Gauchos Remain on the Road in Big West Play as they Travel to UC Irvine for Saturday Showdown

Jan. 5, 2007

The Schedule
Game No. 15
Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Irvine Anteaters
at UCI's Bren Events Center

Game No. 16
Saturday, January 13, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Davis Aggies
at UCSB's Thunderdome

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's game at UC Irvine with an overall record of 10-4 and a Big West mark of 2-1. On Thursday night at Long Beach State, the Gauchos had a modest two-game winning streak ended in a big way, 101-65. The defeat was the first in three Big West games for UCSB. Despite the resounding loss to the 49ers, the Gauchos have still won six of their last eight games.

Harris Named Big West Player Of The Week For Second Time
Junior guard Alex Harris was selected Big West Player of the Week for the second time this season after leading the Gauchos to league wins over Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside. In the two games, Harris averaged 24.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He shot 48.4% overall and 45.5% from three-point range. On Dec. 28, against UC Riverside, Harris scored a career-high 32 points and had six rebounds. On Dec. 30, in the win over Fullerton, he had 16 points, a season-high nine rebounds and three assists. The victory ended the Titans' five-game winning streak.

Nixon Scores 35, Long Beach State Pounds UCSB 101-65
Senior guard Aaron Nixon scored a career-high 35 points and made seven of his team's 17 three-point baskets, as Long Beach State handed visiting UC Santa Barbara its worst defeat since December of 1979, 101-65 on Thursday night at the Pyramid. The loss drops the Gauchos to 10-4 overall and 2-1 in the Big West. Long Beach was playing its league-opener, and improves to 10-4 overall and 1-0 in Big West play. The 49ers have won eight straight games. Nixon scored 19 of his points in the first half, making 3-of-4 shots from three-point range. In the second half, he made his first four three-point attempts and scored 16 more points, all in the first six minutes, to finish with his 35 points. It was the most points scored by an opposing player against the Gauchos since Loyola Marymount's Bo Kimble went for 51 in December of 1989. The game was never in doubt as UCSB had its problems on both end of the court immediately. The 49ers jumped out to a 5-0 lead and after an 18-foot jump shot by Alex Harris cut the gap to 5-2, they went on a 10-2 run to make it 15-4. A three-pointer by Harris brought the lead back into single-digits at 15-7, but but that was the last time the Long Beach edge would drop below 10. The 49ers finished the half by outscoring the Gauchos 35-20 and went into the locker room up 50-27. The teams traded baskets to openthe second half. Nixon hit a short leaner from near the free throw line and UCSB forward Ivan Elliott responded with a lay-up on the other end. After Long Beach guard Kevin Houston made another short jumper, Chris Devine took a nice feed from James Powell and scored on a lay-up to draw UCSB to within 23, 54-31 with 18:42 to play. Led by Nixon, Long Beach outscored Santa Barbara 26-13 over the next eight minutes to take a huge 80-44 lead. Nixon had his final 12 points during the run. The 49er lead peaked at 101-61 but a pair of baskets by Gaucho junior Trevor Bing in the final minute resulted in 101-65 final score.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - James Powell - Made a three-pointer at Long Beach, his first in four games.
G - Alex Harris - Equaled his lowest scoring output of the season with 10 at Long Beach.
G - Justin Joyner - After going for 10 assists against Fullerton, had just one at LBSU.
F - Chris Devine - Has had a total of 14 rebounds in the last four games.
F - Ivan Elliott - Has made 26-of-35 shots in last six games, 74.3%.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Has been in double-figures in each of last two games (12.0 per game).
G - Paul Roemer - Tied his career-high with three steals against Long Beach.
G - Trevor Bing - Scored a season-high nine at Long Beach.
F - Tom Garlepp - Has played a total of just 19 minutes in last four games.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Played a career-high 17 minutes on Thursday night.
F - Beau Gibb - After not playing in two games, logged nine minutes at Long Beach.
F - David Massey - Played in only game and scored only points on Nov. 13 at Montana State.
F - Sam Phippen - Freshman forward will redshirt the 2006-07 season.
F - Glenn Turner - Has made five of seven shots in the last three games, 71.4%.

