January 12, 2013

UCSB Travels to UC Davis Before Returning Home for Three

Game No. 16
Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Davis Aggies

at UCD's Pavilion - Davis, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Video Stream: BigWest.TV

Game No. 17
Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
Blue-Gree Rivalry
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Mustangs

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

• 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 superstar 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.

• The UCSB Record
UCSB enters Saturday's game at UC Davis with a record of 5-10 overall and a 1-3 mark in the Big West.  The Gauchos are coming off an 80-62 loss at Pacific on Thursday night.  In their previous game, they dropped a 77-70 decision at home to Long Beach State.  UCSB has now lost two straight games and five of its last six. 

Probable Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G    11    T.J. Taylor - Has career-high nine assists in each of last two games, 26 total in last three.
F    12    Lewis Thomas - Has 12 three-pointers on the year, all on the road.  
F    15    Alan Williams - Double-double at Pacific was his eighth of the season.
G    24    Michael Bryson - Career-high 15 points vs. LBSU, averaged 11.0 in last two games.  
F    35    Taran Brown - Needs five three-pointers to break UCSB freshman record of 43.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G     1       Nate Garth - Missed two of last three games with sprained ankle.
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 - Scored in double-figures in nine of the last 10 games.
F     21    Mitch Brewe - Tied career-high with four points vs. Long Beach State.
G     32      John Green - Projected starter, broken bone in his foot has him sidelined indefinitely.
F     34      Shawn Moore - Has scored in consecutive games for first time since mid-November.
G     43      Duke DaRé - Played nine minutes in return after missing three games with shoulder.
F     44      Sam Beeler - Has made 11-for-15 from the field in the last seven games, 73.3%.

The Opponents
The Gauchos and UC Davis have played 24 times with Santa Barbara holding a 20-4 all-time edge.  The last time the teams met, on Mar. 3, 2012 in Santa Barbara, UCSB posted a 90-43 victory.  The Gauchos are 68-31 all-time against Cal Poly and they won all three games last season, including a 64-52 win in a semifinal game at the 2012 Big West Tournament.  In all, UCSB has won five consecutive games against the Mustangs and, going back a few years, 10 of the last 11 games in the series

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 1-8 in road games this season. After losing at LSU, Illinois State and Boise State, the Gauchos traveled to Santa Clara on Dec. 1 and recorded an overtime win for their first, and so far only, road victory of the season.  They have since dropped five consecutive road games: Dec. 6 at San Diego State, Dec. 18 at Cal, Dec. 21 at Wyoming, Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton and Jan. 10 at Pacific.  In 2011-12 the Gauchos went 7-7 in true road games and 9-8 in all games away from home, including 5-3 in Big West road games.

The Injury Update
The Gauchos' injury list continues to be a thing in flux.  Starting point guard Nate Garth has missed two of the last three games, including Thursday's game at Pacific, with a sprained ankle.  He is doubtful for Saturday at UC Davis.  Reserve guard Duke DaRé played nine minutes on Thursday after missing three games with a shoulder injury.  He could play at Davis.  Reserve freshman forward Mitch Brewe has played in the last two games and should play against the Aggies.  Junior forward Keegan Hornbuckle re-sprained his ankle in UCSB's Dec. 1 win at Santa Clara and has missed the last eight games.  He remains sidelined indefinitely but seems to be getting closer to a return.  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 992 points that UCSB has scored through 15 games this season 715, or 72.1%, have been scored by freshmen or sophomores.  Of the team's 478 individual rebounds 412, or 86.2%, have been collected by freshmen and sophomores.  Finally, of the team's 66 blocked shots 66, or 100.0%, have been recorded by freshmen and sophomores.   

