Gauchos Face Anteaters Thursday in Showdown of Big West Contenders

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

Coming Up
Game No. 19
Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Irvine Anteaters
at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:
On-Line Video:

Game No. 20
Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Davis Aggies
at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:
On-Line Video:

• 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. 

• 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 against UC Irvine with an overall record of 12-6 and a Big West mark of 3-2. On Saturday, Jan. 25, the Gauchos had their three-game conference winning streak ended when they dropped a tight 74-72 decision at Cal State Fullerton.Prior to that, UCSB had won consecutive games over Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside.  Despite the loss, the Gauchos have still won three out of four, six of eight and nine of 12. They have had three three-game winning streaks this season but have yet to win a fourth game in succession.

UCSB Surpasses 2012-13 Victory Total
In winning its 12th game of the regular season at UC Riverside on Jan. 23, the Gauchos surpassed their win total of last season. UCSB won just 11 games during the injury-marred 2012-13 season.

Williams Becomes 26th Gaucho To Score 1,000 Points, Now Ranks 23rd
Alan Williams scored 16 points in UCSB's Jan. 18 win at Cal State Northridge and in doing so, he became the 26th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000 point mark. That same night, he moved from 26th to 25th on the all-time list, passing B.J. Bunton (1,003). On Jan. 23 at UC Riverside, Williams scored 21 points and on Jan. 25 at Cal State Fullerton, he added 26 and passed Paul Johnson (1,032) and Doug Muse (1,050) in the process. Williams enters the week ranked 23rd with 1,053 points. His next two targets are Nick Jones (1,116), Idris Jones (1,130), Eric McArthur (1,134) and Raymond Tutt (1,141). Williams is also moving up the rebound ladder. With nine boards at Cal State Fullerton he moved past Gary Gray and Scott Fisher and now has 665. Williams next rebound target – Chris Devine with 723 – is still a ways off. He has also improved his career rebound average to 8.99 per game, third all-time. 

Possible Starters - Quick Fact
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Remains the Big West leader in assists (5.22 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.62-to-1)...His ratio ranks 6th nationally.
G 35 Taran Brown- Played a season-low 16 minutes in the game at Fullerton...Tied his season-high with 2 steals vs. Titans.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Has scored in double-fiugres in two of the last four games...Has made 5 of his last 6 3-point attempts.
F 15  Alan Williams - Became the 26th UCSB player to score 1,000 points in his career when he had 16 at Northridge...Now has 1,053, 23rd all-time.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Attempted 10 field goals at Fullerton, his highest total in Big West games...Has had 4 or more rebounds in 7 straight games.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Eric Childress - Set a career-high with 7 assists in the win at Riverside...Has made 14 of his last 16 free throw attempts, including 13 in a row.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Missed the last 5 games with a sprained ankle and he remains questionable for this week.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Made at least 1 3-pointer in all 18 games and has 195 in his career...Currently ranks 4th all-time and needs to to move into 3rd.
F 31  John Green - Has been cleared to play but the team plans to bring him along slowly and he could return in February.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Missed last weekend's games with a shoulder injury and is not likely to play this weekend.
F 44  Sam Beeler - After making just 11-of-32 free throws in 2012-13, he has made 20-of-30 this year, 66.7%.

The Opposition
The Gauchos and UC Irvine have played 79 times since the series began in 1968. UCSB holds a 48-31 all-time advantage. Last year, the teams split a pair of close games. The Gauchos won 74-71 in the Thunderdome while the Anteaters snuck out with a 62-60 win in Irvine. UCSB has won three of the last four games in the series. The last time UCI won in Santa Barbara was on Feb. 9, 2008 by a score of 65-59. The Gauchos and UC Davis have played 27 times since the first meeting between the schools in 1939. UCSB has a 22-5 record against the Aggies and swept the season series in 2012-13, winning 64-56 at the Thunderdome and 66-59 in Davis. Santa Barbara has won the last 10 meetings between the schools. The last time UCD won was on Jan. 22, 2009.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB is 5-2 at the Thunderdome this season. On Jan. 16, their last home game, the Gauchos defeated Long Beach State, 64-51. Their other home wins this season have come against Cal, South Dakota State, Hawaii-Pacific and The Master's College. UCSB has dropped home games to Utah State and Cal Poly. Last year, Santa Barbara was 8-6 in home games. The Gauchos are 308-151 all-time at the Thunderdome.

Milestone Watch
Junior Alan Williams enters Thursday's game against UC Irvine with 665 rebounds, sixth all-time at UCSB, and he needs 59 to move past Chris Devine and into fifth. With 141 blocked shots, Williams is fourth in school history and needs 14 to move past Doug Muse into third. With 26 points in the game at Cal State Fullerton, Williams has 1,053 and needs 54 to move past Nick Jones and into 22nd-place. Senior Kyle Boswell has 52 three-pointers this season and now has 195 in his career. He is fourth all-time and needs two to move into third. Also, Boswell needs just 125 points to surpass 1,000 in his career. He would be the 27th UCSB player to do so.

