Gauchos Tangle With Cal Friday in Thunderdome Showdown

Alan Williams (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Alan Williams (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

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Game No. 7
Tuesday, December 6, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Golden Bears
at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:
On-Line Video:

Game No. 8
Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Univ. of San Diego Toreros

at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion - San Diego, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara

• 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 and 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. 

• The Return Of The Cinco Pack!
UCSB Athletics is pleased to announce the return of the popular "Cinco Pack" for men's basketball. For one low price, the Cinco Pack allows fans to purchase a ticket to the Gauchos' highlight matchup against Cal on Dec. 6th as well as any four Big West games of their choice. The Golden Bears will be playing at the Thunderdome for the first time since the two programs played the first-ever basketball game in the facility in 1979. In addition to the Cal game, fans can choose from any of UCSB's eight Big West contests, including showdowns with rivals Long Beach State and Cal Poly. For as low as $50, Gaucho fans can enjoy 5 of the most exciting and important games on this year's schedule. For Cinco Pack information or to purchase the exclusive ticket package, drop by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or click here.

• Tickets Available
Great season ticket packages remain available for UCSB basketball. The remaining home schedule includes Cal, South Dakota State, Long Beach State, Cal Poly and the rest of the Big West Conference. For more information drop by the Ticket Office in the ICA Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.  

Pac-12 Week Ends With Cal Comes To The Thunderdome
UC Santa Barbara will host Cal on Friday, Dec. 6. It will mark the first time the Golden Bears will play at the Thunderdome since they helped the Gauchos open the facility on Nov. 30, 1979. That was back in the day when the place was known by the catchy-monicker "The Campus Events Center." It will also mark the first time that a Pac-12 team will play in Santa Barbara since Dec. 3, 2002 when UCSB defeated USC, 69-53.

After The Cal Game Comes A Break...Sort Of
Following the game against Cal, the Gauchos will be off until traveling to the University of San Diego for a 2:00 p.m. game on Sunday, Dec. 15. The eight-day break is hardly a break though as the Gauchos will hunker down for fall quarter final examinations.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Friday's game against Cal with a 3-3 overall record. After opening the year with wins over Hawaii-Pacific and at UNLV, the banged-up Gauchos dropped a 71-64 decision to visiting Utah State on Nov. 16 and then a tough 76-68 game at Colorado on Nov. 21. In the game against the Buffaloes, UCSB actually had a 54-52 lead with a little more than five minutes to play despite playing without Alan Williams and John Green. The return of Williams was a key factor as the Gauchos ended their two-game losing streak on Friday, Nov. 29 with an 83-64 win over visiting South Dakota State. On Tuesday, they lost an 89-76 at No. 16 UCLA. That game was tied at 65 with just over eight minutes to play. 

Three-Point Barrage Not Enough, Gauchos Fall To No. 16 UCLA
UCSB made 13-of-26 three-point shots, including 9-of-14 in the first half, but it wasn't enough as the Gauchos fell to No. 16 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Tuesday night, 89-76. The 13 threes were a season-high. The contest was tied at 65-65 with just over eight minutes to play, but a 14-2 run by the Bruins over a span of 5:30 put the game away. Junior Alan Williams led Santa Barbara with a game-high 23 points, 17 of which came in the second half, and he added eight rebounds. Senior Kyle Boswell, coming off the bench for the first time this season, had 18 points and made a game-high five three-point baskets. He also had five assists. Boswell's second three-pointer of the game came with 5:22 left in the first half and gave the Gauchos a lead of six points. Sophomore Michael Bryson made 6-for-6 shots from the field in the first half, including 3-for-3 from outside the three-point arc, and finished with 15 points. He also added career-highs of 10 rebounds and five assists. Taran Brown added 11 points and Zalmico Harmon had nine, all on three-point baskets. The game was tied 14 times. The Bruins, who were led by Jordan Adams with 22 points and Kyle Anderson with 21, outscored UCSB from the free throw line 27-7. Both teams were 28-of-53 from the field, 52.8%. Freshman Zach LaVine added 15 for UCLA.

Williams Named Big West Player Of The Week
Alan Williams tied school records with 39 points and eight blocked shots, and he added nine rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists to lead UCSB to an 83-64 win over visiting South Dakota State on Nov. 29. For his efforts, he was named Big West Player of the Week.