The Opponents
The Gauchos and UC Irvine have played 63 times in a series that dates back to 1968. UCSB holds a 39-24 all-time lead. The teams divided a pair of games during the 2005-06 season with each team winning on the other team's home floor. The Anteaters defeated the Gauchos at the Thunderdome, 70-66, and Santa Barbara won at the Bren Center, 60-59. UCSB and UC Davis have played 12 times in a series that dates back to 1959. The Gauchos hold a 10-2 lead all-time, including a pair of wins last season. In 2006-07, UCSB won 73-54 at the Thunderdome and 64-50 in Davis.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 5-2 in road games this season. The Gauchos opened the road portion of their schedule with an 88-56 win at Montana State on Nov. 13. On Nov. 17, they won at UNLV, 79-76 and on Nov. 21 they won at Pepperdine, 89-80 in double overtime. On Dec. 2, they won at Portland, 75-67 and then on Dec. 17, they won at San Francisco, 74-69. In their last road outing, UCSB had its school record-tying six game road winning streak ended at the University of San Diego, 81-63 and then on Jan. 4, Long Beach State handed the Gauchos their second consecutive road loss, 101-65. The 5-0 start was the first 5-0 start in true road games since the 1987-88 campaign when the team jumped out of the gates with the same 5-0 road record. UCSB posted a 5-9 record in true road games in 2005-06 and a 6-10 mark in all non-home games. While the 5-9 doesn't seem like much, it includes an 0-7 start and a 5-2 finish. The Gauchos opened the 2005-06 season with seven straight road losses, extending a two-season streak to nine straight road defeats. However, since the end of that streak, UCSB has gone 10-4 on the road.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB is 5-2 at home in 2006-07. The Gauchos defeated San Jose State on Nov. 10 and, after losing consecutive games to San Diego State and Loyola Marymount, they have posted four consecutive wins, defeating Fresno State on Dec. 6 , Vanguard on Dec. 19, UC Riverside on Dec. 28 and Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 30. UCSB went 9-4 in home games during the 2005-06 season, including 3-4 in Big West games. Since Bob Williams became head coach in 1998-99, the Gauchos have gone 78-31 at home.

Some Turnovers Aren't Fattening
On the bright side, the type of turnovers that UCSB has been producing of late won't cause the coaches to gain any weight. Lose some hair? Possibly. Gain weight? Not likely. These turnovers have no saturated fat and no trans fats. They would be allowable in New York City. The NYC. Forgive me. The Gauchos had 19 turnovers in Thursday's loss to Long Beach State and they have now piled-up 37 in the last two games, 18.5 per game. It also marked the eighth time this season that UCSB has had 15 or more turnovers in a game. Santa Barbara is now averaging 15.3 turnovers per game while its opponents are averaging exactly 14 per outing.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his ninth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team overcame a slow start to finish over the .500 mark for the fourth time in five seasons. UCSB was 15-14 overall and 6-8 in the Big West. Prior to the 2004-05 season, when an injury-ravaged Gaucho team finished below .500, Williams had guided the program to three straight winning seasons for the first time since the late 1980s. In 2002-03, Williams' Gauchos went 18-14 overall and 14-4 in league. The 2002-03 Big West mark earned Santa Barbara its first-ever Big West regular season championship along with a trip to the postseason National Invitation Tournament. Additionally, the success earned Williams his second Big West Coach of the Year award, his first coming after an impressive 1999 campaign. In 2001-02, Williams guided UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 133-115 (.536) overall record and an 81-56 (.594) record in Big West games. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, he spent eight years at UC Davis and in those eight years, his teams recorded 20 or more wins five times and a 158-76 record. In Williams' final season, the Aggies went 31-2, won the NCAA Division II National Championship and he was named NABC Division II Coach of the Year. Including two seasons at Menlo College, Williams has a record of 321-215 (.599) at four-year schools.

For Starters, 10-4 Is Pretty Good
UCSB jumped out of the gates with a 4-0 record this season. It was the program's first 4-0 start under Bob Williams and the first overall since the 1992-93 Gauchos opened the year with a 6-0 mark. Now, after 14 games, Santa Barbara has a 10-4 record, the best 14-game start under Williams and the best since the 1991-92 team began the season by also going 10-4. UCSB's 1989-90 team also started the year by going 10-4.

Thursday's Game Didn`t Make History, But It Wasn't Chopped Liver
First of all, who eats chopped liver in the year 2007? Blechh! Anyway, UCSB's 101-65 defeat at Long Beach State on Thursday wasn't historical, but it was certainly the Gauchos' worst loss in a long time. The last time a Santa Barbara team was beaten by more than the 36 points it was beaten by on Thursday was more than 27 years ago. On Dec. 21, 1979, the Gauchos dropped a 102-58 decision at UCLA. The Bruins, coached by Larry Brown, ultimately played Louisville for the NCAA Championship that season. The last time UCSB allowed an opponent to score more than 100 points was on February 22, 1998, when it gave-up 102 points in a loss at Cal Poly. Finally, the last time a player scored more than the 35 points that Aaron Nixon tallied on Thursday night was on Dec. 9, 1989, when Loyolal Marymount's Bo Kimble went for 51 in a 104-101 Gaucho loss.

