Gauchos-Mustangs Renew Blue-Green Rivalry Saturday at Thunderdome

Zalmico Harmon (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Zalmico Harmon (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

To download the complete PDF of this release, which includes statistics, please click here.

Game No. 14
Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Mustangs

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara

Game No. 15
Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Long Beach State 49ers

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, 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 10th 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. As a special holiday treat, Bill Mahoney, UCSB's Assistant Athletics Director for Communications, will handle the color duties for the tournament in Utah.

• 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. 

• Tickets Available
Great seats are available for all Gaucho home games. For more information drop by the Ticket Office in the ICA Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.  

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Big West Conference play with a record of 9-4. The Gauchos have won three  straight and six of their last seven games, including an easy 81-52 victory over The Master's College on Jan. 4. The only loss over the seven-game span was in overtime at Utah State on Dec. 20. 

UCSB Ranked 14th In Mid-Major Poll
UCSB has moved to 14th in the Men's Mid-Major Top-25. The Gauchos, who have won six of their last seven games, jumped four spots from No. 18 in the previous poll. Wichita State, which is ranked No. 6 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls, is ranked No. 1 in the mid-major poll. Hawaii, also from the Big West, is ranked 18th in the latest poll.

Williams Named Player Of The Week For 3rd Time
Junior Alan Williams was named Big West Player of the Week for the third time this season and fifth time in his career after leading UCSB to wins over Seattle University and The Master's College last week. Williams had 27 points, eight rebounds and three steals in the win over Seattle and then 23 points, 12 rebounds and and two steals against The Master's College. In the two games combined, he made 18-of-26 field goal attempts, 69.2%, and 14-of-17 free throws, 82.4%.

UCSB Off To Its Best Start In Six Seasons
UCSB has jumped out of the gates with an 9-4 record. The Gauchos' only losses have come to Utah State (once in overtime on the road without Michael Bryson and once at home without Alan Williams), at UCLA and at Colorado. The eight-point loss at Colorado also occurred in the absence of Williams. Through 13 games in 2012-13, Santa Barbara was 5-8. The last time the Gauchos had a better 12-game start than they have had this season was in 2007-08 when they were 11-2 en route to a Big West regular season title and a school record 23 overall wins.

• Jan. 16 Long Beach Game Moved To 8:00 PM For ESPNU
UCSB's Jan. 16 home game against Long Beach State, originally scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Thunderdome, has been moved to 8:00 p.m. to accommodate ESPNU which will televise the game live. The Gauchos and 49ers have met for the league tournament championship three of the last four years.

Possible Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Ranked ninth in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.58-to-1 and leads Big West in assist average at 5.2 per game.
G 35 Taran Brown- Has scored just 19 points in the last six games combined, 3.2 per game.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Had first career double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds vs. The Master's College.
F 15  Alan Williams - Leads the Big West Conference in scoring (23.5 ppg,) rebounding (10.7 rpg) and is second in blocked shots (2.6 bpg).
G 24 Michael Bryson - Has made at least one three-point basket in all 12 games in which he has played.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Eric Childress - Tied his career-high with six assists in win over The Master's College.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Hit his first career three-pointer and set career-high with six points vs. The Master's College.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Averaging 12.5 points per game overall but is at 14.4 in his eight games coming off the bench.
F 31  John Green - Injury to left foot has him sideline, most likely, until late January.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Hit his first career three-pointer in win over The Master's College.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Has made 16-of-24 free throw attempts, 66.7%, after hitting just 11 out of 32, 34.4%, as a freshman.

The Opposition
UCSB and Cal Poly have met 101 times. Santa Barbara holds a 69-32 all-time edge in a the series that began in 1937. Last year, the team's split a pair of games with each winning on its home floor. Cal Poly won 67-49 on Feb. 6, 2013 at Mott Gym, and UCSB won 83-81 in double overtime at the Thunderdome on Jan. 19, 2013. In the Gauchos' win, Alan Williams injured his knee early in the first half and did not return for two weeks. Santa Barbara has won six of the last seven and 11 of 13 in the series.

