Gauchos Open Stretch Run, Host Riverside in First of Two Key Weekend Games

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

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• Coming Up
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:
On-Line Video:

Game No. 25
Saturday, February 20, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans

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. 

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Thursday's game against UC Riverside with an overall record of 16-7 and a Big West record of 7-3. The Gauchos split a pair of games last weekend, winning 65-64 at Long Beach State and then losing to Cal State Northridge in overtime, 80-78. The loss to the Matadors ended UCSB's longest winning streak of the season at four. Still, the Gauchos have won four of their last five and seven out of nine.

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. The two additions to the television schedule will bring to 10 the number of appearances that UCSB has made on regional or national networks this season. The Gauchos will also add to that total with the Big West Tournament.

UCSB Now 13th In Mid-Major Poll
After moving into the No. 10 spot in the Mid-Major Top-25 last week, the Gauchos have dropped to No. 13 after their split of two games last week. When they did get to No. 10, it was the program's highest ranking in the poll since it was No. 6 in December of 2007. UCSB is 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.

Possible Starters - Quick Fact
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Scored career-high 21 points vs. Cal State Northridge...Hit 13-of-21 field goals in last 3 games, 61.9%...Has 36 assists, 3 turnovers in last 7 games.
G 35 Taran Brown- Equaled his season-high with 8 rebounds vs. Cal State Northridge...Averaging 7.9 ppg overall, but he has averaged 10.4 in the last 5.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Averaging 6.0 rebounds per game in the last 3 outings...Has made his last 12 consecutive free throw attempts and is at 88.2% overall.
F 15  Alan Williams - Leads Big West in scoring (22.7 ppg) and rebounding (11.5 rpg)...Ranked second in the nation in rebound average.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Has been in double-figures in 4 straight, equaling his longest streak of the season...Averaging 13.5 ppg in the last 4 games.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Eric Childress - His 25 steals are the 10th most ever by a Gaucho freshman...Scored career-high 11 points on Feb. 13 at Long Beach State.
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 3-pointers...Has 204 threes and needs 14 to move into 2nd and 18 to move into 1st.
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 - Played 5 minutes vs. Cal State Northridge, his highest total since he played 14 on Jan. 11 vs. Cal Poly.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Had 4 field goal attempts vs. Cal State Northridge, one more than he had in five previous games combined.

The Opponents
UCSB and UC Riverside have played 34 times in a series that started in 1955. With their 68-65 overtime win in Riverside on Jan. 23, the Gauchos hold a 27-7 all-time edge over the Highlanders. The teams each won on their home court in 2012-13 with UCSB winning 56-46 at the Thunderdome and UCR winning in Riverside, 54-45. 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 7-3 at the Thunderdome this season. The Gauchos lost their last home game, an 80-78 overtime decision to Cal State Northridge on Feb. 15. The loss to the Matadors ended a three-game home winning streak. Santa Barbara's seven home wins this season have come against UC Irvine, UC Davis, Long Beach State, Cal, South Dakota State, Hawaii-Pacific and The Master's College. The other two home defeats came at the hands of Cal Poly and Utah State. UCSB is 310-152 all-time at the Thunderdome.

What A Difference 48 Hours Makes
On Feb. 13, a Michael Bryson follow at the buzzer gave UCSB a 65-64 win at Long Beach State. It was the Gauchos' first win in Long Beach since 2008 and it sent the team into a wild celebration. Just 48 hours later, the feeling wasn't as jovial. Not only did the Gauchos return home to lose an 80-78 overtime game to Cal State Northridge, but they let a late seven-point lead slip away and ultimately lost it on a shot by Stephen Maxwell with two-tenths of a second remaining.

Gauchos Among National Leaders
UCSB and its players are ranked among the national leaders in several statistical categories. As a team, the Gauchos are 23rd in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.42-to-1), 16th in assists per game (16.2 per game) and 32nd in field goal percentage defense (39.9%),  Among individuals, Alan Williams is ninth in scoring (22.7 points per game), second in rebounding (11.5 per game), fourth in defensive rebounds per game (7.71), 12th in offensive rebounds per game (3.81) and 17th in total field goals (180). Zalmico Harmon is third nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.07-to-1) and 53rd in assists per game (5.1). Kyle Boswell is 16th in three-point field goal percentage (43.9%) and 54th in three-point field goals per game (2.65).

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 Feb. 13 at Long Beach State, Williams scored 16 points and moved past Idris Jones (1,130), Eric McArthur (1,134) and Raymond Tutt and into 19th on the all-time list. He added 22 more on Feb. 15 vs. Cal State Northridge and now has 1,164 in his career. Williams needs 21 to pass James Powell (1,184) for 18th all-time.

