SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The start of UC Santa Barbara's 2014-15 season looked a lot like the entire 2013-14 season as Alan Williams scored 20 points and pulled down 19 rebounds to lead the Gauchos to a 70-54 exhibition win over visiting Point Loma on Monday night.
"It was good to be playing against someone besides ourselves," Alan Williams said. "This is the closest group we've had since I've been here and it was fun to finally get out on the court with them."
Now a senior, Williams averaged 21.3 points and a nation-leading 11.5 rebounds as a junior. On Monday, he would undoubtedly have logged a 20-20 game but he sat out the last six minutes.
The only other UCSB player in double-figures was freshman guard Gabe Vincent who started and finished with 13 points. He also added three assists and a pair of steals.
"Gabe is going to be a very good player in this program," said head coach Bob Williams. "He is an outstanding shooter, but he can also take you off the dribble so he is really very dangerous."
Junior Michael Bryson got the Gauchos started by burying a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner. The Sea Lions tied the score on a three by Marek Klassen, but that was the last tie and the Gauchos never trailed, leading by as many as 19 points (42-23) early in the second half.
"This was a good test for us," said Coach Williams. "They (Point Loma) is a very well-coached team and they are relentless. I saw some things I liked tonight, but there are also some things we have to work on and we will."
As a team, the Gauchos struggled from the outside, making just 6-of-20 3-point attempts, but they were dominant on the boards, outrebounding the Sea Lions 45-24.
Hayeden Lescault and Judd Welfringer each had 12 points for Point Loma, which made 40.0% of its shots.
UCSB will get going for real on Friday, Nov. 14 when it travels to No. 5 Kansas for the season-opener. The game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse will tip-off at 5:00 p.m. (PST) and will be available on ESPN3.
"That's gonna be fun," Alan Williams said. "That's one of the craziest crowds in college basketball and it's an amazing program."
The Gauchos will also play Florida-Gulf Coast on Monday, Nov. 17 before returning home for their home opener at the Thunderdome against The Master's College on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 4:00 p.m.