UCSB Travels to Cal Poly for Blue-Green Rivalry Game Saturday

T.J. Taylor (Vince Agapito)
T.J. Taylor (Vince Agapito)

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• This Week
Game No. 24
Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal Poly Mustangs

at Cal Poly's Mott Gymnasium - San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video Stream: BigWest.TV

Game No. 25
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Riverside Highlanders

at UCR's Student Recreation Center - Riverside, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line 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 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.

 Gauchos Host Sacramento State In Ramada World Wide BracketBuster Game
UCSB will host Sacramento State in a Ramada World Wide BracketBusters game on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m.  The game against the Hornets will mark the Gauchos ninth, and final, appearance in the BracktBusters series.  In their first eight games, they have gone 4-4 with wins over Utah State, San Jose State, Fresno State and Montana State and losses to Detroit, Eastern Washington, Utah State and Boise State.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Saturday's game at Cal Poly with an overall record of 8-15 and a Big West Conference mark of 4-8.  The Gauchos ended a five-game losing streak on Saturday, Feb. 9 when they beat Pacific, 66-53.  The five-game losing streak was the longest suffered by a UCSB team since December of 2002.    

  Williams Rejoins Expanding Injury List  
Sophomore Alan Williams, UCSB's leading scorer (17.2 points per game) and rebounder (9.9 per game) rejoined the injured list about midway through the first half of the Gauchos' game against Pacific on Feb. 9 when he sprained his right ankle.  Williams had missed all of three games and most of a fourth with a strained left hamstring tendon suffered in a Jan. 19 game against Cal Poly.  He sat out the final 36 minutes against the Mustangs and then full games against Cal State Northridge, Hawai'i and Long Beach State before returning on Feb. 2 at UC Irvine.  He is doubtful for the Feb. 16 game at Cal Poly and beyond that his status is up in the air.  Nate Garth, the only senior on the team, injured his left hamstring on Jan. 30 at Long Beach State and is out indefinitely.  In practice the day before the Gauchos'  Feb. 2 game at Irvine, freshman Mitch Brewe suffered a fractured left index finger and is out the remainder of the season.  Finally, Keegan Hornbuckle, who was just beginning to round into shape, came down on someone's foot in the game against the Anteaters and sprained his right ankle, forcing him to leave the game.  He too is out indefinitely.  Forward John Williams, a projected starter, also remains out with a broken bone in his foot and guard Aamahd Walker will redshirt.

Gauchos Overcome Loss Of Alan Williams, Top Pacific 66-53
Despite adding its leading scorer to an already lengthy injured list in the first half, UC Santa Barbara led from start to finish in a 66-53 win over visiting Pacific on Saturday night  Already down to nine players because of injuries, the Gauchos lost Alan Williams, their leading scorer and rebounder, to sprained right ankle midway through the first half.  He finished the game with 10 points and seven rebounds in just eight minutes. UCSB jumped out to a 12-0 lead and never looked back. The Tigers were ice cold, shooting just 30.4% overall and 20.0% from three-point range and never got closer than four points (18-14) the rest of the way.  They made just one of their 14 three-point attempts in the second half.  Taran Brown and Michael Bryson led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points apiece, while T.J. Taylor tied his career-high with 11, making 3-of-4 shots from three-point range, and he had eight assists. Brown led the team with eight rebounds while Bryson had six.  Bryson had two steals and a blocked shot.  Brown blocked a pair of shots.  Guard Kyle Boswell made all three of his three-point attempts and had nine points and three steals.

Probable Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 11 T.J. Taylor- Tied his career-high with 11 points in win over Pacific. 
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Had 6 rebounds vs. Pacific, his highest total since Dec. 18 at Cal.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Averaging 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in the last 3 games. 
F 35 Taran Brown- Had 13 points vs. Pacific after scoring 11 in previous two games.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Has made 27 of his last 38 field goal attempts, 71.2%.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Injured hamstring on Jan. 30 at LBSU and is out indefinitely.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Back injury will force him to redshirt.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Sprained his right ankle on Feb. 2 at UCI and is out.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Made 7-of-10 three-point attempts in last two games.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Fractured finger on left hand will sideline him for the season.
G 32  John Green - Projected starter, broken bone in his foot has him out indefinitely.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Scored in 3 straight for first time since season's first 3 games.
G 43  Duke DaRé - Fouled out in just six minutes on the court vs. Pacific.

