only ones who achieved the feat.
Player Opp. Stats Orlando Johnson vs. Fresno St. 35 pts, 11 rebs Orlando Johnson at UNLV 12 pts, 15 rebs James Nunnally at Portland 22 pts, 11 rebs Jaimé Serna at Santa Clara 11 pts, 10 rebs
Nunnally/Johnson Rank 1-2 And 17-20
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 176 points in his seven games, 22.0 per game. Johnson has 162 points and is averaging 20.3 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 17th leading scorer in the country while Johnson is tied for 20th.
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 an Cal Poly and Mark Hull poured in 32 in UCSB's NCAA Tournament game against Arizona.
O.J. Points The Way
Junior Orlando Johnson is averaging 20.3 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 22.0 points per game. Johnson, however, has nothing to be ashamed of. The Seaside, Calif., native has scored in double-figures in all eight games this season and all 38 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 efforts were 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 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 has claimed the team-lead in rebound average at 6.9 per game and he leads the team at 2.4 assists per outing. In the Dec. 15 win at UNLV, he had a career-high 15 rebounds, including 10 in the second half. He has had five or more rebounds five times and three or more assists five times, all in the last five games. In 38 games at UCSB, Johnson has scored 702 points, an average of 18.5 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 1,085 points as a collegiate player.
The Flying Nunnally
Junior James Nunnally has taken-over as UCSB's leading scorer at 22.0 points per game. He had 23 points and seven rebounds in the win over No. 22 UNLV. It marked the fourth straight game and the fifth in the last six that Nunnally has scored 20 or more. He was named Big West Player of the Week on Dec. 6 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. In the last three games, Nunnally has made 26-of-37 shots overall, 70.3%, and 11-of-17 from three-point range, 64.7%. In doing so, he has lifted his field goal percentage for the season to 51.9% and his three-point percentage to 38.3%. He has been in double-figures in all eight games and has scored 20 or more five times. In fact, Nunnally has set a new career-high three times this season. In addition to the most recent two career-highs, he scored 28 on Nov. 14 at Oregon. Beginning with the 28-point performance against the Ducks, he has scored 148 points in a six game span, 24.7 per game. Nunnally is also second on the Gauchos in rebounds at 6.3 per game. He has averaged 7.0 per game over the last six 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 50-of-55 on the year, 90.9%, the 28th best mark in the nation as of the beginnng of the week. In the last four games, he has gone 29-of-31, 93.5%. Finally, in his career, the Stockton, Calif., native has scored 846 points.
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 7.8 points and 3.8 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. On Wednesday at UNLV, Serna equaled his season-high with 12 points while adding six rebounds and two blocked shots. In the last four games, he has averaged 9.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots while making 16-of-24 field goal attempts, 66.7%. In fact, since he missed all seven of his field goal attempts in a Nov. 13 game against North Dakota State, Serna has gone 21-of-31, 67.7%. He also scored his season-high of 12 points in the opener against Denver on Nov. 12.
Justin Joins In The Fun
Senior guard Justin Joyner missed UCSB's wins over Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara with a hip injury. He returned in the win at UNLV and the Gauchos are glad he did. Joyner easily had his best game of the season against the Runnin' Rebels as he went for eight points, six assists, four steals, one blocked shot and a rebounds. He made all three of his field goal attempts, including both of his three-point attempts. In fact, entering the game at Las Vegas, Joyner was 1-for-7 from the floor. The eight points and four steals were the most he has produced since the 2007-08 season.
After playing a season-high 36 minutes in a Dec. 4 win at Santa Clara, junior guard Will Brew played Just 15 in the Dec. 15 win at UNLV. While he played just 15 minutes against the Rebels, Brew was productive with three assists, three steals, two rebounds and two points. The Oakland native now has at least one steal in all seven games in which he has played and a season-high three three times. Brew scored a season-high six points on Dec. 4 against Santa Clara.
Somogyi On The Block
Junior Greg Somogyi continues to lead the Big West in blocked shots. He enters the game at San Diego State with 18 on the year and has had at least one in seven of eight games and two or more six times. He had a season-high five on Nov. 27 at Portland and now has 93, fifth in school history.
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 204 career wins, Williams needs two to move past Willie Wilton (205) and into second on UCSB's all-time list. He needs seven wins to hit the 400 victory plateau for his overall career. Finally, he needs 19 victories to move past Jerry Pimm (222) and become UCSB's all-time leader in coaching wins.
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 204-159. 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 393-259 (.603) at four-year schools.