The Opposition
UCSB hopes to avoid maintaining its perfect record against the UC system's flagship campus, Cal, on Friday. The Gauchos are 0-9 against the Golden Bears in a series that began in 1948. Most recently, Cal defeated UCSB on Dec. 18, 2012 by a score of 68-59.

The Gauchos At Home
The Gauchos are 1-1 at home this season and went 8-6 at the Thunderdome in 2012-13. In 2011-12, they had 11 home wins, going 11-3, and equaled the highest Thunderdome win total in more than two decades. In Bob Williams' first 15+ seasons at UCSB, the team has gone 143-59 in home games, a winning percentage of .708. The Gauchos are 304-150 all-time at the Thunderdome.

Possible Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 1 Eric Childress - Had first sub-par game at UCLA with 6 turnovers.
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Has made 5 three-point baskets in the last 2 games.
G 24 Michael Bryson - First career double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds at UCLA. 
F 15  Alan Williams - Has scored 43 points in the last two second halves.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Made 7-of-10 shots in the last four games, 70.0%. 

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 0   Hunter Ford - Walk-on guard logged 2 minutes vs. Hawaii-Pacific.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Scored his first 4 career points in game vs. Utah State.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Now has 160 career threes and needs 3 to to move into 9th all-time.
F 11 T.J. Taylor- Had surgery on both hips during offseason and may sit out 2013-14.
F 12 Alex Hart - Canadian sharpshooter will likely redshirt and has yet to enter a game.
F 20 Logan Louks- Scored a basket in his one minute stint vs. Hawaii-Pacific.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Made his first start of the year at UCLA but played just 4 minutes.
F 31  John Green - Injury to left foot has him sideline, most likely, until early January.
G 35 Taran Brown- Averaged 6.7 ppg in first 3 games and 14.3 in the last 3.
G 43  Duke DaRé - Has played 7 minutes in 3 games.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Totaled 11 minutes played in last 2 games.

The Alan Williams Difference
There is no escaping it: the Gauchos are a very different team when Alan Williams is in the lineup. Duh. That didn't take a theoretical physicist to figure out. Granted, if we needed a theoretical physicist we could easily find one on campus, but we don't. Williams has played in four of the six UCSB games this season and the team has gone 3-1 in those games. In the four games Williams has played, the Gauchos have scored an average of 80.2 points per game and have scored at least 76 in all four game. In the two games in which he didn't play, Santa Barbara is 0-2 and scored an average of 66.0 points per game. UCSB's field goal percentage when Williams plays is 51.4% overall and 45.0 from outside the three-point arc and when he is not in the lineup it is 49.1% overall and 36.9% from three-point range.

On The Mark
UCSB is shooting the ball well this season. Last year, as a team, the Gauchos struggled with their shooting, making 41.9% of their shots for the season and hitting 50.0% or better just twice. They made a season-high 50.8% in a game at Cal State Northridge. This season has been a different story. UCSB is hitting 50.6% of its shots through six games and twice it has made 55.0% or better in a game. The Gauchos shot a season-best 55.8% on Nov. 12 at UNLV. In their last game, they hit 55.2% against South Dakota State. They have been over 50.0% four times in the six games and at 48.0% in another.

You're On The Road, What Did You Expect? 
UCSB has shot 35 fewer free throws than its opponents through five games, making 28 less. Two games stand out as being particularly lopsided and really the cause of the problem. In the road games at Colorado and UCLA, the Gauchos went a combined 12-of-20 from the charity stripe while the Buffaloes and Bruins were 55-of-72. For those of us keeping track, that's 43 more makes and 52 more attempts. 

As The World Turns
UCSB equaled its season-high with 17 turnovers in the game at UCLA. Still, the Gauchos are averaging  just 11.3 miscues per game on the season. Last year, Santa Barbara had 10 or fewer turnovers just twice in 31 games. This year, the Gauchos have 10 or fewer in four of the six games, including a season-low of seven on Nov. 29 vs. South Dakota State.

