Bryson Becomes Third Straight Gaucho to Earn Big West Player of the Week Honor

Michael Bryson (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Michael Bryson (Photo by Tony Mastres)

IRVINE, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara sophomore Michael Bryson (Sacramento, Calif./Foothill HS) notched Big West Men's Basketball Player of the Week accolades as he recorded a season-high in points in a big road victory.

The 6-4 guard amassed 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting in UCSB's 72-61 win at San Diego, which entered the game at 8-3 and without a loss by more than five points.  Bryson scored 11 first half points, sinking 3-for-3 from three-point range and 4-for-5 overall to help UCSB take a 34-30 lead at the break.  Bryson's performance came as Alan Williams, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, sat out the final 17:09 of the first half in foul trouble.

Bryson maintained his production in the second half and finished with a season-high five three-pointers (in seven attempts) and connected on 8-of-12 from the field overall.  He added four rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal in 33 minutes of action.

The three-point shooting display was all the more impressive as USD entered the contest ranked eighth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense at 27 percent.  UCSB hit 45 percent for the game. Bryson is now shooting 48.8% from three-point range, 19th in the nation.

"Michael came up huge when we really needed him," said Gaucho head coach Bob Williams. "With Alan on the bench, we had to have a few players come up big and Michael really stepped-up."

Bryson's honor gives UCSB three in a row honorees. Alan Williams won the previous two.