First-Place Gauchos Host Northridge in Saturday Afternoon Game at Thunderdome

Michael Bryson (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

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• Coming Up
Game No. 23
Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif. 
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.tv
Livestats: UCSBgauchos.com

Game No. 24
Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Riverside Highlanders

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif. 
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.tv
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. 

Gauchos Streak Into 1st-Place Tie With UC Irvine
UCSB enters Saturday's game against Cal State Northridge with a season-long four-game winning streak. Michael Bryson's put-back at the buzzer gave the Gauchos a thrilling 65-64 win over Long Beach State on Thursday night at the Pyramid. With the win, they improve to 16-6 overall and 7-2 in the Big West Conference, tying UC Irvine for first-place. The current four-game winning streak is not only the longest of the season, it is the longest since Santa Barbara won five in a row in February and March of 2012. 

ESPN2, ESPNU Opts To Air Pair Of Gauchos Games 
As part of its agreement with the Big West Conference, ESPN selects its late-season games from among any on the schedule and the network has opted for a pair of UCSB contests as its "Wild Card" games this year. The Gauchos' Saturday, Mar. 1 game at UC Davis, scheduled for 7:00 p.m., has been moved to 5:00 p.m. to accommodate ESPN2 and their Mar. 6 home game against Hawaii, scheduled for 7:00 p.m., has been moved to 6:00 p.m. and will air on ESPNU.

UCSB Moves To No. 10 In Mid-Major Poll
Winners of four straight and seven of their last eight, the Gauchos have jumped into the top-10 of the Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top-25. Following its win at Hawaii last week, UCSB moved from No. 11 to No. 10 in the poll. It marks the first time the program has been ranked in the top-10 of the poll since December of 2007 when it had a 10-1 record and was ranked No. 6. The Gauchos are joined in the poll by fellow Big West Conference member UC Irvine, which is ranked 21st. Wichita State, which is ranked No. 2 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, is ranked No. 1 in the Mid-Major Top-25. Gonzaga is No. 2.

Gauchos Among National Leaders
UCSB and its players are ranked among the national leaders in several statistical categories. As a team, the Gauchos are 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.46-to-1), 17th in assists per game (16.2 per game) and 17th in fewest turnovers (244),  Among individuals, Alan Williams is ninth in scoring (22.8 points per game), fourth in rebounding (11.3 per game), third in defensive rebounds per game (7.80), 26th in offensive rebounds per game (3.45), 24th in double-doubles (10), 38th in field goal percentage (55.7%) and 46th in blocked shots (2.35 per game). Kyle Boswell is eighth in three-point field goal percentage (45.1%) and 45th in three-point field goals per game (2.73 per game). Zalmico Harmon is fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.93-to-1) and 58th in assists per game (5.0 per game).

Possible Starters - Quick Fact
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Has produced 28 assists and just two turnovers in the last six games...Has six double-figure scoring games.
G 35 Taran Brown- Made 6-of-12 shots in the last two games, including 3-for-3 from inside the three-point arc.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Averaging 6.5 rebounds per game in the last two outings...Has made his last 10 consecutive free throw attempts.
F 15  Alan Williams - Leads Big West in scoring (22.8 ppg) and rebounding (11.3 rpg)...Has 20 or more points in five of the last six and 15 of his 20 appearances.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Last-second put-back at Long Beach gave UCSB first season-sweep of 49ers since 2007-08...Has averaged 14.7 ppg in the last three.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Eric Childress - Scored a career-high 11 points in win at Long Beach State...Has 23 steals, the 11th most by UCSB freshman.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Returned for a brief stints vs. UC Irvine and UC Davis...Had missed the previous five games with a sprained ankle.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - One of three Gauchos all-time with 200 or more three-pointers...Has 203 threes and needs 15 to move into second and 19 to move into first.
F 31  John Green - Played in two games upon returning from foot injury and then fractured his wrist in practice and will miss the remainder of the season.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Has played a total of four minutes in the last two games after missing four in a row with a shoulder injury.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Played a season-low three minutes in the win at Long Beach State...Has scored just six points in the last six games.