Gauchos Among National Leaders
Alan Williams is averaging 22.9 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. He leads the Big West in both categories and ranks seventh in the nation in scoring and 10th in rebounding. Zalmico Harmon leads the league and ranks sixth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.62-to-1. Harmon also leads the Big West in assists at 5.2 per game, a figure that ranks 47th in the nation. Kyle Boswell leads the league in three-point field goal percentage at 46.0%, ranking him ninth in the nation. He is second in the league in three-pointers made per game (2.89) and 35th nationally. As a team, the Gauchos rank 13th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.53-to-1, 14th in assists per game at 16.5 and 14th in fewest turnovers with 194. 

A Magic Number
UCSB has allowed fewer than 70 points 11 times in 2013-14 and has gone 11-0 in those games. The Gauchos have held three of their last four opponents under 70. On Jan. 16 vs. Long Beach State, they allowed 51 points, the second lowest opponent total of the season. On Dec. 30 at Seattle, UCSB allowed exactly 70 points and won. It was the only time they have won a game when allowing 70 or more, losing the other five.  

General Assistance 
Junior Zalmico Harmon tied his career-high with 10 assists in UCSB's game at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 25 and in doing so he was the third different player to lead the Gauchos in assists in the last three games and all three either set or tied their career-highs. Freshman Eric Childress set a career-high with a team-leading seven assists in the Jan. 23 win at UCR and Kyle Boswell registered a career-high with eight on Jan. 16 at Cal State Northridge. In all, five different players have led UCSB in assists this season. In addition to Harmon, Childress and Boswell, Taran Brown and Michael Bryson have led the way.

Turnover Turnaround
Since posting a season-high 19 turnovers in a win over Long Beach State on Jan. 16, UCSB has bounced back with a trio of outstanding efforts. The Gauchos had nine turnovers on Jan. 18 at Cal State Northridge, eight in the Jan. 23 OT win over UC Riverside and then 10 on Jan. 25 at Cal State Fullerton. In the game against the 49ers, the Gauchos had 12 turnovers in the first half, more than they've had in 12 games this season. UCSB has had 10 or fewer turnovers 11 times in 2013-14 after turning the trick just twice during the 2012-13 campaign. The Gauchos, in fact, rank 14th in NCAA Division I for fewest turnovers with 194.

The Other Williams
Junior forward Alan Williams leads the Big West Conference in scoring at 22.9 points per game and rebounding at 10.6 per game. He is second in blocked shots at 2.4 per contest. Williams' scoring average ranks him seventh in the nation while his rebounding average is 10th. In the Gauchos' game at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 25, he had 26 points, nine rebounds, two blocked shots, two steals and two assists. It was the 12th time in his 16 games that Williams scored 20 or more points and the fifth time he's been over 25 points. One week earlier, in a game against Cal State Northridge, he became the 26th UCSB player to score 1,000 points in a career and now ranks 23rd with 1,053. On the season, Williams has seven double-doubles to give him 24 in his career. To start Big West play, he had 33 points and 15 rebounds vs. Cal Poly and then 12 points and 15 boards vs. Long Beach State. The 33 points that Williams scored against Cal Poly 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. The game against the Mustangs 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 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 has eclipsed the 600 rebound barrier and with 665 he ranks sixth all-time. When he gets 35 more boards, he will become just the sixth player in school history to score 1,000 or more points and grab 700 or more rebounds. 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 13 games, averaging 12.6 per game. Overall, he is averaging 11.7 points per game. In the game at Cal State Fullerton, Boswell had 11 points and made three three-point baskets. On Jan. 18 at Cal State Northridge, he set a career-high with eight assists. Against the Matadors he also set season-highs in free throws with nine and free throw attempts with 10. Boswell is now shooting 46.0% from three-point range. In the 13 games in which he has come off the bench, he has hit 40-of-83, 48.2%. On Dec 30 at Seattle, he scored 19 points on 7-of-9 from the field overall and a blazing 5-of-6 from three-point territory. 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 195 career three-point baskets, fourth all-time. He needs just two to move into third and his career percentage of 43.2%  ranks second in UCSB history. Also, he is the only Gaucho to make at least one three in all 18 games and he's made two or more 14 times, three or more nine times and five or more four times. Finally, in addition to his three-point marksmanship, Boswell is second on the team in assists at 3.3 per game and he's had four or more 10 times. 

