Gauchos Travel to Hawaii, Cal State Northridge for Key Big West Games

Taran Brown (Photo by Kelley Cox)

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• This Week
Game No. 27
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors
at UH's Stan Sheriff Center - Honolulu, Hawaii
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video Stream: BigWest.TV

Game No. 28
Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Northridge Matadors

at CSUN's Matadome - Northridge, 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.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters this weekend's games at Hawai'i and Cal State Northridge with an overall record of 8-18 and a Big West record of 4-10.  The Gauchos have dropped three games in a row and eight of their last nine.  On Feb. 23, UCSB lost a 51-50 decision to visiting Sacramento State in a Ramada World Wide BracketBuster game.  In league play, since balancing their record at 3-3, the Gauchos have suffered seven losses in their last eight games.  The only win over that span came on Feb. 9 over Pacific, 66-53. 

UCSB Take Aim At Big West Tournament Berth
UCSB enters Thursday night's game at Hawai'i with a one-half game lead over Cal State Northridge in the race for the final Big West Tournament berth.  The Gauchos are one-game ahead of the Matadors in the loss column with a 4-10 record.  Northridge, which has a 4-11 record, will host Cal Poly on Thursday.  The two teams will meet on Saturday night in the San Fernando Valley in a game that could determine the eighth team in the conference tournament.  The Big West Tourney is slated for Mar. 14-16 at Honda Center in Anaheim.  The Gauchos have played Long Beach State in the last three league title games. 

  The Injury Report  
Junior guard Kyle Boswell, the team's second leading scorer (12.6 points per game) and leading three-point shooter (64 threes) injured his left shoulder early in the second half on Feb. 16 at Cal Poly and didn't return.  He has missed the Gauchos' last two games and is doubtful for Thursday's game at Hawai'i.. Nate Garth, the only senior on the team, injured his left hamstring on Jan. 30 at Long Beach State, he has missed the last six games and remains 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.  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.  Finally, Forward John Green, a projected starter, also remains out with a broken bone in his foot and guard Aamahd Walker will redshirt with a back injury.

UCSB-Cal State Fullerton Game Set For 7:00 p.m.
UCSB's home game against Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Mar. 7 has been set for 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.  The game was originally listed TBA because of the possibility of it being televised.  ESPNU, however, has decided to air the Long Beach State at UC Davis game instead.  In addition, the Gaucho women's game against Long Beach State, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on the same day, has been moved to 3:00 p.m. to allow time for locker rooms to be prepared for the second game.  

Probable Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 11 T.J. Taylor- Tied his career-high with three three-point baskets vs. Sac State. 
F 15  Alan Williams - His 12 double-doubles are the most by a Gaucho since 1989-90.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Made at least one three-pointer in 13 straight games. 
F 34  Shawn Moore - Has started each of the last two games.
F 35 Taran Brown- Now fourth on all-time UCSB  freshman scoring list with 310 points.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Pulled 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- Still out with a sprained right ankle.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Missed the last two games with left shoulder injury.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Has 9 points in 14 games and 179 minutes since he had 11 at CSUF.
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.
G 43  Duke DaRé - Career-highs with eight points and five rebounds on Feb. 20 at UCR.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Has made 29 of his last 44 field goal attempts, 65.9%.

The Opponents
Thursday will mark the first-ever conference game between the Gauchos and Hawai'i in Honolulu.  The teams met in Santa Barbara on Jan. 26 and the Rainbow Warriors won that game, 78-73.  The programs have played seven times dating back to 1959 and Santa Barbara holds a 4-3 edge.  The last time the teams played in Hawai'i was in November of 2003 and the Gauchos won 57-51.  UCSB is 30-16 in 46 games all-time against Cal State Northridge.  The teams first met in 1959.  The Matadors defeated the Gauchos in Santa Barbara on Jan. 24, 75-69.  UCSB won both regular season games between the schools in 2011-12, winning at the Thunderdome,   69-61, and at the Matadome, 85-70.  

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 2-12 in road games this season.  The Gauchos have lost four straight and nine of their last 10 away games, including a 54-45 defeat at UC Riverside in their last outing on Feb. 20. UCSB's only road wins this season came in overtime at Santa Clara on Dec. 1, 83-80,  and 66-59 at UC Davis on Jan. 12.  