Playing The Percentages
Despite getting thumped at Long Beach State on Thursday, UCSB still shot 45.2% from the field. The Gauchos, who lead the Big West in field goal percentage at 45.2%, have made 45.0% or better 10 times in their 14 games this season. They have made half or more of their shots seven times. UCSB shot a glistening 57.7% in its home win against Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 30. Breaking down the shooting even more, despite shooting below 50.0% in each of the last two road games, UCSB has been better on the road than at home. In seven home games, the Gauchos have made 185-of-388 shots, 47.7%. In those seven games, they have shot better than 40.0% four times, including the last three games. In fact, in the last three home games, Santa Barbara has made 92-of-164, 56.1%. In seven road games, UCSB has gone 195-of-384, 50.8%, and it has shot below 50.0% just three times. On the other hand, Long Beach State was just the second Gaucho opponent to shoot better than 50.0% in a game. The 49ers hit 36-of-66, 54.5%, a high-water mark by an opponent this season. Portland is the only other UCSB opponent to make 50.0% or better in a game. On Dec. 2, the Pilots made exactly half of their shots. Finally, only four Gaucho opponents have shot 45.0% or better from the field.

UCSB Player Updates

Alex Harris
Junior guard tied his season-low with 10 points in Thursday's loss at Long Beach State...Remains UCSB's leading scorer at 20.6 points per game...He is the only Gaucho who has scored 10 or more in all 14 games this season...Harris was named Big West Player of the Week this week after leading UCSB to Big West wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton last weekend...In the win over UCR, he had a career-high 32 points...The Player of the Week award was his second of the season...Has scored 20 or more points nine times this year...Had season-high nine rebounds in win over Fullerton...Has made at least one three-point basket in 13 of 14 games.

Chris Devine
Junior forward scored 10 points and had four rebounds in loss to Long Beach State...Is second on the team at 16.1 points per game and has scored in double-figures 12 times in 14 games...Scored a career-high of 28 on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine...Has three double-doubles this season, most recently when he had 22 points and 11 rebounds against Vanguard...In all, Devine has seven double-doubles in his 43 games as a Gaucho...Leads the team in rebounding at 6.7 per game, but he has had just 14 total in the last four games.

James Powell
Freshman guard had seven points, four rebounds and a team-high four assists at Long Beach State on Friday...Has had shooting problems in recent games...In his last seven games, Powell has made 9-of-38 shots overall, 23.7%, and 3-of-24, 12.5%, from three-point range...Made his first three-pointer in four games on Thursday night...His 43 assists (3.1 per game) ranks second on the team...Prior to his current streak of seven straight single-digit games, he had scored 12 or more in six straight.

Cecil Brown
Senior guard led the Gauchos with 11 points at Long Beach State on Thursday...He has now scored 24 in the last two games, 12.0 per game, and has been in double-figures in back-to-back games for the first time this season...Missed the first five games of the year with a foot injury...Has had at least two rebounds in eight of nine appearances...Made a season-high three three-point baskets on Thursday night, doubling his output for the season.

Ivan Elliott
Junior forward Ivan Elliott scored four points, had three rebounds and a career-high three assists in Thursday night's game at Long Beach State...Made 2-of-3 shots from the field and has now hit 29-of-42, 69.0%, in seven games as a starter...Came off the bench for the first seven games of the season...In the last six games, he has averaged 9.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game...Had the first double-double of his career on Dec. 28 against UC Riverside when he had 12 and 10.

Justin Joyner
Freshman guard had one point, one rebound and one assist at Long Beach State on Thursday...In the game prior to Long Beach, he had a career-high 10 assists, the most by a UCSB player since the 1998-99 season...Remains the Gauchos' leader in assists with 46, 3.3 per game...Also leads the Big West in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.6-to-1.0...Has not made a field goal in the last two games.

Trevor Bing
Junior guard scored a career-high nine points in the loss at Long Beach State...Although he has not played nearly as many minutes as the rest of the backcourt, Bing leads all of the Gaucho guards in field goal percentage at 55.6%...Also ranks third on the team with eight three-point baskets despite playing the eighth most minutes.

Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté
Freshman forward played a career-high 17 minutes in the game against Long Beach State on Thursday night...Had four points and a personal-best five rebounds...Had not played in the two games prior to Thursday night...Has made 11-of-19 shots in his limited role, 57.9%.

Glenn Turner
Senior forward played just four minutes in the loss to Long Beach on Thursday night...Has played in five games since returning from a hernia...His best game was on Dec. 28 against UC Riverside when he played 19 minutes and had eight points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

Tom Garlepp
Sophomore forward played just four minutes at Long Beach State...After starting the first seven games of the season, Garlepp has come off the bench in the last seven...Averaged 25.6 minutes per outing through the first seven and just 8.8 per game in the most recent seven...Still ranks second on the team with 11 blocked shots.

Paul Roemer
Freshman guard played nine minutes at Long Beach State...Scored five points on 2-of-3 from the field, including 1-for-1 from three-point range...Also recorded a career-high with three steals in the game...Has produced seven steals in just 75 minutes of action this season...In his last two appearances, Roemer has played a total of 18 minutes and had five steals.