UCSB Hosts Long Beach in ESPNU Showdown Thursday Night

Zalmico Harmon (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Zalmico Harmon (Photo by Tony Mastres)

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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-Line Video: Watch ESPN
On-Line AudioUCSBgauchos.com
Livestats: UCSBgauchos.com

Game No. 16
Saturday, January 168 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Northridge Matadors
at CSUN's Matadome - Northridge, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Livestats: UCSBgauchos.com 

• 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 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. 

• 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 Thursday's game with an overall record of 9-5 and a Big West mark of 0-1. The Gauchos had their three-game winning streak ended on Saturday, Jan. 11 when they dropped their league opener to Cal Poly, 72-64. Prior to the loss to the Mustangs, Santa Barbara had won six of seven games and three straight at home. 

• UCSB-Long Beach State Showdown Set For ESPNU
The Gauchos' Jan. 16 game against Long Beach State has been moved to 8:00 p.m. accommodate ESPNU's broadcast. The network elected to televise the game between the teams that have competed for three of the last four Big West Tournament championships. UCSB won two of the three title meetings. The announcers for the ESPNU broadcast will be Kenoa Leahey (play-by-play) and Bill Herenda (color). 

• Northridge Game Will Also Be Aired
UCSB's game against Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Jan. 18 will be televised by Fox Sports Prime Ticket. The game against the Matadors, originally scheduled for 7:00 p.m., was moved to 7:30 p.m. several weeks ago. Ron Pitts (play-by-play) and Michael Cage (color) will call the action for Prime Ticket. 

• Gauchos Drop League Opener To Cal Poly
Alan Williams had 33 points and 15 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as UCSB made just 2-of-17 shots from three-point range in a 72-64 Big West-opening loss to visiting Cal Poly on Jan. 11. On the other hand, the Mustangs' outside shooting was outstanding as they nailed 11-of-18 from beyond the arc, 61.1%. The visitors took the lead on back-to-back threes by Anthony Silvestri midway through the first half and never looked back. The Gauchos were able to pull within three on two occasions late in the second half, but could never get closer. Besides Alan Williams, Zalmico Harmon was the only other UCSB player in double-figures with 10.

• Possible Starters - Quick Fact
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Ranked 12th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.43-to-1 and leads Big West in assists at 5.14 per game.
G 35 Taran Brown - Scored just six points in loss to Cal Poly, but added five rebounds and four assists.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Had first career double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds vs. The Master's College on Jan. 4.
F 15  Alan Williams - With 33 points in the game against the Mustangs, he is now averaging 24.5 points per game, fourth in the nation.
G 24 Michael Bryson - For the first time this season, did not make a three-pointer in the loss to Cal Poly. 

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Eric Childress - Tied his career-high with four rebounds in the game against Cal Poly.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Missed game against the Mustangs with a sprained ankle. Status remains questionable.
G 10 Kyle BoswellHas made at least one three in all 14 games and now ranks ninth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.62-to-1.
F 31  John Green - Injury to left foot has him sideline, most likely, until late January or early February.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Made his only field goal attempt in game against Cal Poly.
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 has played Long Beach State more than it has played any other opponent. The Gauchos and 49ers have met 116 times with Long Beach holding a 61-55 advantage. The 49ers won both games last year, winning 77-70 at the Thunderdome and 57-55 at the Pyramid. In fact, LBSU has won five straight games in the series. The last time UCSB won was in the championship game of the 2011 Big West Conference Tournament. The teams have met in three of the last four league tournament title games with the Gauchos winning twice. Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge have played 46 times with the Gauchos winning 31 times. The teams split a pair of games last season with each team winning on the others' home court. The Matadors won 75-69 in Snata Barbara while the Gauchos won in the San Fernando Valley, 83-74. UCSB has won four of the last five games in the series. 

• Alan Williams Pulls Rank
Junior Alan Williams scored 33 points and had 15 rebounds in UCSB's game against Cal Poly on Jan. 11. The outstanding effort on offense and the boards improved his season averages to 24.3 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game. Both statistics easily lead the Big West Conference. He leads the scoring race by 6.5 points per game and the rebounding race by 2.5 per game. Even more impressively, he is third nationally in scoring and sixth in rebounding. The last, and only, time that a Gaucho player ranked in the top-five in scoring was in 1996-97 when Raymond Tutt was third with a school record mark of 24.1 points per game. The last time a UCSB player ranked in the top-10 in rebounding was in 1989-90 when Eric McArthur ranked third nationally and set a school Division I record at 13.0 boards per game. 