The Gauchos At Home
The Gauchos are 4-1 at home this season after going 8-6 at the Thunderdome in 2012-13. After opening with a win over Hawaii-Pacific, UCSB played without leading scorer and rebounder Alan Williams and dropped a game to visiting Utah State. The Gauchos will enter their game against Cal Poly with a three-game home winning streak. On Nov. 29 they beat South Dakota State by a score of 83-64 and then on Dec. 6 they recorded one of the best home victories in several years, 72-65 over Cal. On Jan. 4, UCSB topped The Master's College, 81-52.

Gauchos Picked 2nd In Big West Preseason Media Poll 
As Big West play opens we need to look back on where the Gauchos were picked to finish in 2014. Back in November, UCSB was picked to finish second in the Big West Conference in a poll of the league's media. The Gauchos received six first-place votes and 167 total points while UC Irvine was awarded nine first-place votes and 183 points. Cal Poly was third in the poll with three first-place votes and 165 points and Long Beach State, the three-time defending regular season champion, got five first-place votes and 164 points.

Three For All 
UCSB made 12 three-point baskets in its Jan. 4 win over The Master's College, one short of the season high 13 threes hit at UCLA on Dec. 3. Even more interesting was who made the three-pointers. Against the Mustangs the usual suspects – Kyle Boswell and Michael Bryson – combined for six of the three-pointers, but the other six came from a bit more oddball sources. Entering the game, the group of Eric Childress, Mitch Brewe, Shawn Moore, Aamahd Walker and Hunter Ford had combined for four three-pointers, three by Childress and one by Brewe. In the game against The Master's College, the five combined for six, with Brewe leading the way with a pair. As for Moore, Walker and Ford, the threes that they made were career-firsts. As a tem, the Gauchos are now shooting 40.0% from three-point territory and averaging 7.69 three-pointers per game, both tops in the Big West.

A Very Positive Ratio
Although the Gauchos had 11 turnovers in its win over The Master's College on Jan. 4, they also had 21 assists and continue to have a sparkling assist-to-turnover ratio. UCSB leads the Big West with a 1.57-to-1 assist to turnover ratio, a figure that ranks 12th in the nation. Santa Barbara also has two players – Zalmico Harmon and Kyle Boswell – who rank among the top-11 nationally in the category. Harmon, with a 3.58-to-1 ratio ranks ninth and Boswell is 11th at 3.54-to-1. The Gauchos are averaging just 10.8 turnovers per game and have had fewer than 10 turnovers six times in 13 games, including a season-low five in an overtime game at Utah State on Dec. 20. 

The Magic Number
UCSB has allowed fewer than 70 points eight times in 2013-14 and has gone 8-0 in those games. On Jan. 4 vs. The Master's College, the Gauchos allowed 52 points, the second lowest opponent total of the season. On Dec. 30 at Seattle, UCSB allowed exactly 70 points and won. It was the first time they have won a game when allowing 70 or more, losing the other four. It also works the other way around. When the Gauchos hold opponents below 70 points they are 8-0.  

Getting Defensive
UCSB's opponents are shooting 39.5% overall. In the most recent wins over The Master's College and Seattle, the opposition made just 40-of-118 attempts, 33.9%. In fact in the last seven games, six of which were wins, Gaucho opponents made 144 out of 385 field goal attempts, 37.4%. Through 13 games, opponents have shot below 40.0% six times.

Milestone Watch
Junior Alan Williams ecliplsed 600 rebounds in the Gauchos' Dec. 30 win at Seattle, becoming just the 11th player in school history to do so. Now, with 613, he ranks 10th all-time and barring injury he should soon pass several players and move into sixth all-time. Scott Fisher (664) currently ranks sixth. With 132 blockeds shots, Williams is fourth in school history and needs 23 to move past Doug Muse into third. He Also needs 55 points to become the 26th UCSB player to score 1,000 career points. Senior Kyle Boswell has made 18 three-pointers in the last four games and now has 185 in his career. He needs just three to pass James Nunnally and move into sixth on UCSB's all-time list. When he's made 12 more, he will move into third all-time. Also, Boswell needs 173 points to surpass 1,000 in his career. 

Boswell Chosen As Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Senior guard Kyle Boswell has been chosen as one of 30 finalists for the NCAA Senior CLASS Award. CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School and Boswell made the finalist list based on his excellence in the areas of classroom, community, character and competition. As a junior, the Huntington Beach native  averaged 13.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He made a team-high 78 three-point baskets, the third most in school history, and hit as many as seven in a game. Boswell is also a Gaucho team captain, takes part in numerous charitable efforts and possesses a 3.81 grade point average as a mechanical engineering major. Following the 2013 campaign, he was named Honorable Mention All-Big West as well as the conference's Sixth Man of the Year.   

