Gauchos Look to Halt Two-Game Home Losing Streak, Host UC Davis Saturday

Jan. 25, 2008


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The Schedule
Game No. 20>
Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Davis Aggies
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTMS 990/1490-AM

Game No. 21
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCR's Student Recreation Center
Radio: KTMS 990/1490-AM

On The Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's game with an overall record of 14-5 and a Big West mark of 3-3. On Thursday night the Gauchos lost their second straight home game, a decisive 71-58 decision to visiting Pacific. UCSB had won two its previous two games, on the road at Cal Poly (75-60) and at Cal State Fullerton (87-72). The Gauchos began the season with a 7-0 record at the Thunderdome before losing their last two.

UCSB Plays Four Of Next Five At Home
Saturday's game against UC Davis will be UCSB's second consecutive at home after a run of six out of eight on the road. Including the game against the Aggies, the Gauchos will remain at home for four of five games. The only road game will be Jan. 30 at UC Riverside.

Red Hot Pacific Defeats Ice Cold UCSB, 71-58
Chad Troyer scored 27 points and made six three-point baskets to lead red-hot Pacific to a 71-58 win over ice cold UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night. The loss was the Gauchos second straight at home after opening the season with seven straight Thunderdome wins. The game was low scoring throughout much of the first half, with the teams tied at 6-6 with nearly eight minutes gone. The Gauchos (14-5 overall, 3-3 in the Big West) took a 15-12 lead with 7:30 left in the first half, and led 17-14 with 6:10 remaining. From that point, the Tigers (14-5 overall, 5-1 in the Big West) outscored UCSB 12-0 to close the first half, hitting 5-of-8 shots from the field over the final six minutes to take a 26-17 lead at the break. Pacific limited the Gauchos to 7-of-29 shooting from the field in the first 20 minutes, including 0-for-7 to finish the half. Santa Barbara opened the second half with a 9-3 run to pare the Tiger lead to 29-26 with just over 15 minutes to play. Pacific, however, went on a 9-1 surge of its own to reclaim a decisive 38-27 edge. Troyer made two of his three-pointers during what proved to be the decisive run. A trio of free throws, one by Chris Devine and a pair by Nedim Pajevic, cut the lead back down to eight, 38-30, but the Tigers responded again, this time with a game-clinching 19-6 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 57-36, with 5:34 remaining in the game. A flurry of UCSB three-pointers and a handful of missed Pacific free throws allowed the Gauchos to pull within nine, 67-58, with 1:18 to play, but they would get no closer. The visiting Tigers finished the game at 59.5% from the field overall, the highest percentage by a Santa Barbara opponent this season. They also made 9-of-19 shots from beyond the three-point arc and won the rebounding battle, 37-27. UCSB on the other hand, had its worst shooting game of the campaign as it hit just 7-of-29 first half shots, 24.1%, and 18-of-56 for the game, 32.1%. The Gauchos also struggled from three-point distance, going 8-for-26, 30.8%. Senior guard Alex Harris, who was suffering from a sinus infection and did not practice during the week, led the Gauchos with 15 points. Devine had 14 points and James Powell added 13. Devine also became the 22nd player in school history to go past the 1,000 point mark. He now has 1,004. Ivan Elliott had a team-high nine rebounds. Anthony Brown had a double-double for the Tigers, finishing with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Justin Joyner - Has had more turnovers than assists just once this season.
G - Alex Harris - Has 1,453 career points, the third most in school history.
G - James Powell - Has averaged 17.7 points per game in the last three.
F - Chris Devine - With 14 points vs. Pacifc, now has 1,004 in his career.
F - Ivan Elliott - Tied his season-high with nine rebounds against Pacific.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Nick Quick - Has attempted seven shots in just 10 minutes of action.
G - Jordan Weiner - All 10 of his baskets this season have been three-pointers.
G - Paul Roemer - Has made five of his last six three-point attempts.
G - D.J. Posley - Missed all three of his shots in Thursday's loss to Pacific.
G - George Murphy - Has yet to play in a game.
F - Nedim Pajevic - Fouled out in just eight minutes of action on Thursday.
F - Sam Phippen - Has not played in the last three games.
F - Beau Gibb - Played 12 minutes vs. Pacific, his highest total since Nov. 24.
F - Peter Jordan - Walk-on freshman has played in two games this season.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his 10th season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team recorded an overall record of 18-11 and a Big West mark of 9-5. The 18 wins were the most regular season wins by a Gaucho team since 1991-92 and it equaled the second most wins a Williams-coached UCSB team has ever had. Williams has led Santa Barbara to winning records in five of the last six seasons, the only exception being a 2004-05 team that was ravaged by injuries. He has guided UCSB to a pair of postseason appearances. In 2002-03, the 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 title ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 154-127 (.550) overall record and an 89-62 (.589) 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 343-227 (.603) at four-year schools.