Williams Continues To Scale Rebound List Too
Alan Williams recently became the sixth UCSB player to eclipse 700 career rebounds and he hasn't stopped there. Williams had 17 rebounds in the Gauchos' loss to Cal State Northridge and now has 737, the fifth most in school history. He has 17 or more rebounds in three of the last four games and has moved into second in the nation in the category. Williams needs 33 boards to move past Richard Anderson and into fourth all-time.

 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. After making one three-pointer in UCSB's game against Cal State Northridge, Boswell now has 204 in his career, third all-time. His final two targets on the three-point list are Mark Hull (217) and James Powell (221).

Three-Point Measuring Stick
UCSB attempted 26 three-pointers in its loss to Cal State Northridge on Feb. 15. It was the seventh time that the Gauchos have attempted more than 20 threes in a game this season and in those games they have gone 2-5. The only exceptions were wins over The Master's College (27 attempts) and at Hawaii (22 attempts).  

A Magic Number
UCSB has allowed fewer than 70 points 15 times in the first 23 games of the 2013-14 season, going 15-0 in the process. The Gauchos have held seven of their last nine opponents under 70.  

The "Other" Williams
Junior forward Alan Williams continues to lead the Big West in scoring (22.7 ppg) and rebounding (11.5 rpg). He ranks ninth and second nationally in those categories. In the last four games, Williams is averaging 15.5 rebounds per game catapulting him into second in the nation. He has scored 20 or more points in six of the last seven games and 16 times this season. He has been in double-figures in all 21 games in which he has played and he's scored 25 or more seven times. Williams has 11 double-doubles on the year, including four of the last five games and now has 28 in his career. In the Gauchos' Feb. 1 win over UC Davis, he had 27 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to become the first UCSB player in 24 years to record a 20/20 game or, for that matter, a 20-rebound game. He also had a career-high four assists in the win over the Aggies. On Jan. 18 at Cal State Northridge, Williams became the 26th UCSB player to score 1,000 points in a career and now ranks 19th with 1,164. 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. When he had 33 points and 15 rebounds on Jan. 11 vs. Cal Poly it 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. Williams had four blocked shots in the Feb. 15 game against Cal State Northridge and now has 155 in his career, third all-time. He also has 52 on the year, eighth most in a single-season. Williams has had at least one blocked shot in 20 of his 21 games and two or more 15 times, including four in a row and eight of the last nine. Williams is a four-time Big West Player of the Week this season and he's earned the honor six times in the last two seasons. 

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 18 games, averaging 12.0 per game. Overall, he is averaging 11.0 points per game. In the last three games, Boswell has struggled offensively, averaging 5.7 points per game while making just 5-of-20 shots overall, 25.0%, and 4-of-16 from three-point range, 25.0%. In the Feb. 15 loss to Cal State Northridge, he had just four points on 1-of-8 shooting. In the game prior to that, a thrilling 65-64 win at Long Beach State, Boswell played a key role with 11 points and three three-point baskets. He scored a season and career-high 27 points on Dec. 20 at Utah State. In that same game, he tied his career-high with seven three-point baskets. On Dec. 30 at Seattle, Boswell scored 19 points and hit 5-of-6 three-point attempts. On the season, he has 61 threes and is shooting 43.9% from outside the arc. He enters this weekend's games with 204 career three-pointers, third on UCSB's all-time list. He needs 14 to move into second and 18 to become the school's all-time leader. In addition to his shooting prowess, Boswell has become a playmaker this season and ranks second on the team in assists at 3.0 per game. He has had three or more assists 15 times and had a career-high eight on Jan. 18 at Cal State Northridge.

The Life Of Bryson
Michael Bryson is third on the team in scoring at 10.9 points per game and he enters the weekend having scored in double-figures in four straight games, equaling his longest streak of the season. In the last four, Bryson is averaging 13.5 points per game, second on the team over that span. Overall this season, he has scored 10 or more points 14 times in his 22 games. He went for a season-high 21 points in a Dec. 15 win at San Diego, earning him the first of two Big West Player of the Week honors. On Feb. 6, in a win at Hawaii, Bryson scored 18 points. In addition to ranking third on the team in scoring, he is third in rebounding at 4.5 per game and second in three-point baskets with 39. He made a season-high five threes in the win at San Diego and he's had two or more 11 times. On Dec. 3 at UCLA, Bryson registered the first double-double of his career when he had 15 points and 10 rebounds. He also had a career-high five assists against the Bruins. His personal best for points and three-pointers came in the Gauchos' game against Pacific at last year's Big West Tournament when he set a school record for points by a freshman with 29 and tied a freshman record with seven threes.