Gauchos Continue Record Three-Point Pace
Despite making just 5-of-14 shots from three-point range on Thursday night at Pacific, UCSB remains on a school record pace for three-pointers.  The Gauchos have hit 132 three-pointers through their first 15 games, an average of 8.8 per game.  If they can maintain that pace, they would finish with something in the neighborhood of 260 through 30 games.  The current school record of 242 was set in 32 games during the 2007-08 season.  On Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton, UCSB made a season-high 15 three-point baskets, the third highest total in school history and the most since it made 16 against Arizona in the first found of the 2002 NCAA Tournament.  One game after making a season-high 15, the Gauchos hit for season-best 50.0% (13-of-26) in a Jan. 3 win over UC Irvine.  After making fewer than 40.0% from three-point range in its first six games this season, UCSB has been at 40.6% or better in seven of the last nine games.  Over that span, the Gauchos have made 92-of-226, 40.7%, and that includes a dismal 1-for-13 showing on Dec. 21 at Wyoming.

Free Throw Revival
If you toss out a 4-for-4 free throw shooting performance at San Diego State on Dec. 6, the Gauchos had their best free throw shooting game of the season in Thursday's game at Pacific.  After Alan Williams missed the team's first attempt, UCSB made 15 in a row to finish at 15-of-16, 93.8%.  The outstanding performance was a nice break.  In five games prior to that performance, the Gauchos didn't shoot better than 69.2% and in the five games combined they went 35-for-57, 61.4%.  

Making Their Point
Since equaling their season-low with just 40 points in a Dec. 21 loss at Wyoming, the Gauchos have improved offensively.  UCSB has scored 70 or more points in three of the four games since the contest in Laramie, averaging 71.2 per game over that span.  UCSB has scored 80 or more three times this season and 70 or more eight times.

Marginalizing
Of UCSB's 15 games this season, exactly two-thirds (that would be 10 for those of you without a calculator) have been decided by double-digit margins.  Prior to the game at Pacific on Thursday, three straight games had been decided by fewer than 10 points.

The "Other" Williams
Sophomore Alan Williams continues to lead the Gauchos in scoring (A season-high17.4 points per game), rebounds (10.2 per game) and blocked shots (2.3 per game).  He enters Friday's game at UC Davis 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.  On Thursday night, Williams produced his eighth double-double of the season with 22 points and 12 rebounds.  He also added three blocked shots.  He has now had double-doubles in four of the last five games overall and three out of four games against Big West opponents.  In a Jan. 3 win over UC Irvine, he had 22 points and 10 rebounds.  He also tied a career-high with five blocked shots. 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 the Irvine and Fullerton games marked the first time in his career that Williams has scored 20 or more in consecutive games.  He now has eight double-doubles, the most by a Gaucho in more than 15 years.  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 14 of 15 games this season and has 20 or more five times.  With his three blocked shots in the game at Pacific, Williams now has 75 in his 45 games and has moved into ninth in school history.  This year he has blocked a high of five twice and two or more 11 times.    