The Honorable Alan Williams
Junior forward Alan Williams played a season-high 36 minutes in UCSB's game at UCLA on Tuesday. He finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and one assist. Williams scored 17 of his points in the second half against the Bruins. In the previous game, a Nov. 29 win over South Dakota State, he tied school records when he scored 39 points and had eight blocked shots. The scoring mark equals a record set in 2011 by Orlando Johnson (currently of the Indiana Pacers) and in 1985 by Scott Fisher (currently an assistant coach at Hawaii). In that same game, Williams had nine rebounds, three steals and two assists. For his effort vs. SDSU, he became the first Gaucho to earn Big West Player of the Week honors. Although he missed two games with back spasms (Nov. 16 vs. Utah State and Nov. 21 at Colorado), he is averaging 27.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. In his last two games, Williams has averaged 31.0 points and hit 26-of-42 shots, 61.9%. Also, of the 62 points he has scored in the last two games, 43 came in the second halves. The 39 points he scored against South Dakota State were seven more than his previous career-high of 32. In the season-opener against Hawaii-Pacific, he tied his career-high with 17 rebounds. Williams was a First Team All-Big West choice in 2012-13 after averaging 17.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game. He was named Preseason All-Big West by the league's media and virtually every publication, he was selected to the Lou Henson Preseason Mid-Major All-American Team and selected him First Team Mid-Major Preseason All-American as well as Preseason Big West Player of the Year. Williams had 27 points and 17 rebounds in the regular season opener against Hawaii-Pacific. The 27 points were the most scored by a Gaucho in a season-opener since 2007 and the rebounds were a season-opener record. He followed-up that performance with an equally impressive 21 point, nine rebound, three blocked shot game against defending Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year Khem Birch and UNLV. A native of Phoenix, Williams has eclipsed the 500 rebound barrier with 538 and he needs just three points to hit the 800 mark. Also, with 13 blocked shots in his first four games, Williams now has 118 in his career, fourth in school history. The double-double he posted in the first game of the season gives Williams 18 in his career. He had 15 double-doubles as a sophomore last season, the most by a Gaucho since Eric McArthur had 23 during the 1989-90 campaign. 

He's The Bos
Kyle Boswell, the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year, celebrated his return to the bench with one of his best games of the season. Boswell came off the bench for the game at UCLA, the first time he had not started this season and he finished with 18 points, five assists, no turnovers and two rebounds. He tied his season-high with five three-point baskets. The 18-point game came on the heels of a two-game stretch in which he scored a total of eight points. Boswell enters the game against Cal averaging 11.0 points and 4.3 assists per game. He continues to lead the Gauchos in three-pointers with 17 and has made at least one in all six games. He also had five threes and scored a season-high 19 in a Nov. 12 win at UNLV. In addition to his scoring, Boswell has become one of the team's top playmakers, ranking second with a 4.3 assist average. He has had five assists in consecutive games for the first time in his career and three times overall. Boswell has 160 three-pointers for his career, a figure that ranks 10th on UCSB's all-time career list. Also, he ranks second all-time in career percentage at .429. His next series of targets on the three-point list are Mark Flick (162) and Branduinn Fullove (163).  

The Life Of Bryson
Michael Bryson had one of his best all around games at UCLA on Tuesday night as he recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The 10 rebounds were a career-high for Bryson, as were the five assists he handed out. He joins Alan Williams as the only Gauchos to record a double-double this season and he is now averaging 12.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. The 15 points he scored against the Bruins equaled his season-high which he also had on Nov. 16 against Utah State. Bryson made the first six shots he attempted against UCLA, including a trio of three-point baskets. He finished the game 3-for-5 from outside the arc and is now shooting 45.2% from that distance this season. In the past two games he has hit 6-of-9 three-point attempts, 66.7%. While he has scored in double-figures five times in six games this season, he has done so in each of the last four games, averaging 13.5 per game over that span. Bryson, along with Kyle Boswell, are the only Gauchos to make at least one three-pointer in each of the six games. Last year, in the season finale against Pacific at the Big West Tournament, Bryson made seven three-point baskets and scored a UCSB freshman record 29 points. As a freshman in 2012-13, the Sacramento native averaged 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds overall, but his late-season surge saw him average 12.7 points while shooting 47.8% overall and 35.4% from three-point range over the final 11 games of the year. In the final 12 games, Bryson averaged 4.7 rebounds per game. 