The Life Of Bryson
After struggling with just five points on 1-for-5 from the field on Jan. 23 at UC Riverside, Michael Bryson bounced back with a solid game at Cal State Fullerton. He finished with 16 points and five rebounds, making 6-of-10 shots overall and 3-of-7 from three-point range. A two-time Big West Player of the Week this season, Bryson is averaging 10.6 points per game overall, but since seeing his average slip to 10.1 per game after the Big West opener against Cal Poly, he has averaged 12.2 points per game in the last four. Bryson is second on the team with 32 three-pointers and he is shooting 41.6% from outside the arc. In the last 14 games, however, he has made 24 out of 55 three-point attempts, 43.6%. The three he made at Cal State Fullerton equaled the most he has hit since he made five at San Diego on Dec. 15. He has scored in double-figures 10 times in his 17 games and he's made at least one three-pointer in 15 of the 17. 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. 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. In addition to his 10.6 points, he is third on the team at 4.4 rebounds per game, but he's averaged 5.0 per game in the last 12. 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 played a season-low 16 minutes on Jan. 25 at Cal State Fullerton and had just two points. He also collected four rebounds and two steals. Brown is now averaging 7.2 points per game, his lowest average of the season. He is second on the team at 4.6 rebounds. He has scored 10 or more points six times in 18 games, but just once in the last nine. Brown scored a career-high 23 on Nov. 21 at Colorado. In that same game, he made a career-high seven three-point baskets (in 10 attempts). Five of his double-figures scoring efforts came during a six-game span in late-November and early-December. His best offensive game in the last month was on Jan. 18 at Cal State Northridge when he made 4-of-8 shots overall and 2-of-5 from three-point range en route to 12 points. His 22 three-point baskets rank third behind Kyle Boswell and Michael Bryson. He's had two or more threes in two of the last three games and seven times this year. Last season, Brown set a UCSB freshman record for three-point baskets with 58. He had a season-high eight rebounds in the opener against Hawaii-Pacific, but he has had seven in three other games and five or more nine times.

Junior Zalmico Harmon continues to lead the Big West in assists at 5.2 per game and he is also first in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.62-to-1. In fact, Harmon ranks sixth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio. In UCSB's game at Cal State Fullerton, he tied his career-high with 10 assists and he didn't commit a turnover. Harmon also had 10 assists in the Gauchos' Dec. 6 win over Cal. He has had five or more assists nine times this season, including eight times in the last 12 games and he's had at least four in 14 of 18 games and 12 of the last 14. Harmon is averaging 7.4 points per game. He had a season-high 14 on Nov. 29 vs. South Dakota State and 13 on Dec. 30 at Seattle. Overall he has scored 10 or more five times. For the season, Harmon has a mere 26 turnovers in 554 minutes, an average of one turnover every 21.3 minutes and he has had no turnovers in the last two games, a total of 69 minutes. Finally, Harmon is fourth on the team with 11 threes and he tied his high with 3-of-4 on Jan. 23 at UCR.

Freshman Eric Childress is averaging 5.1 points, 3.3 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. He had seven points, two rebounds and two assists before fouling out in the game at Cal State Fullerton. On Jan. 23 at UC Riverside, Childress set a career-high with seven assists. He has also had six assists three times, once each against Colorado, South Dakota State and The Master's College. Childress has scored a career-high 10 points twice, once on Nov. 21 at Colorado and again on Dec. 30 at Seattle. In the latter effort, he didn't make a field goal but hit 10-of-12 free throws. In the last 11 games Childress is averaging 6.7 points and 3.8 assists per game. Finally, his 22 steals on the season are the 11th highest total by a UCSB freshman.

Something's Brewing
In the last six games, sophomore Mitch Brewe has alternated scoring in double-figures and going scoreless. On Jan. 4 he had 11 points vs. The Master's College (to go along with 10 rebounds for his first double-double). On Jan. 11 he was scoreless vs. Cal Poly. On Jan. 16, he set a new career-high with 12 points vs. Long Beach State. On Jan. 18 he was scoreless at Cal Stae Northridge (although he did have eight rebounds). On Jan. 23 at UC Riverside, he had 11 points and in the next game, at Cal State Fullerton, he was scoreless. In the three double-digit efforts, Brewe made 13-of-24 field goal attempts, including 6-of-7 from three-point range. In the three scoreless games, he attempted just two total field goals. Overall, Brewe is averaging 4.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 53.2% overall and 66.7% from three-point territory.

Sam He Is
Sam Beeler has totaled just 15 minutes in the last two games and over that span he scored two points, both coming from the free throw line. One game earlier, on Jan. 18 at Cal State Northridge, he made all four of his field goal attempts, finishing with 10 points and three rebounds in 14 minutes. Beeler is averaging 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. The 10 points he scored against the Matadors were four short of his season-high of 14 that he recorded on Nov. 16 vs. Utah State. It was his third career double-figure scoring game. 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, but after collecting 17 boards in his first three games, Beeler had 12 in an 11-game span. Finally, as a freshman, he hit just 11-of-32 from the line, 34.4%, but this season he is 20-of-30, 66.7%.

Green May Soon Mean Go
John Green scored eight points and had a pair of rebounds in the Gauchos' season opener against Hawaii-Pacific on Nov. 8. But hours before UCSB's Nov. 12 game at UNLV, he was notified that an x-ray showed a slight fracture in his left foot, sending him to the sideline again. He missed virtually all of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons with foot injuries, so this was nothing new. Last week, however, Green's latest x-ray showed that the fracture has healed and he has returned to limited practice. He could play this weekend if needed.