Where There's A Williams, There's A Way
Junior forward Alan Williams leads the Big West Conference in scoring at 23.5 points per game and rebounding at 10.7 per game. He is second in blocked shots at 2.6 per contest. Williams' scoring average ranks him fifth in the nation while his rebounding averaged is eighth. On Monday, he was named Big West Player of the Week for the third time this season after leading UCSB to wins at Seattle and over The Master's College. For more information, please see page one of this release. Williams has scored 20 or more points in each of the last four games and nine times in his 11 games this season. He needed just 22 minutes to produce 23 points, 12 rebounds, one block and two steals in the Jan. 4 win over The Master's College. Williams recorded a pair of double-doubles at the Basketball Travelers Classic in Logan, Utah and enters this week with three in his last five games, five on the season and 22 in his career. He is the only Gaucho player to score in double-figures in every game he has played this season. In addition to his Player of the Week kudos for last week, Williams earned the honor the week he tied UCSB school records with 39 points and eight blocked shots in a Nov. 29 win over South Dakota State and then after leading the Gauchos to their first-ever win over Cal on Dec. 6. He had 24 points and 12 boards against the Golden Bears. The scoring record is co-owned by Orlando Johnson (currently with the Indiana Pacers) and Scott Fisher (currently an assistant coach at Hawaii). The blocked shot mark is shared by Greg Somogyi (currently playing professionally in Hungary). 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 record for a season-opener. 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. He has eclipsed the 600 rebound barrier with 613 and ranks 10th in school history. He needs just 22 to move into ninth. In addition, with 945 career points, he is just 55 away from becoming the 26th player in school history to eclipse 1,000.  Williams 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 Big West Player of the Year. 

He's The Bos
Kyle Boswell, the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year, started the first five games of this season and averaged 9.6 points per game over that span. Boswell has come off the bench in the last eight games, averaging 14.4 per game. Overall, he is averaging 12.5 points per game. On Jan. 4 vs. The Master's, he scored 14 points in a season-low 20 minutes. He did go 4-of-10 from three-point range against the Mustangs. On Dec 30 at Seattle, Boswell scored 19 points on 7-of-9 from the field overall and a blazing 5-of-6 from three-point range. He is now making 48.8% of his threes (42-of-86). In the eight games in which he has come off the bench, he has gone 30-of-57 from outside the arc, 52.6%. Two weeks ago he was named to the Basketball Travelers Classic All-Tournament team as the Gauchos won two out of three games. In the second game of the tourney, he tied career-highs with 27 points and seven three-point baskets in an overtime loss to Utah State. Boswell has 185 career three-point baskets, seventh all-time. He needs just 12 to move into third and his career percentage of 43.9%  ranks as the best in UCSB history. Also, he is the only Gaucho to make at least one three in all 13 games and he's made two or more 11 times, three or more seven times and five or more four times. Finally, in addition to his three-point marksmanship, Boswell is second on the team in assists at 3.5 per game and he's had four or more nine times, including four of the last six games.

The Life Of Bryson
After sitting out the game at Utah State with a sore back, Michael Bryson has played in three games and has seems to have shown the effects. Before missing the game, he was averaging 11.9 points per game and in three games since, he has scored a total of 20, 6.7 per game. Also in the games, all wins, he made 6-of-21 overall, 28.6%, and 4-of-14 from three-point range, 28.6%. In two games prior to missing the game against USU, Bryson was 6-for-9 from outside the arc, 66.7%. Despite his recent struggles, he is still averaging 10.6 points per game, third on the team. He is also second on the team with 25 three-pointers and he is shooting 43.9% from outside the arc. He has scored in double-figures seven times in his 12 games and he's made at least one three-pointer in all 12. He had a season-high 21 in the Dec. 15 win at San Diego when he was 5-for-8 from three-point range and added four rebounds. The five threes were a season-high and for his efforts, the sophomore from Sacramento was named Big West Player of the Week. On Dec. 3 at UCLA, Bryson collected the first double-double of his career with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He also set a career-high with five assists against the Bruins. Last year, in the season finale against Pacific at the Big West Tournament, Bryson made seven three-point baskets and scored 29 points. The scoring total was a new record for a freshman and the seven three-pointers tied the UCSB freshman record. 

