NCAA BK

UCSB's Serna breaks wrist in NCAA tournament loss

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP)

UC Santa Barbara forward Jaime Serna broke his right wrist against Florida and tried to play through the injury.

Serna injured his wrist in the opening minutes of Thursday's game against the No. 2 seed in the Southeast region. Serna left holding his arm, but returned in hopes of helping the Gauchos in the second round of the NCAA tournament. He was scoreless in 11 minutes.

Coach Bob Williams said Serna apologized after the 79-51 loss because he felt like he hurt the team by trying to play through the injury.

''We realized he was hurt as soon as we saw him holding his wrist,'' Williams said. ''And then he talked to the trainer and we just didn't realize the severity of it. ... He tried to go back in and play, and Jaime is a warrior and wanted to help his team.

''He apologized after the game because he felt like he hurt the team trying to go back in and play with it. I told him that was a bit silly. We knew early he was hurt. I think he hurt it in the first three, four minutes of the game.''

Serna left the arena in a sling and with his wrist heavily wrapped.

Teammate Orlando Johnson said the injury was emotionally deflating for the Gauchos.

''Jaime is one of our brothers and you never want to see one of your brothers go down in a big game like this,'' Johnson said. ''We always want to be 100 percent whenever we step out on the court, and when one of your guys is down, it hurts a lot. You could see on his face it was hurting him a lot knowing he couldn't be out there to help give us somewhat of a chance.

''You've just got to commend Jaime for just being the warrior he is, because he's battled through injuries all season. He's tried to get back to being healthy. And when he was healthy, you've seen the type of player he was.''

A 6-foot-9 junior from Laguna Beach, Calif., Serna was the team's third-leading scorer and rebounder this season. He averaged 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds. He missed six games earlier this season because of a groin injury.

Tagged: UC-Santa Barbara

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