The Opposition
The Gauchos and UC Davis have played 14 times over the years. The first time the teams met was in 1939. Santa Barbara holds an 11-3 edge in the all-time series, but the teams split a pair of games in 2006-07 with each winning on the road. The Aggies topped the Gauchos in Santa Barbara, 70-66, while UCSB won at Davis, 66-48. Saturday's game will be the first ever between the schools as Big West opponents. The Gauchos and UC Riverside have played 21 times in a series that dates back to 1955. UCSB holds a decisive 17-4 edge all-time, including a pair of wins during the 2006-07 season. Last year, the Gauchos won in Santa Barbara by a score of 73-65, and in Riverside by a 68-67 tally. In all, they have won four straight against the Highlanders.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB had its nine-game home winning streak ended on Jan. 5 by Cal State Northridge, 88-84, and on Thursday night, Pacific handed the Gauchos their second straight home loss, 71-58. With wins over Long Beach State, Utah Valley, Pepperdine, UNLV, Montana State, San Francisco and Cal Poly Pomona, the Gauchos opened the year with a perfect 7-0 Thunderdome record, extending a two-season home victory streak to nine in a row. The nine game home winning streak was the longest the program has experienced since it won 15 in a row bridging the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons.

The Gauchos On The Road
The Gauchos are 5-3 in true road games this season. They won their last two road games, 75-60 at Cal Poly on Jan. 19, and 87-72 at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 12. In addition, they have victories at Eastern Washington, Ball State and Loyola Marymount. The trio of road defeats have come at North Carolina, Stanford and UC Irvine. UCSB has also gone a perfect 2-0 in neutral court games with wins over Northwestern State and Harvard at the Basketball Travelers Classic in Palo Alto, Calif. In 2006-07, the Gauchos recorded an all-time best 10-4 record on the road. Dating to the 2005-06 season, UCSB has gone 19-8 in its last 27 true road games.

Rebound Regression
UCSB was outrebounded by Pacific on Thursday night, 37-27. In their previous game, the Gauchos had posted a 39-30 rebound victory at Cal Poly. The nine-rebound margin over the Mustangs was the largest this season, and it meant that UCSB had been outrebounded just one time over a four game span, the longest of the season. On the year, the Gauchos are now being outrebounded by an average of 2.7 rebounds per game. They have been outrebounded 10 times in 19 games, including three times by 10 or more. The largest rebound disadvantage this season came, not surprisingly, at North Carolina when the Tar Heels had 57 rebounds to UCSB's 30. The 10 rebound margin of Thursday night was the largest in six Big West games this season. Also on Thursday, Pacific had just four offensive rebounds, a low by an opponent this season. Of course, the Tigers shot 59.5%, severely limiting their offensive rebound capability.

A Tale Of Two Extremes
Thursday night's loss to Pacific truly was a tale of two extremes. It was the best of nights, it was the worst of nights. The Tigers shot 59.5% overall, including 75.0% in the second half. It was the highest field goal percentage by a Gaucho opponent in a game this season. In fact, it was just the second time this year that an opponent had made 50.0% or better. North Carolina was the other at 57.1%. As for the worst of nights, the 32.1% that UCSB shot on its offensive end was the lowest field goal percentage in a game this season. Since shooting a season-best 64.8% in a Jan. 12 win at Cal State Fullerton, Santa Barbara has had two of its four worst shooting games of the season. On Jan. 19, in a victory at Cal Poly, the Gauchos made just 20 out of 53 shots, 37.7%. In the last two games combined, UCSB has made 38-of-109 from the field, 34.9%.

THE Bright Spot
There weren't many bright spots in UCSB's loss to Pacific on Thursday night, but turnovers committed was one. The Gauchos had just seven turnovers against the Tigers, the lowest total this season and just the second time that they had produced fewer than 10 in a game. Previously, the fewest turnovers committed by UCSB this season was eight, on Jan. 3 against Long Beach State. On the year, the Gauchos are now averaging 15.3 turnovers per game, but just 9.5 per game in the last two.