Taran It Up
Freshman Taran Brown had five points, six rebounds and three assists on Thursday night at Pacific.  It marked just the fourth time this season that Brown scored fewer than 10 points in a game, but the second time in the last five.  He had scored in double-figures in three straight prior to the game against the Tigers. On Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton, he made a career-high six three-point baskets and scored 20 points.  He has 20 or more three times.  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 12.9 points per game, a figure that ranks him first among Big West Conference freshmen.  He is second on the team with 39 three-point baskets.  He led the team prior to the Jan. 3 game against UC Irvine but his see-saw battle with Kyle Boswell now has Boswell in the lead by four.  Brown is third in the Big West at 2.6 three-pointers per game.  He is also second on the team in rebounding at 5.5 per game.  He has had six or more seven 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 13 of 15 games, two or more 10 times and three or more nine times, including six of the last nine games. Since missing his first eight three-pointers this season, he has gone 39-of-93, 41.9%. With 39 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 had 15 points and two rebounds in Thursday's game at Pacific.  He was 4-for-8 from the field, including 2-for-4 from three-point range, and he was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.  The five made free throws was a new career-high.  Boswell is now averaging 12.7 points per game, third on the team.  The 12.7 per game mark is at its highest point since he scored 17 points in the season opener at LSU.  Boswell has scored a career-high 23 twice.  The first time he rang-up 23 was on Dec. 6 at San Diego State.  In the game against the Aztecs, he also made a career-high seven three-point baskets, the most by a Gaucho since Joe See made eight at Utah State on Jan. 6, 2005.  Boswell also had 23 on Jan. 3 vs. UC Irvine when he was 6-for-10 from three-point range. He has scored in double-figures in three straight and nine times in the last 10 games, including a career-long streak of six in a row prior to the Dec. 29 game at Cal State Fullerton.  Boswell has 43 threes on the year, an average of 2.9 per game, second in the Big West.  In 10 games since his scoring average dipped to a season-low 8.0 per game, Boswell has scored 150 points and averaged 15.0 per game, making 35-of-77 from three-point range over that span, 45.5%.  Boswell has made at lesat one three-pointer in 13 consecutive games and 14 of 15 games overall.  He has hit two or more 11 times and four or more five times.  He  has 108 career threes and needs 13 to move into 10th in school history.

The World According To Garth
Point guard Nate Garth has missed two of the last three games with a sprained ankle.  He did not play on Thursday night at Pacific and missed the Jan. 3 game against UC Irvine.  Garth returned in a limited role off the bench against Long Beach State on Jan. 5, playing nine minutes producing two rebounds and one steal.  On Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton, in the game prior to his injury, 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 the season, the team's only senior is averaging 5.5 points and a team-high 4.0 assists per game.  Garth had a career-high nine assists on Dec. 6 at San Diego State and has had five or more six times in 13 games.  He had started all 12 games prior to his ankle sprain. and leads the team in assists with an average of 4.0 per game.

• Taylor Made
Sophomore point guard T.J. Taylor has started each of the last three games. On Thursday at Pacific he had a career-high nine assists for the second straight game, adding six points as well. In the previous game on Jan. 5 vs. Long Beach State, he had nine assists, along with eight points, and in his first start, on Jan. 3 vs. UC Irvine, Taylor had nine points - on 3-of-4 from three-point range - and passed off for eight assists.  In his last four games, - the first one on Dec. 29 in a reserve role -  he has made 8-of-15 three-point attempts, 53.3%, collected 31 assists and had just 11 turnovers.  He leads the Big West in assist average in league games at 7.7 per game.  The nine points he had in two of the last four 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 3.5 per game, and fourh in three-point baskets with 14.   

• The Life Of Bryson
Despite making just 1-for-5 from the field on Thursday, freshman Michael Bryson had his second straight productive game for the Gauchos.  Bryson's only basket was his 15th three-pointer of the season (third on the team), but he was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line and finished with seven points.  He also had two assists, a blocked shot and a steal.  On Jan. 5 vs. Long Beach State, Bryson made five of his last seven shots, including three three-pointers, and scored a career-high 15 points.  He also added four rebounds and three assists.  He is now averaging 5.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.  He has played in 14 of the 15 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 third on the team with 15 three-point baskets, having made two or more in six games.  His previous season-high of 10 points came in the Nov. 9 opener at LSU.   Bryson had a season-high seven rebounds on Nov. 21 at Boise State.

• Aussie Rules
One game after playing a season-low eight minutes and going scoreless in a game against Long Beach State, sophomore forward Lewis Thomas logged 17 minutes and tallied three points in UCSB's game at Pacific.  Since scoring a career-high 11 points (all in the first half) in a game at Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 29, Thomas has scored a total of five in the last three games.  His only three on Thursday came on a three-pointer in the second half.  He has now made 12-of-25 three-point attempts on the season, including 12-of-20 in road games (60.0%) and 0-for-5 in home games.  He made a career-high three three-pointers twice this year, on Dec. 18 at Cal and Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton.