Gauchos, Rival 49ers Tangle at T-Dome in Fox Sports Prime Ticket Showdown Saturday at 4:00 PM

Kyle Boswell (Photo by Kelley Cox)

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• This Week
Game No. 14
Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Long Beach State 49ers

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio/Live Stats: UCSBgauchos.com
TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket

Game No. 15
Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos the Univ. of the Pacific Tigers

at Pacific's A.G. Spanos Center - Stockton, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Video Stream: BigWest.TV

• Single Game Tickets Available!
Single game tickets for all Gaucho men's and women's basketball games are now available and can be purchased in advance from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here. Great seats for the showdown with Long Beach State, and for all games, are also available at the Thunderdome ticket office one hour prior to tip-off.

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB and will stream live online at UCSBgauchos.com and NewsPress.com. Gerry Fall is in his ninth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford  and Santa Barbara News-Press legend Mark Patton handle the color commentary.

• Talk'n Gauchos
UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show, Talk'n Gauchos, airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from The Beachside Café, located on Goleta Beach and it features UCSB coaches and athletes.  Hosted by Gerry Fall, the voice of the Gauchos.  Fans can also catch Gaucho head coach Bob Williams every Thursday morning at 8:50 a.m. as he visits with Baron Ron Herron on "Bob and The Baron" on AM 1290.

Gauchos Host Long Beach State In Big West Championship Rematch   
UC Santa Barbara will host defending Big West Champion Long Beach State in a 4:00 p.m. game on Saturday afternoon at the Thunderdome.  The game is a rematch of the last three Big West Tournament championship games, two of which were won by the Gauchos. 

The UCSB Record
UCSB enters Saturday's game against Long Beach State with a record of 5-8 overall and a 1-1 mark in the Big West.  The Gauchos are coming off a 74-71 come-from-behind win over visiting UC Irvine on Thursday night. The win over the Anteaters ended a three-game losing streak, all of which occurred on the road.

Williams' Late Heroics, Boswell's Career-High Lead Comeback Win Over Irvine, 74-71
Alan Williams blocked a shot with 30 seconds left, then made a hook shot, was fouled and made a free throw with 7.5 seconds to play, helping UC Santa Barbara to a 74-71 win over visiting UC Irvine on Thursday night. Williams finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.  Kyle Boswell tied his career-high with a game-high 23 points for the Gauchos, who shot 63.0 percent in the second half.  Freshman Taran Brown added 18 points.  UCI was led by Daman Starring who had 21 points and five three-point baskets.  Alex Young added 18. The Gauchos had to overcome two double-digit deficits in the game, which they played without injured starting point guard Nate Garth (ankle).  Irvine jumped out to a 13-3 lead in the opening minutes only to have Santa Barbara go on a 10-0 run to tie the score at 13.  The Anteaters then used a 13-0 surge to break a 17-17 tie and assume a 30-17 lead with 4:10 left in the first half.  By the end of the half, the Gauchos had cut the lead to five, 37-32, and the rest of the edge was erased early in the second half when they opened the second half on a 7-2 run. UCSB ultimately took the lead by as many as eight points.  When Boswell made one of his six three-point baskets with 7:37 to play, the score was 65-57, but UCI clawed back, outscoring the Gauchos 7-0 over a three-minute span to tie the score at 71 on a lay-up by Adam Folker with 1:30 left in the game.  On the other end, Williams missed a baseline jumper with 55 seconds to play and the Anteaters rebounded and called timeout.  Out of the timeout, they ran a play for Starring, who slashed through the lane and lofted a lay-up that was blocked by Williams with 30 seconds left, setting the stage for his game-winning shot.

Strength Of Schedule + Young Team = Tough Start 
In a survey conducted at the outset of the season, UCSB had the third youngest team at the NCAA Division I level.  The Gaucho roster includes eight freshmen, three sophomores, four juniors and one senior.  The only two programs younger were Navy and Dartmouth.  In the most recent Division I Indide the RPI Daily by ESPN's Joe Lunardi, UCSB's non-conference Strength of Schedule ranked number one.  The Gaucho non-conference schedule of San Diego State, Wyoming (twice), Boise State, LSU, Illinois State, Santa Clara and the University of San Diego (plus two NAIA opponents) is ranked as the toughest in the nation, ahead of No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Kansas, No. 4 Colorado, No. 5 North Carolina State and No. 6 Butler.  The combination of a very young team and a very difficult schedule, played primarily on the road, has combined to equal a 5-8 start for the Gauchos.