The Gauchos And Mustangs
UCSB is 69-31 all-time against Cal Poly and they won the first meeting between the schools this season, 83-81 in double overtime on Jan. 19 in Santa Barbara.  The Gauchos also 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 six consecutive games against the Mustangs and, going back a few years, 11 of the last 12 games in the series.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 2-10 in road games this season.  The Gauchos ended a five-game road losing streak with a Jan. 12 win at UC Davis, but have since lost two straight.  On Jan. 30, they dropped a tough 57-55 game at Long Beach State and on Feb. 2, they lost another close one, 62-60, at UC Irvine.  After losing at LSU, Illinois State and Boise State, UCSB traveled to Santa Clara on Dec. 1 and recorded an overtime win for their first road win of the season.  It then dropped five consecutive road contests: 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.  

Williams Passes McCarthy For Third On Big West Conference Victory List
The Jan. 19 win over Cal Poly was the 143rd Big West Conference victory for head coach Bob Williams since his arrival at UCSB for the 1998-99 season.  The victory broke a tie with former New Mexico State head coach Neil McCarthy for third-place on the league's all-time list for conference wins.  Williams is now 144-96.  With 245 overall wins as coach of the Gauchos, Williams is in fourth in that category, three behind McCarthy.  

Youth Is Served
The Gauchos' leading scorer is sophomore Alan Williams.  Their third leading scorer is freshman Taran Brown and the fourth leading scorer is freshman Michael Bryson.  Of the 1,520 points that UCSB has scored through 23 games this season 1,072, or 70.5%, have been scored by freshmen or sophomores.  Of the team's 743 individual rebounds 636, or 85.6%, have been collected by freshmen and sophomores.  Also, of the team's 102 blocked shots 102, or100.0%, have been recorded by freshmen and sophomores. Finally, of the 4,675 minutes played by all Gaucho players this season, 3,373 have been played by freshmen and sophomores, 72.1%.  

Gauchos Regain Three-Point Rhythm
After a stretch of three games in which it made just 17-of-70 (24.3%) of its three-point field goal attempts, UCSB got back on the beam on Feb. 9 against Pacific. The Gauchos hit 10-of-20 threes against the Tigers, 50.0%.  It was their second 50.0% three-point performance of the season.  Santa Barbara remains on a record-setting pace for three-pointers.  Through 23 games, the Gauchos are averaging 8.39 three-point baskets per game, a pace that would equate to approximately 250 over a 30-game season.  The current record of 242 was set over a 32 game schedule in 2007-08.  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 round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament.  

Getting Defensive 
UCSB limited Pacific to a mere 17-of-56 shooting from the floor on Feb. 9, 30.4%, and an even worse 4-for-20 from three-point range, 20.0%.  It was the lowest field goal percentage by a Gaucho opponent this season and the third-lowest three-point percentage. 

Lead Changes: Zero 
In the last two games, the first team that scored never relinquished the lead.  On Feb. 7, UC Davis led the Gauchos from start-to-finish in a 64-56 win.  On Feb. 9, UCSB jumped out to a 12-0 lead over Pacific and the Tigers never got closer than four the rest of the way.  In fact, the Gaucho lead never dropped below double-figures over the game's final 30 minutes.

A Lofty Percentage
In its win over Pacific, UCSB made 22-of-44 shots from the field, 50.0%.  It marked the first time this season that the Gauchos had made at least half of their shots in a game.  Through the first 22 games of the year, their best overall shooting performance was a 49.1% (26-for-53) effort on Jan. 3 vs. UC Irvine.  In fact, UCSB has been below 45.0% 11 times.  Ironically, the Gauchos have made 50.0% of their three pointers twice this season.  They did so in the win over Pacific when they made 10-of-20 and in the Jan. 3 game against UC Irvine they hit 13-of-26, also 50.0%.    