• You Can Call Him The Dean
2013-14 is Bob Williams' 16th season at the helm of the UCSB basketball program, equaling the longest tenure of any coach in program history and the longest of any current Division I coach west of the Mississippi.  Willie Wilton guided the Gauchos from 1937-43, 1946-51 and 1952-57, a total of 16 seasons. He shares the same 16-year tenure as Utah State's Stew Morrill and Rick Barnes of Texas.

• A Three-Point Imbalance 
UCSB made a season-low two three-pointers, in 17 attempts, and shot a season-low 11.8% from outside the arc in the loss to Cal Poly. The Mustangs, on the other hand, drilled 11 threes in just 18 attempts, 61.1%, the highest mark by a Gaucho opponent this season. Coupled together, the two figures spelled doom for UCSB. In their previous game, a Jan. 4 win over The Master's College, the Gauchos made 12 three-pointers, one shy of a season-high. 

• Now That Was A Clean Game
The Gauchos committed just seven turnovers in their loss to Cal Poly and the Mustangs did them one better, actually four better, by turning the ball over a mere three times. The 10 combined turnovers were the fewest in a UCSB game this season. The previous combined low of 15 came in games Troy and Utah State. The seven turnovers committed by the Gauchos equaled the second fewest they had produced this season. It was the seventh time this season that Santa Barbara has had fewer than 10 turnovers, a feat that was accomplished just twice in 31 games in 2012-13.

• A Rebounding Rebound
UCSB has outrebounded its last two opponents, The Master's and Cal Poly, by 17 and 11 rebounds respectively. The margins are the two largest of the year for the Gauchos and they have pushed them into the rebounding black for the first time since mid-November. UCSB is now outrebounding its opponents by 0.9 rebounds per game. Overall, the Gauchos have outrebounded seven opponents and have been outrebounded seven times.

 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.  

• Milestone Watch
Junior Alan Williams eclipsed 600 rebounds in the Gauchos' Dec. 30 win at Seattle, becoming just the 11th player in school history to do so. Now, with 628, he ranks 10th all-time and barring injury should soon pass several players and move into sixth all-time. Scott Fisher (664) currently ranks sixth. With 133 blocked shots, Williams is fourth in school history and needs 22 to move past Doug Muse into third. He Also needs 22 points to become the 26th UCSB player to score 1,000 career points. Senior Kyle Boswell has made 43 three-pointers this season and now has 186 in his career. He needs just two to pass James Nunnally and move into sixth on UCSB's all-time list. When he's made 11 more, he will move into third all-time. Also, Boswell needs 168 points to surpass 1,000 in his career.  

• The Gauchos At Home
The Gauchos are 4-2 at home this season after going 8-6 at the Thunderdome in 2012-13. They had a three-game home winning streak ended when they lost to Cal Poly on Jan. 11. On Dec. 6 they recorded one of the best home victories in several years, 72-65 over Cal. The program's first win ever over the Golden Bears.

• The Other Williams
Junior forward Alan Williams leads the Big West Conference in scoring at 24.3 points per game and rebounding at 11.1 per game. He is second in blocked shots at 2.5 per contest. Williams' scoring average ranks him third in the nation while his rebounding averaged is sixth. In the Gauchos' game against Cal Poly on Jan. 11, he had 33 points and 15 rebounds. It was his sixth double-double of the season and 23rd of his career. He had 15 as a sophomore in 2012-13. Williams' 33 points against the Mustangs were the second most he has scored in his career. On Nov. 29 he set a career-high and tied the school record for points in a game when he poured in 39 against South Dakota State. Williams tied a record also held by Orlando Johnson (currently with the Indiana Pacers) and Scott Fisher (currently an assistant coach at Hawaii). in that same game, he tied Greg Somogyi's school record with eight blocked shots. For Williams, Saturday also marked the second time in his career that he had at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in a game. Last season, he had 32 points and 16 rebounds in a win at Cal State Northridge and in doing so, he became the first Gaucho since 1990 to produce such a game. A three-time Big West Player of the Week this season, Williams has scored 20 or more points in 10 of his 12 games, including the last five in a row. He is the only Gaucho player to score in double-figures in every game he has played this year. In addition to his three Big West Player of the Week awards this season, he earned the honor twice last year when he was also a First Team All-Big West selection. 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 UCSB player in a season-opener. He followed that game up with a 21 point, nine rebound, three blocked shot performance against UNLV and Khem Birch, the 2013 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He has eclipsed the 600 rebound barrier and with 628 needs just seven to move past James Nunnally (currently of the Atlanta Hawks) and into ninth. In addition, with 978 career points, he is just 22 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 CollegeSportsMadness.com 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 nine games, averaging 13.3 per game. Overall, he is averaging 12.0 points per game, but in the Gauchos' last game against Cal Poly Boswell had a rough outing, finishing with five points on 1-of-7 shooting overall and 1-of-7 from three-point range. Despite his numbers against the Mustangs, he is still shooting 47.3% from three-point territory (43-for-91). In the eight games in which he has come off the bench, he has hit 31-of-61, 50.8%. 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. In December 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 186 career three-point baskets, seventh all-time. He needs just 11 to move into third and his career percentage of 43.5%  ranks as the best in UCSB history. Also, he is the only Gaucho to make at least one three in all 14 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 3.4 per game and he's had four or more nine times, including four of the last seven games. Also, his assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.61-to-1 is tops in the Big West and ninth in the nation. 