Plenty O' Turnovers
UCSB opponents are averaging 18.9 per game in 2007-08, an increase of 5.5 per game over the 13.4 per game they averaged in 2006-07. Last year, a Gaucho opponent had 20 or more turnovers just once, 21 by Pepperdine in a double overtime game. In 2007-08, UCSB has forced 20 or more turnovers eight times in 19 games and only one opponent has had fewer than 16. On Jan. 19, Cal Poly had 12 turnovers, the low mark by an opponent this season. Pacific had 16 on Thursday night.

The Harris Poll
Senior guard Alex Harris continues to lead the Big West in scoring at 21.3 points per game, a figure that is narrowly higher than Cal State Fullerton guard Josh Akognon who is at 21.2. After scoring a season-high 31 points on Jan. 19 at Cal Poly, Harris tallied just 15 in Thursday night's game against Pacific. He had missed virtually all three of UCSB's practices preceding the game against the Tigers. Harris is suffering from a sinus infection, but he is expected to play against UC Davis. While he tallied a season-high 31 a week ago against Cal Poly, he has had his three lowest scoring games in the last four games. In addition to the 15 he went for on Thursday, Harris had 13 on Jan. 12 at Cal State Fullerton and 15 on Jan. 10 at UC Irvine. The 31-point effort against Cal Poly was the third highest total of his career. Also, after attempting a season-low 10 shots on Jan. 12 at Cal State Fullerton, Harris took a season-high 20 against the Mustangs. He attempted 12 on Thursday night against Pacific. The senior from Alameda, Calif., has now scored 1,453 points in his career. Last Saturday, he moved past Branduinn Fullove, Lucius Davis and Doug Rex, jumping from sixth to third on UCSB's all-time scoring list. His next target, Mark Hull, scored 1,580 points in his career. Since the beginning of the season, he has moved from 18th to third all-time. Harris has scored 20 or more 10 times this season and 25 or more six times. He has either led or tied for the team-lead in scoring in 15 of his 18 appearances this year. In addition to scoring, he also paces the Gauchos in three-point shooting, although his 1-for-7 performance from three-point territory on Thursday night put him below 50.0% for the first time in a long time. Harris is now making 48.9% of his shots from outside the arc. In his 31-point game at Cal Poly, he made 5-of-9. The five threes were one short of his career-high of six set on Dec. 7 against Utah Valley. Despite making just 1-of-7 on Thursday night, Harris has drained 41 out of 78 in his past 15 games, 52.6%. He has drained at least one three-point basket in 17 of his 18 games this season, two or more 14 times, and three or more seven times. Harris has now made 165 three-pointers in 400 career attempts, 41.2%, the third most makes and the fourth highest percentage in school history. Prior to his 31-point game at Cal Poly, Harris' season-high was 29 points on Nov. 24 against Montana State. In that game, he recorded career-highs for free throws, 15, and free throw attempts, 18. On the season, Harris has gone to the free throw line 127 times, an average of 7.0 times per game. Harris is averaging 3.6 rebounds per game, fourth on the team, and he has had four or more in five of the last nine games. He had a season-high eight rebounds on Nov. 24 against Montana State, and he has had seven twice, on Nov. 27 against UNLV and Nov. 10 against Harvard. Also, of his 30 assists on the year, 22 have come in the last nine games. After scoring 458 points in 58 games during his first two seasons at UCSB, Harris has scored 995 in 47 games the past two years. Finally, Harris was a Preseason All-Big West and Mid-Major All-America selection.