The Opponents
Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge have played 47 times with the Gauchos winning 32 of the meetings. On Jan. 18, UCSB won 79-69 at the Matadome. The teams split a pair of games last season with each team winning on the others' home court. The Matadors won 75-69 in Santa Barbara while the Gauchos won the meeting in the San Fernando Valley, 83-74. UCSB has won five of the last six games in the series.  The Gauchos and Cal State Fullerton have played 77 times with Santa Barbara holding a 41-36 edge. The Titans won the first meeting between the schools this season, posting a narrow 74-72 decision on Jan. 25 at Titan Gym.  Last season, each team won on its home court with UCSB winning 66-50 at the Thunderdome.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB is 7-2 at the Thunderdome this season. The last time they played at home on Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, they posted back-to-back wins over UC Irvine (80-60) and UC Davis (82-67). In all, the Gauchos have won three straight home games since a Jan. 11 loss to Cal Poly. Their other home wins this season have come against Cal, Long Beach State, South Dakota State, Hawaii-Pacific and The Master's College. The other home loss came to Utah State, 71-61. UCSB is 310-151 all-time at the Thunderdome.

22-Game Start The Best Since 2007-08
UCSB has won 15 of its first 21 games this season. The last time the Gauchos had a better record after 22 games was in 2007-08 when they opened the season at 17-5 en route to a school record 23 wins. Also, they have easily surpassed their win total from 2012-13 when they finished with an 11-20 record.

Williams Continues To Climb Scoring List
Alan Williams scored 16 points in UCSB's Jan. 18 win at Cal State Northridge, becoming 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 Thursday Williams scored 16 points in the Gauchos' win at Long Beach State and he enters Saturday's game against Cal State Northridge with 1,142 in his career. In the game against the 49ers, he passed , Idris Jones (1,130), Eric McArthur (1,134) and Raymond Tutt (1,141), to move into 19th all-time. Next-up is James Powell who finished hsi career with 1,184 points. 

Williams Becomes Sixth Gaucho To 700 Rebounds
Alan Williams had 37 rebounds over a two game span against UC Davis and Hawaii and in doing so, became the sixth UCSB player to eclipse 700 career boards. He added eight on Thursday at Long Beach State and enters Saturday's game against Cal State Northridge with 720 career boards, needing just four to move past Chris Devine (723) and into fifth all-time. 

Alan Williams Is First Gaucho With 20/20 In 24 Years
Alan Williams had 27 points and 20 rebounds in the Feb. 1 over UC Davis and in doing so, he became the first UCSB player to have 20 or more points and 20 or more rebounds in the same game since Eric McArthur had 28 points and 21 rebounds in a Jan. 29, 1990 overtime win over Cal State Fullerton. In fact, Williams' 20/20 performance was the first in regulation by a Gaucho since McArthur had 24 points and 20 rebounds in a Dec. 9, 1989 game against Loyola Marymount. 

Boswell Becomes Third Gaucho To Hit 200 Three-Pointers
Senior Kyle Boswell made three three-point baskets in the Gauchos' win over UC Davis and in doing so, became the third player in school history to make 200 career threes. While he did not make a three-pointer in the Feb. 6 win at Hawaii, Boswell bounced back by making three in Thursday's win at Long Beach State and now has 203, third all-time. His final two targets on the three-pointer list are Mark Hull (217) and James Powell (221).

More Milestone Monitoring
With five blocked shots at Hawaii, Alan Williams now has 151 in his career, fourth on the school's all-time list. He needs four to move past Doug Muse into third. His 48 blocks this season are tied for 8th on the all-time single-season list. Kyle Boswell has 60 three-pointers this season and now has 203 in his career. He is third all-time and needs 19 to become the school's all-time leader. Also, Boswell needs 87 points to surpass 1,000 in his career. He would be the 27th UCSB player to do so. Zalmico Harmon has 110 assists through 22 games and needs 18 to move into all-time single season top-10 list.

A Magic Number
UCSB has allowed fewer than 70 points 15 times in 2013-14 and has gone 15-0 in those games. The Gauchos have held seven of their last eight opponents under 70.   

Close Encounters
UCSB played its closest game of the season on Thursday at Long Beach State, posting a 65-64 win. The Gauchos have been involved in four games decided by five points or less and they've gone 3-1. In addition, they have gone 5-5 in games decided by fewer than 10. As for blowouts, they are 11-1 in games decided by 10+.  

A Rebounding 
The Gauchos have an average rebound margin of +2.3 per game, a figure that ranks fourth in the Big West Conference. In recent games, however, the margin is even greater. In its last 10 games, UCSB has outrebounded eight of its opponents and its average margin is +6.6 per game. In fact, in Big West games only, the Gauchos are second in the category at +5.4 per game.  

That 80's Show
The Gauchos have scored 80 or more points six times this season, including two of the last four games. They scored a season-high 86 points in a Nov. 12 win at UNLV and are a perfect 6-0 when they eclipse 80 points. Last year UCSB scored 80 or more points five times in 31 games