Balanced Gauchos Cruise Past San Diego Christian, 69-46

Sam Beeler (Photo by Laura Jacobsen)
Sam Beeler (Photo by Laura Jacobsen)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Alan Williams had 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists in just 23 minutes and Michael Bryson added 12 points as UC Santa Barbara cruised to a 69-46 win over visiting San Diego Christian on Friday afternoon.

The Gauchos (5-5) took a 34-18 lead at halftime and never looked back. The Hawks (5-5) pulled within 49-35 with 12:10 left in the game, but could get no closer. 

Bryson opened the game with a lay-up before SDCC took its only lead of the game on a three-pointer by Rafael Rodriguez. The Gauchos then went on a 10-0 run to assume a 12-3 lead. Williams scored the final three points of the run when he was fouled while making a short baseline jumper and then made the free throw.

UCSB had an outstanding defensive effort as it held the Hawks to 22.2% shooting in the first half and 28.8% for the game. 

"I thought for the most part our defense played pretty well," said head coach Bob Williams. "There were times we were a step slow, but that always seems to happen right after final exams. Still, to hold them under 30-percent for the game means a solid defensive game for us."

The balanced Gauchos had four players score in double-figures. Joining Williams and Bryson were John Green and Gabe Vincent who each had 10. Green added eight rebounds to tie his career-high in that category. Sam Beeler played his best game of the season as he scored nine points on 4-of-5 from the field and grabbed four rebounds in a season-high 17 minutes. 

"Sam always plays like that when he gets substantial playing time," Coach Williams said. "It's tough to get a lot of minutes with Big Al (Williams) playing in front of you, but when Sam does, he is usually productive." 

Rodriguez led SDCC with 15 points, 12 of which came on four three-point baskets. Prince Arceneaux, who redshirted as a walk-on at UCSB in 2011-12 and then played last year at Santa Barbara City College, had five points and a team-high six rebounds in 25 minutes for the Hawks.

"I was so happy for him," said UCSB's Green. "He is a great friend to us and he's worked hard to get the opportunity that he's gotten at San Diego Christian. It's great to see him playing."

UCSB shot 48.3% overall and outrebounded SDCC, 46-30.

Santa Barbara's final home game of 2014 was also one of the fastest ever, lasting just 1 hour, 27 minutes. There were just 15 total free throws attempted and three timeouts taken.

The Gauchos will play their final pre-Christmas game on Monday, Dec. 22 when they travel to the University of Oregon for a 6:00 p.m. game against the Ducks, The contest will be televised on the Pac 12 Network