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine scored 14 points and had four rebounds while playing a season-high 35 minutes in Thursday night's loss to Pacific. A week ago, against Cal Poly, Devine struggled through a foul-plagued game and finished with eight points, five rebounds and one steal. Devine remains second on the team in scoring at 13.4 points per game. He has scored in double-figures 14 times in his 18 games, but he has only done so four times in the last eight games. He scored a season-high 24 on Jan. 5 against Cal State Northridge. Devine's other 20-point performance came when he tallied 22 points on Dec. 19 at Ball State. With his 14 points against Pacific on Thursday night, Devine has now tallied a career total of 1,004 points. He is the 22nd UCSB player to eclipse the 1,000 point mark for his career and he actually moved past B.J. Bunton and into 21st-place all-time. Devine is also second on the team in rebounding at 5.4 per game, but he has averaged just 4.5 per game in the last four. He has had five or more in five of the last seven games, and since compiling just three total rebounds in the first two games of the year, he has had 95 in 16 games, 5.9 per game. He had a season-high nine on Dec. 1 at Loyola Marymount. In Thursday's game against Pacific, Devine made just 5-of-14 shots overall, and 0-for-2 from three-point range. In his last two games, he has gone just 8-of-21 from the field, 38.1%, and his overall percentage has dropped to 51.2%. Prior to his struggles of the last two games, he had made 23-of-39 over a four-game stretch, 59.0%. Still A Preseason All-Big West selection, Devine had a season-high four assists on Dec. 7 against Utah Valley and two or more nine times this season, including four of the last seven games. He has also claimed the team-lead in steals with a recent surge. He has had at least one in three of the last four games and he now has 26 on the season, 25 of which have come in the last 15 games.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Sophomore guard James Powell scored 13 points in Thursday night's game against Pacific. In each of the two games prior to the game against the Tigers, wins at Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton, Powell scored 20 points. He is now averaging 11.7 points per game, a figure that is at its highest point all year. He is averaging 17.7 points per game in the lat three games and 14.5 per game in the last six. Powell scored a career-high 24 points on Nov. 15 against Cal Poly Pomona and he has had 10 or more points 12 times in 19 games this season, all in the last 16 games. Since scoring a total of 17 points in the first three games of the year, he has scored 206, an average of 12.9 per game, in the last 16. He ranks second on the team in three-point baskets with 37, and he has hit three in each of the last two games. He has made 40.7% from beyond the arc, but since opening the year by making 2-of-12, he has gone 35-for-79, 44.3%. He made a career-high five three-point baskets in a Nov. 27 win over UNLV, including the game-winner with less than a second to play. All five of his three-pointers in that game came in the second half. Powell, who had two assists against Pacific and five at Cal Poly, one short of his career-high, is averaging 2.3 assists per game and has had two or more 11 times. He tied a career-high with six on Jan. 5 against Cal State Northridge. He is also averaging 3.3 rebounds per outing, and has had four or more seven times, including a career-high six on Jan. 3 against Long Beach State. Powell has had four or more boards in each of the last three games. Finally, with three steals on Thursday night, he tied his career-high and he now has 22 on the season, second on the team. Powell has had 12 seals in the last seven games.

Justin Joins In
Since scoring a season-high 13 points on Jan. 12 at Cal State Fullerton, sophomore guard Justin Joyner has gone scoreless in consecutive games. On Thursday night, he did not attempt a shot in his 26 minutes of action, and he has taken just one in the last two games combined. For the season, Joyner is now averaging 3.5 points per game and he has actually scored fewer points (66) than he has assists (76). He does lead the team in assists at 4.0 per game. He had three against Pacific, ending a streak of five straight games with at least four. Joyner also paces UCSB and the Big West in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.2-to-1.0. Joyner has had more turnovers than assists in a game just once this season, and in his last 12 games, he has had 52 assists and just 19 turnovers. Joyner has had four or more assists 13 times this season. The Gauchos are 11-2 when he has four or more assists. Joyner had a season-high seven assists on Dec. 7 against Utah Valley. He has also had a pair of six-assist games, on Dec. 5 against Pepperdine and Dec. 19 at Ball State. While he scored a season-high 13 at Cal State Fullerton, he also had nine on Nov. 10 against Harvard, and two eight-point games, Nov. 27 against UNLV and Dec. 7 against Utah Valley. Joyner has made 10 out of 33 three-pointers this season, but seven have come in three games, two apiece against UNLV and Ball State, and a career-high three at Fullerton.