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 1,664 points that UCSB has scored through 26 games this season 1,204, or 72.4%, have been scored by freshmen or sophomores.  Of the team's 834 individual rebounds 719, or 86.2%, have been collected by freshmen and sophomores.  Also, of the team's 116 blocked shots 116, or100.0%, have been recorded by freshmen and sophomores. Finally, of the 5,275 minutes played by all Gaucho players this season, 3,892 have been played by freshmen and sophomores, 73.8%.  

Block Party!
As a team, UCSB has blocked 116 shots on the season, a figure that is tied for the seventh highest total in school history.  Led by Alan Williams, who has 52 in his 23 games, the Gauchos have four players in double-figures for blocks.  Williams 52 ranks as the seventh most in school history.  He is joined in double-figures by Taran Brown with 27, Michael Bryson with 14 and Lewis Thomas with 10.  Brown is fourth all-time among UCSB freshmen while Bryson is seventh.  If they continue to average 4.46 blocked shots per game, the Gauchos would finish with about 133 blocks on the season, a figure that would rank fourth all-time.

Gauchos Get Offensive..And Not In A Good Way
The Gauchos scored 50 points in their 51-50 loss to Sacramento State on Feb. 23.  The 50 points helped them end a streak of two straight games in which they scored fewer than 50...barely.  On Feb. 20 UCSB had 45 points in their loss at UC Riverside, the fourth time this season that they have scored fewer than 50 in a game.  The last time a Gaucho team had four games with fewer than 50 points was in 1980-81.  Also, UCSB scored fewer than 50 in consecutive games for the first time since 1980-81.

Nothing Is Free
The Gauchos were outscored 12-9 from the free throw line in their Feb. 23 loss to Sacramento State.  They were  a solid 9-of-11 from the line, but the Hornets were 12-of-15.  Saturday's game marked the 13th time this season that UCSB has made fewer than 10 free throws in a game.  The Gauchos have attempted fewer than 10 free throws in a game six times.   On three other occasions, UCSB has made exactly 10 free throws.  Overall, the Gauchos have been outscored from the free throw line by 101 points and they have attempted 125 fewer free throws than opponents.   

Gauchos Can't Hold Lead - For First Time 
In Saturday's loss to Sacramento State, UCSB held a 29-21 lead at halftime but, ultimately, lost 51-50.  It marked the first time this season that the Gauchos have held a lead at halftime and not gone on to win.  On Feb. 20, Santa Barbara and UC Riverside were tied at 20 apiece and the Highlanders would win, but the Sac State game was a first. 

For Starters, That's A Lot of Starters
The last time a Gaucho team didn't have at least one player start every game over an entire season was 2008-09.  That was the only time in more than a decade.  This year's team, like the 2008-09 team, will not have a player start in every game.  The only player even close to having started every game is Taran Brown who has been in the starting lineup 25 times in 26 games.  Alan Williams (23 starts in his 23 games) and Lewis Thomas (21 starts in his 26 games) are the only others with 20 or more starts.  Also, when Shawn Moore was in the starting lineup on Feb. 20 at UC Riverside, it gave UCSB 10 different players who have started at least one game this season.  He also started on Feb. 23 vs. Sacramento State.  All eight of the players active for the last two games have made at least one start.

The "Other" Williams
Sophomore forward Alan Williams is in the first real shooting slump of his career.  While he is shooting 48.5% on the season, Williams made just 3-of-14 shots on Feb. 23 vs. Sacramento State and in his last two games he has hit just 7-of-32, 21.9%.  The constant double and triple-teaming may have something to do with that.  Despite his difficulties over the last two games, he remains UCSB's leader in scoring (17.0 points per game), rebounding (10.3 per game), blocked shots (2.3 per game) and steals (1.0 per game).  Williams had eight points, 11 rebounds, five blocked shots and two steals vs. Sac State.  It was the 14th time this season he has had at least 10 rebounds in a game and the five blocks tied his career-high.  On Feb. 20 at UC Riverside, he had 15 points and 12 rebounds, his 12th double-double of the season. On Feb. 16 at Cal Poly, Williams had 24 points and 17 rebounds.  It was his eighth game with 20 or more points and the 17 rebounds tied his season and career-high.  His 12 double-doubles on the season are the most since Eric McArthur had 23 during the 1989-90 season.  McArthur was also the last Gaucho to finish the season averaging 10 or more points and 10 or more rebounds per game, doing so 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 Williams has had twice this season are the most for a UCSB player since Josh Merrill collected 18 against Westmont on Dec. 7, 1996.  In all, he has scored in double-figures 20 times in 23 games.   Williams has 52 blocked shots this season, the sixth most in school history, and his 93 career blocks rank sixth all-time.  He has at least one in 11 of the last 12 and 19 overall.  In fact, he has two or more 15 times.  He has a high of five three times, once each against San Diego, UC Irvine and Sacramento State.  