Probable Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are educated guesses.)
G 11 T.J. Taylor- Had career-high eight assists Thursday vs. UC Irvine.  
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Has 11 three-pointers on the year, all on the road.  
F 15 Alan Williams - Has three straight double-doubles and seven on the season.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Missed three shots and was scoreless vs. UC Irvine.  
F 35 Taran Brown- Needs seven three-pointers to break UCSB freshman record of 43.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Ankle injury sidelined him vs. UC Irvine.  Doubtful for Long Beach.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Back injury has him sidelined him indefinitely and he could redshirt.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Ankle sprain has him sidelined indefinitely.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Tied his career-high with 23 points Thursday vs. UC Irvine.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Ankle sprain caused him to miss his first game ever on Thursday.
G 32  John Green - Projected starter, broken bone in his foot has him sidelined indefinitely.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Had two assists in his 11 minutes vs. UC Irvine.
G 43  Duke DaRé - Injured shoulder kept him out of last two games.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Has made 10-for-14 from the field in the last six games, 71.4%.

The Gauchos And 49ers
UCSB has played Long Beach State more than any other opponent.  The 49ers and Gauchos have met 114 times and Long Beach holds a 59-55 all-time edge and won all three games last season, including a 77-64 victory in the Big West Tournament Championship game.  The match-up in the league tourney final was the third straight between the schools.  UCSB won the first two.

Dome, Sweet Dome 
UCSB is 4-1 at home this season.  After opening the year with Thunderdome wins over The Master's College and the University of San Diego, the Gauchos dropped a game to Wyoming.  On Dec. 15, they defeated San Diego Christian and on Jan. 3 they topped UC Irvine, 74-71, to extend their home winning streak to two in a row.  Last season, UCSB went 11-3 at home with the losses coming to Long Beach State, San Diego State (in overtime) and UNLV (in double overtime), all teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In the last five-plus years, the Gauchos have gone 55-17.

The Injury Roundup 
The injury list has grown in a big way over the last several games.  Starting point guard Nate Garth and reserve forward Mitch Brewe each sprained an ankle in practice on Wednesday and missed Thursday's game against UC Irvine.  Both are doubtful for the game against Long Beach State.  Guard Duke DaRe injured his shoulder at Wyomong on Dec. 21 and has missed the last two games.  Junior forward Keegan Hornbuckle re-sprained his ankle in UCSB's Dec. 1 win at Santa Clara and has missed the last six games.  He remains sidelined indefinitely and most likely will not return until some later point in January.  Freshman guard Aamahd Walker remains sidelined with a back injury and after playing in the first two games of the season, is a candidate to redshirt.  Another freshman guard, John Green, expected to be a starter this season, is out indefinitely with a broken bone in his foot. 

Youth Is Served
The Gauchos' leading scorer is sophomore Alan Williams.  Their second leading scorer is freshman Taran Brown.  The fifth leading scorer is freshman Michael Bryson.  Of the 860 points that UCSB has scored through 13 games this season 616, or 71.6%, have been scored by freshmen or sophomores.  Of the team's 426 individual rebounds 366, or 85.9%, have been collected by freshmen and sophomores.  Finally, of the team's 59 blocked shots 59, or 100.0%, have been recorded by freshmen and sophomores.   

A Veritable Three For All
One game after making a season-high 15 three-pointers at Cal State Fullerton, UCSB hit a season-best 50.0% from beyond the stripe in its win over UC Irvine on Thursday.  The Gauchos made 13-of-26 three-point attempts against the Anteaters, including 7-of-12 in the second half, 58.3%.  They have now made 10 or more three-point baskets seven times this season, including six of the last seven games.  In fact, before going just 1-for-13 on Dec. 21 at Wyoming, UCSB had made or tied a season-high in four consecutive games.  Then, one game after the poor performance at Wyoming, the Gauchos hit 15 at Fullerton, a figure that was not only a season-high but the third most in school history.  The last time a Santa Barbara team made more was in 2002 against Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  On the year, the Gauchos are averaging 9.07 three-pointers per game, a figure that would give them about 270 over the 30-game schedule, well ahead of the current record of 242 set in  32 games during the 2007-08 season.  Amazingly, UCSB had made just 10 more free throws - 128 - than three-pointers - 118.  Finally, the Gauchos have four different players who have made at least three three-pointers in a game this season and two others who have made at least two.

Nothing Is Free
While it wasn't cause for celebration, the 13 free throws the Gauchos attempted against UC Irvine on Thursday had to at least cause a grin on the face of their coaches.  In its previous game, UCSB was just 2-of-3 from the free throw line.  The attempts equaled a season-low and the Gauchos have shot five or fewer four times in the last eight games.