The "Other" Williams
Sophomore forward Alan Williams suffered a sprained right ankle midway through the first half of UCSB's game against Pacific on Feb. 9 and is doubtful for this week.  In just eight minutes, Williams had 10 points and seven rebounds against the Tigers.  In the previous game, he recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds against UC Davis.  Williams returned to the Gaucho lineup at UC Irvine on Feb. 2 after missing three full games and most of a fourth with a strained left hamstring tendon. He was injured in the first half of UCSB's Jan. 19 game against Cal Poly.  In his return against the Anteaters, Williams had 22 points, eight rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot in 24 minutes before fouling out.  It marked the seventh time this season that he has scored 20 or more points in a game and he has done so five times in his last nine appearances and two of the times he didn't he left the game in the first half.  His 10 double-doubles on the season are the most since Kealon Wallace had 10 during the 1995-96 season.  Williams continues to lead the Gauchos in scoring (17.2 points per game), rebounds (9.9 per game) and blocked shots (2.1 per game).  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 Dec. 1 at Santa Clara, Williams had a career-best game with 29 points and 17 rebounds.  That performance marked 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, he was named Big West Player of the Week.  In all, Williams has scored in double-figures 18 times in 20 games.  Also, he has collected 10 or more rebounds 11 times.  In addition to his career-high 17 on Dec. 1 at Santa Clara, he had 16 in the Big West opener at Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 29.   Williams has 42 blocked shots this season.  He has at least one in eight of the last nine and 16 overall.  In fact, he has two or more 13 times.  He has a high of five twice, once each against San Diego and UC Irvine.  Williams now has 83 blocks, eighth in school history.

Taran It Up
Freshman Taran Brown returned to the starting lineup on Feb. 9 vs. Pacific and responded with 13 points, eight rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal.    He didn't shoot particularly well overall (3-for-8), but he did make 2-of-5 three-point attempts.  Brown came off the bench on Feb. 7 against UC Davis, a first for him and he struggled offensively with four points on 2-of-10 shooting.  He did have eight rebounds, two assists, one blocked shot and one steal against the Aggies.  In two games, prior to the win over Pacific he made just 5-of-19 shots overall, 26.3%, and 1-for-7 from three-point territory, 14.3%.  Brown continues to rank third on the team at 12.1 points per game.  He is also second with 5.9 rebounds per outing and in the last seven games he has averaged 6.9 per game and had seven or more five times.  Brown also leads the team with 20 steals and is second with 24 blocked shots, the fourth most ever by a Gaucho freshman.  Overall, he has tallied 10 or more points 16 times this year.  He has 52 three-point baskets on the season - a UCSB freshman record - ranking him second on the team.  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 against North Carolina on Nov. 21, 2008.  Brown has had three or more three-pointers 11 times this season. He's made at least one in 19 of 23 games.  Finally, he had the first double-double of his career with 20 points and 13 rebounds vs. The Master's College on Nov. 17.   

Who's The Bos?
Junior Kyle Boswell scored nine points in Saturday's win over Pacific, ending a streak of six straight games in double-figures.  Still, Boswell is second on the team with an average of 13.0 points per game and has scored in double-figures in six of seven, nine of 11 and 15 of 18.  He has twice scored 10 or more in six straight.  He has tallied a career-high 23 three times, most recently in a  Jan. 19 double-overtime win over Cal Poly.  In the game against the Mustangs, he scored six of his points in the final 1:10 of the second overtime to seal the victory. Boswell also scored 23 on Dec. 6 at San Diego State and Jan. 3 vs. UC Irvine.  In the game at SDSU, he made a career-best seven three-point buckets, the most by a Gaucho since Joe See made eight at Utah State on Jan. 6, 2005. On Saturday, Boswell was perfect from long distance, making 3-of-3 and in his last two games he has drilled 7-of-10, 70.0%.  On the season, he has 63 threes, nine more than he had in 31 games last season, and he needs four to move onto UCSB's single-season top-10 list.  He is shooting 42.3% from three-point range this season, but in the last 18 games Boswell has made 55-of-122, 45.1%. He had made at least one three-pointer in 16 consecutive games before a Jan. 26 game against Hawai'i.  He has now made one or more in 21 of 23 and two or more 18 times. Boswell  has 128 career threes in 298 attempts, 43.0%, the second highest percentage in school history. Finally, he had played 30 or more minutes in 11 consecutive games before playing "only" 29 against Pacific on Feb. 9.