Taran It Up
Freshman Taran Brown scored 18 points, grabbed four rebounds, blocked two shots and had a steal in UCSB's Feb. 23 game against Sacramento State.  His biggest basket of the game was a three-pointer with 18.4 seconds left that gave the Gauchos a 50-49 lead.  The 18 points that Brown scored against the Hornets were his highest total since he had 20 on Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton.  He is now averaging 11.9 points per game, third on the team, and he has been in double-figures in consecutive games after scoring fewer than 10 in three of four.  Overall, he has tallied 10 or more points 18 times this year.  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.  He has 56 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 buckets.  Brown has had three or more three-pointers 11 times this season. He's made at least one in 21 of 26 games.  He had the first double-double of his career with 20 points and 13 rebounds vs. The Master's College on Nov. 17.  Finally, Brown remains second on the team in rebounding (5.5 per game), steals (22) and blocked shots (27).     

Who's The Bos?
Junior Kyle Boswell scored five points in his last outing, a Feb. 16 loss at Cal Poly, his fewest since he had three on Nov. 21 vs. San Diego.  That, however, was a small part of the story.  Boswell scored the Gauchos' first five points of the second half, but then on the defensive end, he ran into a hard screen and went to the floor.  He left the game, and when he returned he couldn't lift his left armm.  He has missed UCSB's last two full games and is questionable for Thursday's game at Hawai'i. Still, Boswell is second on the team with an average of 12.6 points per game.  He has scored in double-figures in six of eight, nine of 12 and 15 of 19.  He has twice scored 10 or more in six straight.  Boswell 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. He also scored 23 on Dec. 6 at San Diego State and Jan. 3 vs. UC Irvine.  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. In his last three games Boswell has drilled 8-of-12 shots from long distance, 66.7%.  On the season, he has 64 threes, 10 more than he had in 31 games last year, and he needs three to move onto UCSB's single-season top-10 list.  He is shooting 42.4% from three-point range this season, but in his last 19 games Boswell has made 56-of-124, 45.2%. He had made at least one three in 16 consecutive games before a Jan. 26 game against Hawai'i.  He has now made one or more in 22 of 24 and two or more 19 times. Boswell  has 129 career threes in 300 attempts, 43.0%, the second highest in school history. 

Taylor Made
Sophomore point guard T.J. Taylor has started the last 14 games.  On Feb. 23 vs. Sacramento State, he tied his career-high with three three-point baskets, had nine points, six assists and just one turnover.   Taylor is averaging 4.1 assists per game overall and 5.6 in Big West games, tops in the league.  He has had four or more assists 14 times this season, including 13 of the last 15 games. On Feb. 9, vs. Pacific, he tied his career-high with 11 points, adding eight assists, three rebounds and two steals.  He also had three three-point baskets, a mark Taylor has hit four times this season. On Jan. 26 against Hawai'i, Taylor also had a career-high 11 points. 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 overall.  He has 25 three-pointers on the season and he's made two or more in nine games.

The Life Of Bryson
Freshman Michael Bryson had six points, four rebounds and a career-high four assists in UCSB's Feb. 23 game against Sacramento State.  After a streak of four straight games in which he scored 10 points or more, Bryson has had seven and six in the last two games.  Also, after a stretch of seven games in which he made 26-of-56 shots overall, 46.4%, he made just 4-of-18 in the last two games, 22.2%  Despite his shooting woes in the last two games, Bryson is still the Gauchos' fourth leading scorer at 7.0 points per game.  He had a career-high 15 points against Long Beach State on Jan. 5 and has been in double-figures seven times this season.  He is also averaging 3.4 rebounds per game, including 5.0 per game in the last seven.  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.  Bryson is third on the team with 31 three-pointers, the fifth most ever by a Gaucho freshman. He is averaging 25.1 minutes per game, but has averaged 28.7 in the last 13.  Bryson has played in 25 of the 26 games this season, missing the Nov. 17 contest 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 six 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.