Taran It Up
Taran Brown is averaging 7.9 points per game, third on the team, and 4.7 rebounds per outing, second on the team. In the last five games, Brown has scored in double-figures three times adn averaged 10.2 points. In the loss to Cal State Northridge, he had 12 points, a season-high eight rebounds and he tied his career-high with four blocked shots. Since scoring in double-figures just one time over a nine-game span, Brown has done it three times in the last five games. On Jan. 30 vs. UC Irvine, he had 16 points and was a perfect 5-for-5 from outside the three-point arc. He also tied his season-high with four assists. 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). His 33 three-point baskets rank third on the team. After a stretch in which he made 10-of-43 three-point attempts, 23.3%, he has made 11 of his last 26, 42.3%. Last season, Brown set a UCSB freshman record for three-point baskets with 58. He also had a season-high eight rebounds in the opener against Hawaii-Pacific, he has had seven in three other games and five or more 11 times.

Junior Zalmico Harmon had one of the best games of his career in the game against Cal State Northridge. Harmon had a career-high 21 points on 8-of-12 from the field overall and 2-for-3 from three-point range. He also had eight assists and just one turnover. Harmon is second in the Big West in assists at 5.1 per game and he easily leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.1-to-1, a figure that ranks him third nationally. In recent games, Harmon has been even more sure-handed. In the last seven games, a span of 232 minutes, he has 36 assists and just three turnovers, a 12-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. In UCSB's Jan. 25 game at Cal State Fullerton, he tied his career-high with 10 assists and he didn't commit a turnover. On the season he has just 29 turnovers in 717 minutes, an average of one every 24.7 minutes. Harmon also had 10 assists in the Gauchos' Dec. 6 win over Cal. He has had five or more assists 11 times this season. He is averaging 7.8 points per game overall, 8.8 in league play. Harmon's been in double-figures seven times, including two of the last three games, and while he is shooting 38.8% overall and 33.3% from three-point range, he is at 61.9% overall and 66.7% from long distance in the last three games. Finally, Harmon is the only Gaucho player to play in, and start, all 23 games.

Freshman Eric Childress is averaging 5.5 points, 3.1 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. He had a career-high 11 points in the Gauchos' Feb. 13 win at Long Beach State and then added five on Feb. 15 vs. Cal State Northridge. When he had 11 points at Long Beach, it was the third time this season Childress had scored in double-figures. He also had 10 (all on free throws) on Dec. 30 at Seattle, and 10 on Nov. 21 at Colorado. Childress set a career-high with seven assists on Jan. 25 at UC Riverside. He has also had six assists three times, once each against Colorado, South Dakota State and The Master's College. Finally, his 25 steals are the 10th most ever by a UCSB freshman.

Something's Brewing
Mitch Brewe is averaging 4.2 points and 3.9 rebounds overall. His rebounding average is at its highest point all season and and in the last 10 games, he has been even better. Over the most recent 12-game span, Brewe has scored 61 points, 5.1 per game, and collected 56 rebounds, 4.7 per game. On Jan. 4 vs. the Master's College, he had his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Two games later, Brewe set a career-high with 12 points in a win over Long Beach State. Also, on Jan. 23, he had 11 points at UC Riverside, making 4-of-6 shots from the field overall. He has had two points in each of the last three games, but he's also had 16 rebounds and three blocks over that same span. Brewe has also started to develop as a real threat from outside. He has made six three-point baskets in 13 attempts and he was 2-for-2 in wins over The Master's College and Long Beach State. Overall, his 49.2% shooting from the field is third on the team to Alan Williams and Sam Beeler among players with 40 or more shots. He's also made his last 12 free throws.  Brewe missed the first three games of the season with a knee injury, but he's played in the last 20 and made 17 starts.

Sam He Is
Sam Beeler is averaging 3.0 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He has totaled just eight points in the last seven games, attempting only nine shots over that span. The scoring respite comes on the heels of a 10-point effort on Jan. 18 at Cal State Northridge in which Beeler made all four of his field goal attempts. He scored a season-high 14 points on Nov. 16 vs. Utah State. He had a career-high three blocked shots on Feb. 1 vs. UC Davis and his 14 total blocks rank Beeler fourth on the team behind Alan Williams, Taran Brown and Michael Bryson. Beeler has had three or more rebounds 11 times this season. He had five or more in each of the first three games of the year, including a career-high seven on Nov. 12 at UNLV. Finally, as a freshman, he hit just 11 of his 32 attempts from the free throw line, 34.4%, but this season he has improved dramatically going 22-of-f34, 64.7%.