Taran It Up
Taran Brown has struggled on the offensive end in five of the last six games. While he is averaging 7.5 points per game overall, he totaled just seven in the last four games and 19 in the last six. In the Gauchos' last game against The Master's College, Brown was 0-for-2 from the field and went scoreless for the third time int he last six games. He did add a season-high four assists in his 23 minutes. While he is shooting 44.6% overall, Brown has made just 3-of-17 field goal attempts in the last four games, 17.6%.  He is fourth on the team in scoring and second in rebounding at 4.6 per game. His 17 three-point baskets rank third behind Kyle Boswell and Michael Bryson. Prior to the last six games Brown had a run of four straight games in double-figures. Over that stretch, which included games at Colorado and UCLA and at home against Cal and South Dakota State, he averaged 14.5 points and made 23-of-40 shots, 57.5%. In the Nov. 21 game at Colorado, he scored a career-high 23 and made a career-high seven three-point baskets (in 10 attempts). 

Junior Zalmico Harmon remains the Big West leader in assists at 5.2 per game and assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.58-to-1. In fact, Harmon ranks ninth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio. In UCSB's win over The Master's College, he had six assists despite playing a season-low 18 minutes. Harmon has had five or more assists seven times this season, including six times in the last seven games. He had a season-high 10, to go alon with nine points, in the Gauchos' Dec. 6 win over Cal. In addition, Harmon is averaging 7.0 points per game. He had a season-high 14 on Nov. 29 vs. South Dakota State and 13 on Dec. 30 at Seattle. His other double-figure game came on Dec. 15 at San Diego. Harmon made two field goals in the win over The Master's College and it was the first time he had made more than one field goal in a game since the game at San Diego. In the last five games, he has made just 6-of-32 shots from the field, 18.7% For the season, Harmon has a mere 19 turnovers in 392 minutes, an average of one turnover every 20.6 minutes. In the nine wins, he has 52 assists and nine turnovers, an 5.7-to-1 ratio.

Freshman Eric Childress tied his career-high with six assists in UCSB's win over The Master's College. He also added five points and three rebounds. One game earlier, on Dec. 30 at Seattle, Childress didn't make a field goal but tied his career-high with 10 points on 10-of-12 from the free throw line. He is averaging 5.5 points, 3.8 assists and a team-leading 1.4 steals per game. In the last six games Childress is averaging 7.2 points. He also had a career-high 10 on Nov. 21 at Colorado and his other six-assist games came at Colorado and on Nov. 29 vs. South Dakota State. With 42 assists and 21 turnovers, Childress has a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio.

Something's Brewing
Sophomore Mitch Brewe Had his first career double-double in the Gauchos' win over The Master's College as he finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Brewe made 4-of-10 field goals, two of which were three-pointers, and his only free throw. While he is averaging 3.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in his 10 games, he has averaged 8.5 points and 7.0 boards in the last two. The 11 points and 10 rebounds were both career-highs and Brewe has now made 3-of-5 shots from beyond the three-point arc this season.

Sam He Is
Sam Beeler is averaging 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. He had four points and four rebounds in the win over The Master's College. It was his highest rebound total since he collected five on Nov. 16 vs. Utah State, the same game in which he scored a season-high 14 points. Beeler had five or more rebounds in each of the first three games this season, including a career-high seven on Nov. 12 at UNLV. Since collecting 17 boards in his first three games, Beeler has 12 in the last 10 games. As a freshman, he hit just 11-of-32 from the line, 34.4%, but this season he is 16-of-24, 66.7%.

We Want Moore! We Want Moore! 
Since going scoreless in four straight games, Shawn Moore has scored in each of the last four games, totaling 14 over that span. Also, since playing a total of 14 minutes over a three-game span, he has averaged 15.6 per game in the last five. Moore is averaging 2.6 points  and 2.0 rebounds per contest. He had a career-high six points on Nov. 12 at UNLV and again on Nov. 21 at Colorado.  Made his first career three in the last game.

Green Still On Hold
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, before UCSB was to tip-off at UNLV, It was learned that Green had a very small fracture of a bone in his left foot, sidelining him, most likely, until late-January.