Taran It Up
After scoring a total of 20 points in the first three games of the season, sophomore forward Taran Brown  has been in double-figures in the last three, averaging 14.7 over that span. He set career-highs with 23 points and seven three-point baskets in the Nov. 21 game at Colorado. On Tuesday at UCLA, Brown made 4-of-9 shots, including 2-of-6 from three-point territory, and finished with 11 points. He also had four rebounds, three assists and one steal against the Bruins while playing a season-high 35 minutes. Overall, he is averaging 10.7 points per game, fourth on the team, and 6.2 rebounds per contest, second on the team. He had four rebounds at UCLA, his lowest total of the season. Prior to that game, Brown never had fewer than five boards in a game this season. Also, after attempting a total of just 11 field goals in the first three games of the year, he has launched 31 in the last three, 10.3 per game. Brown is third on the team with 12 three-point baskets through six games. Last season, he set a UCSB freshman record with 57 three-pointers. In the last three games he has made 9-of-19 shots from beyond the three-point half moon, 47.4%.

Junior Zalmico Harmon scored nine points, played a career-high 38 minutes and made a career-high three three-point baskets in the game at UCLA on Tuesday. He also added four assists and had a pair of steals. In the Gauchos' Nov. 29 game against South Dakota State, Harmon was at his best with career-highs in points (14), assists (eight) and rebounds (four). He also hit a pair of three-pointers in that game and is 5-for-8 in the last two games, 62.5%. Entering the game at UCLA, Harmon had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 8-to-1, the best in the nation. He had five turnovers against the Bruins, but still has an outstanding 3.5-to1.0 ratio, Harmon ranks second in the Big West in assist average at 4.7 per game. Also, since scoring two points in the season opener, he has averaged 8.4 per game, including 11.5 per game in the last two.

Freshman Eric Childress is in his first mini-slump as a Gaucho. He is scoreless over the last two games, missing his only two field goal attempts. Also, playing in front of friends, family and former high school and club teammates, Childress battled nerves in the game at UCLA and it showed. He finished with six turnovers, equaling his season total entering the game. Still, he is averaging 4.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and a team-high 1.7 steals per game. Childress had just one assist against the Bruins, ending a streak in which he had five or more in three straight games. In UCSB's Nov. 21 game at Colorado, Childress scored a career-high 10 points and also had six assists.  

Sam He Is
In three games since scoring a season-high 14 points against Utah State, Sam Beeler has played a total of 28 minutes and scored four points. Beeler played a season-low five minutes on Nov. 29 vs. South Dakota State, going scoreless., and then he was scoreless in six minutes on Tuesday at UCLA. On Nov. 21 at Colorado, he fouled out in 17 minutes with four points and no rebounds. In the game prior to that, vs. Utah State on Nov. 16, he played a career-high 28 minutes, scored 14 points, one shy of his career-high, and added five rebounds. One game earlier, a win at UNLV, Beeler had a career-high seven rebounds. Despite going without a rebound in the last three games, Beeler is averaging 2.8 boards per game to go along with 4.3 points. An area of major improvement this season has been Beeler's performance at the free throw line. As a freshman, he hit just 11-of-32 from the line, 34.4%, but this season he is 12-of-16, 75.0%.

The Shawn Of Time
Senior Shawn Moore was scoreless in eight minutes at UCLA, ending a streak of four straight solid games. Moore is averaging 3.3 points  and 2.5 rebounds per contest. In four games prior to the game against the Bruins, he averaged 5.0 points per game, making 10-of-14 field goal attempts, 71.4%. He had a career-high six points on Nov. 12 at UNLV and again on Nov. 21 at Colorado. 

Something's Brewing
Sophomore Mitch Brewe made his first start of the season at UCLA on Tuesday, but after picking-up two quick fouls he departed after four minutes and didn't re-enter the game. Brewe return to action at Colorado on Nov. 21. He missed the first three regular season games after spraining his left knee in the exhibition game against Cal State East Bay. Before fouling out in 18 minutes at Colorado, Brewe scored four points, had two assists, one rebound and a steal. He made 2-of-3 field goal attempts, missing only from three-point range. 

Green Sidelined With Foot Injury
John Green scored eight points and had a pair of rebounds in his season debut against Hawaii-Pacific on Nov. 8. It was Green's first regular season game in nearly two years. However, on Tuesday, Nov. 12, just a few hours before UCSB was to tip-off at UNLV, It was learned that Green had suffered a setback. An x-ray, taken Nov. 7, showed a very small fracture of a bone in his left foot, sidelining him, most likely, until January.