Taylor Made
Sophomore point guard T.J. Taylor has started the last 11 games and his performance against Pacific on Feb. 9 was one of his best.  Taylor tied his career-high with 11 points, but he also added eight assists, two steals and three rebounds.  It marked the 11th time in 12 league games that Taylor produced four or more assists.  He averaging 5.9 assists per game in Big West play and he has a sparkling 3.1-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio over that span.  On Jan. 26 against Hawai'i, Taylor also scored a career-high 11 points while adding four assists and no turnovers.  On Jan. 5 vs. Long Beach State and Jan. 10 at Pacific, he had a career-high nine assists.  Taylor is averaging 4.3 points and 4.0 assists overall.  He has 21 three-pointers on the season and he's made two or more in eight games.

The Life Of Bryson
Freshman Michael Bryson scored 13 points - his second highest total ever - in each of the last two games and he's scored 12 or more in three straight.  This is the first time this season that Bryson has been in double-figures in three straight games.   While he is averaging a season-high 6.9 points per game, he has scored at a a 10.2 points per game clip over the last 10 games.  Also, while he is shooting 34.5% overall and 29.2% from three-point range, Bryson has made 22-of-48 (45.8%) overall in the last six and 12-of-36 (33.3%) from three-point range in the last seven.  He had a career-high 15 points against Long Beach State on Jan. 5 and has now been in double-figures six times this season.  Bryson is averaging 3.4 rebounds per game, but has been at 6.2 in the last four games.  He had a career-high eight on Feb. 7 vs. UC Davis.  He made a career-high three three-point baskets in the Jan. 5 game vs. Long Beach State.   Bryson is third on the team with 28 three-point buckets, the fifth most ever by a Gaucho freshman.  He is averaging 24.3 minutes per game, but has averaged 28.2 in the last 10.  Bryson has played in 22 of the 23 games this season, missing the Nov. 17 game against The Master's College with a strained back.

The World According To Garth 
The team's only senior, Nate Garth, pulled his left hamstring on Jan. 30 at Long Beach State, missed the last three games and remains out indefinitely.  Garth logged just six minutes before injuring himself in the game against the 49ers.  Earlier in January, he missed two full games, and parts of two others, with a sprained ankle.  Garth is averaging 5.7 points and a team-leading 4.1 assists per game.  In his last full game, Jan. 26 vs. Hawai'i, he had eight points, eight assists and just one turnover.  Garth also had eight assists, to go with a season-high 13 points, in UCSB's Jan. 19 double-overtime win over Cal Poly.  His assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.2-to-1.0 is second on the team.  He had a career-high nine assists on Dec. 6 at San Diego State and has had five or more eight times in his 18 games.  

Beeler Flying Solo
With the injuries to Alan Williams and Mitch Brewe, freshman Sam Beeler finds himself as the only center on the team.  Beeler played a career-high 23 minutes in the Feb. 9 win over Pacific and he had six points and four rebounds before fouling out.  Since Williams' first injury occurred on Jan. 19, Beeler has seen his role increase.  He is averaging 3.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 10.7 minutes per game, but beginning with the Jan. 19 game, he has averaged 4.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 17.4 minutes per game.  Beeler has also had six of his nine blocked shots over that span.   He scored a career-high 15 points, making all six of his field goal attempts, on Jan. 24 vs. Northridge.

Walking Into The Lineup
The numerous injuries that UCSB has suffered this season have presented an opportunity to a pair of walk-ons whose roles have varied, but seem to be increasing.  The injury to Nate Garth has opened the door for freshman Duke DaRe (Duh-Ray).  He played 20 minutes on Feb 2 at UC Irvine and the topped that with a career-high 21 minutes on Feb. 7 against UC Davis.  DaRe didn't give himself much of a chance to do anything in the win over Pacific as he fouled out in six minutes.  The injuries to Mitch Brewe and Keegan Hornbuckle have given junior Shawn Moore (More) an opportunity.  He's played in the last three games and scored a basket in each.  In fact, the 6-foot-5 native of Chico, Calif., finds himself as Sam Beeler's back-up at the five spot until Alan Williams returns.