Close, But Yes, A Cigar
The Gauchos have had just two games decided by fewer than five points this season and won them both.  On Dec. 1, they topped Santa Clara in overtime, 83-80, and on Thursday they defeated UC Irvine, 74-71.  In each game, UCSB had to come back from double-digit deficits.  Also, those were the only two games this season in which the Gauchos trailed a halftime and came back to earn victories.  

That Turnover Number Looks Funny...In A Good Way
UCSB's turnover total looked a little skinny on Thursday night and that was a good thing.  Against UC Irvine, the Gauchos had a season-low nine turnovers, including just three in the second half.  It was the first time this year that they were in single-digits in miscues.  No wonder the number looked kind of skinny on the box score.  Going back a little further, UCSB has just 13 turnovers in its last three halves.

The "Other" Williams
Sophomore Alan "Don't Call Me Bob" Williams continues to lead the Gauchos in scoring (17.2 points per game), rebounds (10.2 per game) and blocked shots (2.2 per game).  He enters the Saturday ranked sixth in the Big West in scoring, first in rebounding and first in blocked shots.  Williams is averaging a double-double.  The last Gaucho to finish the season averaging 10 or more points and 10 or more rebounds per game was Eric McArthur in 1990.  Williams has three straight double-doubles.  In Thursday night's win over UC Irvine, he had 22 points and 10 rebounds.  He also tied a career-high with five blocked shots. In fact, it was Williams' block with 30 seconds left and his basket and free throw with 7.5 seconds to play that gave UCSB the win.  In the previous game, on Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton, he had 22 points and 16 rebounds.  The 16 boards were his second highest total ever and this marks the first time in his career that Williams has scored 20 or more in consecutive games.  He now has seven double-doubles, the most by a Gaucho since B.J. Bunton had seven in 1998-99.  On Dec. 1 at Santa Clara, Williams had a career-best game with 29 points and 17 rebounds.  That performance was the first time a Gaucho has had 25 or more points and 15 or more rebounds in the same game since Jan. 29, 1990 when McArthur had 28 points and 21 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton.  The 17 boards were the most by a UCSB player since Josh Merrill collected 18 against Westmont on Dec. 7, 1996. For his efforts, Williams was named Big West Player of the Week.  He has scored in double-figures in 12 of 13 games this season and has 20 or more four times.  With his five blocked shots in the win over the Anteaters, Williams now has 70 in his 43 games and needs just three more to move from 10th all-time to ninth.  This year he has blocked a high of five twice and two or more nine times.   Finally, Williams has eight games this season with 10 or more rebounds and only one other Gaucho has had at least 10 in any single game.

• Williams' Double-Doubles
2012-13

Jan. 3 vs. UC Irvine - 22 points, 10 rebounds
Dec. 29 at CS Fullerton - 22 points, 16 rebounds
Dec. 21 at Wyoming - 16 points, 10 rebounds
Dec. 15 vs. S.D. Christian - 24 points, 12 rebounds
Dec. 1 at Santa Clara - 29 points, 17 rebounds
Nov. 17 vs. The Master's - 17 points, 12 rebounds
Nov. 12 at Illinois State - 15 points, 13 rebounds
2011-12
Jan. 26 at UC Davis - 14 points, 12 rebounds
Jan. 2 at Cal Poly - 13 points, 10 rebounds

Taran It Up
Freshman Taran Brown had 18 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots in Thursday's win over UC Irvine.  He made four three-point baskets in the win over the Anteaters.  In his last two games, Brown has averaged 19.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists while making 13-of-26 shots overall, 50.0%, and 10-of-21 from three-point range, 47.6%. On Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton, he made a career-high six three-point baskets in scoring 20 or more points for the third time this season.  Brown scored 22 and 20 in back-to-back games against Illinois State and The Master's College in mid-November becoming the first Gaucho freshman ever to score 20 or more in two straight games.  The 22 he had at Illinois State were the most by a UCSB freshman since James Nunnally had 22 in against North Carolina on Nov. 21, 2008.  Brown is still second on the team in scoring at 13.7 points per game, a figure that ranks him first among Big West Conference freshmen and 13th overall.  He is second on the team with 37 three-point baskets.  He led the team prior to Thursday's game, but his see-saw battle with Kyle Boswell now has Boswell in the lead by one.  Brown is third in the Big West at 2.8 three-pointers per game.  He is also second on the team in rebounding at 5.8 per game.  He has had six or more six times and recorded his first career double-double when he had 20 points and 13 rebounds vs. The Master's College on Nov. 17.  Brown has now made at least one three-point basket in 11 of 13 games, two or more 10 times and three or more nine times, including six of the last seven games. Since missing his first eight three-pointers this season, he has gone 37-of-88, 42.0%. With 37 three-point baskets this season, he already ranks third on UCSB's all-time freshman list, easily within striking distance of the record of 43 set by Idris Jones in 1990.  Finally, Brown has 15 blocked shots on the year, tied for the sixth most by a Gaucho freshman. 