• The Life Of Bryson
Since sitting out the game at Utah State with a sore back, Michael Bryson has played in four games and seems to still be looking for his rhythm. Before missing the game, he was averaging 11.9 points per game and in four games since, he has scored a total of 24, 6.0 per game. Also in the four games, he made 8-of-29 overall, 27.6%, and 4-of-19 from three-point range, 21.1%. 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 10.1 points per game, third on the team. He is also second on the team with 25 three-pointers and he is shooting 40.3% from outside the arc. He has scored in double-figures seven times in his 13 games and he's made at least one three-pointer in 12 of the 13. Bryson 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 enters the week looking to bounce back at the offensive end. He had six points, five rebounds, four assists and a pair of blocked shots vs. Cal Poly, but he missed all four of his three-point attempts. The four assists tied his season-high. While he is averaging 7.4 points per game overall, he totaled just 13 in the last five games and 25 in the last seven. While he is shooting 43.8% overall, Brown has made just 5-of-23 field goal attempts in the last five games, 21.7%.  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 seven games Brown had a run of four straight games in double-figures and he's had five overall this season. Over the four in a row, 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). 

• Harmonizing
Junior Zalmico Harmon continues to lead the Big West in assists at 5.1 per game and he is second in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.43-to-1. In fact, Harmon ranks 11th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio. In UCSB's game against Cal Poly, he had 10 points, four assists and a pair of rebounds. It was the fourth time this season he has scored in double-figures. Harmon has had five or more assists seven times this season, including six times in the last eight games and he's had at least four in 12 of 14 games and 10 in a row. He had a season-high 10, to go along with nine points, in the Gauchos' Dec. 6 win over Cal. Harmon is averaging 7.2 points per game. He had a season-high 14 on Nov. 29 vs. South Dakota State and 13 on Dec. 30 at Seattle. The Washington, D.C. native is shooting 36.9% from the field, but after a four-game stretch when he was 4-for-27, 14.8%, he has made 5-of-10 in the last two games, 50.0%. In fact, if the four-game stretch is not included, he is shooting a solid 47.4%.For the season, Harmon has a mere 21 turnovers in 425 minutes, an average of one turnover every 20.2 minutes. In the nine wins, he has 52 assists and nine turnovers, an 5.7-to-1 ratio.

• E-Commerce
Freshman Eric Childress is averaging 5.2 points, 3.2 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. He had two points, three rebounds and one steal vs. Cal Poly. He also tied his career-high with four rebounds. Childress tied his career-high with six assists in UCSB's Jan. 4 win over The Master's College. 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. In the last seven games Childress is averaging 7.0 points. He also had a career-high 10 points and six assists on Nov. 21 at Colorado. With 45 assists and 22 turnovers, Childress has a 2.1-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. In the last five games he has 17 assists and just four turnovers.

• Something's Brewing
Sophomore Mitch Brewe was scoreless in just eight minutes vs. Cal Poly, but on Jan. 4, he 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 3.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in his 11 games, he has averaged 6.0 points and 5.0 boards in the last three. The 11 points and 10 rebounds he had against The Masters 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 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He played five minutes and had two points in the game against Cal Poly. Beeler scored a season-high 14 points on Nov. 16 vs. Utah State, one shy of his career-high. He had five or more rebounds in each of the first three games this season, including a career-high seven on Nov. 12 at UNLV, but since collecting 17 boards in his first three games, Beeler has 12 in the last 11 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 five games, totaling 16 points. He made his only shot and had two points vs. Cal Poly. Also, since playing a total of 14 minutes over a three-game span, he has averaged 15.5 per game in the last six. Moore is averaging 2.6 points  and 1.9 rebounds per contest. He had a career-high six points on Nov. 12 at UNLV and again on Nov. 21 at Colorado.  He also made his first career three in the Jan. 4 game vs. The Masters. 

• 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.