Who's The Bos?
Junior Kyle Boswell tied his career-high with 23 points in Thursday's win over UC Irvine.  He made 8-of-15 field goals, including 6-of-10 from three-point range.  The six three-pointers were one short of his career-high.  Boswell is averaging 12.4 points per game, a figure that is at its highest point since he scored 17 in the season-opener at LSU.  He has scored in double-figures seven times in the last eight games, including a career-long streak of six in a row prior to the Dec. 29 game at Cal State Fullerton.  Boswell has 38 threes on the year, an average of 2.9 per game, second in the Big West.  In eight games since his scoring average dipped to a season-low 8.0 per game, Boswell has averaged 15.1 points per game, making 30-of-67 from three-point range over that span, 44.8%.  He also had a career-best 23 points and seven three-point baskets on Dec. 6 at San Diego State.  The game against the Aztecs was the second of four straight in which Boswell made at least four three-point shots, also a career-first.  The seven threes he drained at SDSU were the most by a Gaucho since Joe See made eight at Utah State on Jan. 6, 2005.  He  has 103 career threes and needs 18 to move into 10th all-time. 

The World According To Garth 
Point guard Nate Garth missed Thursday's game vs. UC Irvine and is questionable for the game against Long Beach State with a sprained ankle.  He has had two of his best games as a Gaucho in the last three he's played.  On Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton, Garth played a season-high 34 minutes and had nine points, eight assists and just one turnover.  He made 4-of-9 shots overall, including 1-of-4 from three-point range.  On Dec. 18 at Cal he had 11 points, six assists and six rebounds.  On the season, the team's only senior is averaging 5.9 points and a team-high 4.3 assists per game.  He is fourth in the Big West in assists and  fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio.  Garth had a career-high nine assists on Dec. 6 at San Diego State and has had five or more six times in 12 games.  He has started all 12 games and while he played a high of 34 minutes in the game at Fullerton , he has now played 21 or more six straight and 25 or more in five of the last six.

Taylor Made
Sophomore point guard T.J. Taylor made his first start of the season on Thursday night and had, arguably, his best game ever.  Replacing the injured Nate Garth, Taylor had nine points - on 3-of-4 from three-point range - and passed off for a career-high eight assists.  He also played a career-high 35 minutes and committed a mere two turnovers.  In his last two games, Taylor has made 6-of-7 three-point attempts, 85.7%, collected 13 assists and had just three turnovers.  The nine points he's had in the last two games were one off of his season-high (10 in games at Illinois State and vs. The Master's College).  Taylor is now second on the team in assists at 2.7 per game, and third in three-point baskets with 12.  He has gone 12-of-25 from outside the arc, 48.0%.  Also, for the first time this year, his assist-to-turnover ratio is better than 2-to-1 at 2.2-to-1.0. Finally, while Thursday night was Taylor's first start of the season, it was not the first start of his career.  As a freshman in 2011-12, he started 14 of 31 games, including nine of 16 in Big West Conference play.

Aussie Rules 
Sophomore forward Lewis Thomas had two points, five rebounds and two blocked shots  in 26 minutes on Thursday night against UC Irvine.  It was the most minutes he has played since logging 22 on Nov. 21 vs. San Diego.  In his previous game, Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton, Thomas scored a career-high 11 points and tied his career-high with three three-point baskets. On the season the Perth native is averaging 3.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.  He has 52 rebounds and 49 points.  Thomas is tied for fourth on the team with 11 three-point baskets.  Interestingly, while he is 11-of-24 overall from three-point range, he has gone 0-for-5 in home games and 11-for-19 in road games, 57.9%.  In fact, in the team's last six road games he has made nine of 14 three-point attempts, 64.3%.  Thomas is averaging 2.4 points in home games.

The Life Of Bryson
Freshman Michael Bryson is averaging 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.  He has played in 12 of the 13 games this season, missing most of the Nov. 12 game at Illinois State and all of the Nov. 17 contest against The Master's College with a strained back.  Bryson is tied for fourth on the team with 11 three-point baskets, having made two in five different games.  He scored a season-high 10 points in UCSB's opener at LSU.  He has, however, struggled with his shooting lately.  He was scoreless and 0-for-3 from the field against UC Irvine.  Bryson had a season-high seven rebounds on Nov. 21 at Boise State and he has had three or more seven times, including the last five games in a row. 

 

 

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