Ivan The Good
Senior forward Ivan Elliott continues to be one of UCSB's most consistent players. Although he has scored in single-digits in each of the last three games, Elliott is fourth on the team at 9.1 points per game. He also continues to lead the Gauchos in rebounding at 6.2 per game and blocked shots at 1.2 per game. He had eight points and nine rebounds against Pacific. The nine rebounds tied his season-high. Elliott also had a season-high nine rebounds on Jan. 29 at Eastern Washington, and he followed that up with back-to-back games of eight to open Big West play. In the last 10 games he has averaged 7.1 rebounds per game and he has had five or more in 11 straight. Because of foul trouble, he had been limited to an average of 22.5 minutes in the two games prior to Thursday night. On Jan. 12 at Cal State Fullerton, Elliott fouled out in 22 minutes but still led the Gauchos in rebounds with seven, had a pair of assists, and scored six points. Last week at Cal Poly, he only had three fouls, but two came early in the first half and sent him to the bench for an extended period. Elliott's six points on Saturday came on a pair of three-point shots. He was 2-for-2 from three-point range against the Mustangs. On Thursday night, he was 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, improving his team and league-leading percentage to 56.8%. In his last 11 games, he has gone 13-of-20 from three-point range, 65.0%. He has also made six of his last seven attempts and he made a career-high three on Nov. 24 against Montana State. While Elliott is averaging 9.1 points per game, he has averaged 10.0 per game over the last 10 games, scoring 10 or more six times over that span. In all, he has scored in double-figures nine times this season. Elliott poured in a career-best 17 points in the season opener against Northwestern State, making 8-of-10 shots in the process. Through 19 games, he is making a team-best 53.4% from the field. He has been at or over 50.0% in six of seven games and 11 times in the last 13. In fact, Elliott has made at least 60.0% of his shots in seven of the last 11, hitting 41-of-71 in those 11 games, 57.7%. Finally, Elliott leads the Gauchos in blocked shots with 22. He had a career-high three blocks on Nov. 10 against Harvard and he has had at least one in five of the last six games.

A Piece Of The Pajevic (Pronounced Pie-uh-vich)
On Thursday night against Pacific, if you blinked you might not have realized that senior forward Nedim Pajevic played. Pajevic fouled out in just eight minutes, scoring two points, collecting one rebound, one assist and one steal. His eight-minute stint came one game after he played 23 minutes in the win at Cal Poly, his longest stint since he played a season-high 26 in his only start on Nov. 24 against Montana State. Pajevic had five points and six rebounds in the win over the Mustangs. The six rebounds were his highest total over the past 10 games and the five points were his second-highest effort in the last five games. On Jan. 12 at Cal State Fullerton, Pajevic fouled out in only 16 minutes but before he did, he had one of his best offensive showings of the season, scoring eight points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field. Pajevic is now averaging 6.1 points per game, fifth on the team and tops among Gaucho reserves. He had a season-high 16 on Nov. 10 against Harvard, and he had a pair of 12 points games, one each against Montana State and North Carolina. In all, he has scored 10 points or more six times in 19 games, but he did so in five of the first six games and just once since. By missing his only field goal attempt against Pacific, Pajevic's field goal percentage has dipped below 50.0% for the first time this season at 49.5%, but while he has made just 1-of-11 three-point attempts, he has hit 45 out of his 82 two-point attempts, 54.9%. Pajevic is third on the team in rebounding at 3.9 per game and he had a high of 10 on Nov. 20 against San Francisco. In fact, Pajevic had a double-double against the Dons, the only one by a UCSB player this season. Finally, the native of Sarajevo has proven to be one of the better passers on the team and he is third on the team in assists at 1.9 per game. Pajevic recently had a streak of five straight games with two or more assists ended at Cal Poly. He had a season-high five assists on Nov. 15 against Cal Pomona.

Roemer Charges
Sophomore guard Paul Roemer continues to give the Gauchos valuable minutes as a reserve in the backcourt. Although he has been scoreless in the last two games, missing his only two field goal attempts, he continues to play solid defense. Roemer is averaging 2.7 points and 1.4 assists per game. On Jan. 10, in a defeat at UC Irvine, he helped shoot the Gauchos back into the game by making the first four three-point shots he took. He finished 4-for-5 from three-point territory, 4-for-6 overall, and scored a career-high 12 points. In the Jan. 12 win at Cal State Fullerton, he made the only field goal he attempted, also a three-pointer, and a pair of free throws, to finish with five points. Roemer has now made 11-of-29 shots from three-point range this season, 37.9%, but he has hit 5 out of his last six attempts, 83.3%. Finally, in 2006-07, Roemer played 132 minutes in 16 games. This year, Roemer has already logged 294 minutes in 19, an average of 15.5 per game. He has played at least eight minutes in every game and 15 or more in 11 of 19 games.

Strike A Posley
Junior guard D.J. Posley was scoreless on Thursday night against Pacific, missing all three of his field goal attempts. It was the first time that Posley had gone scoreless since Nov. 27 against UNLV. He is now averaging 3.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Scored five points, had two rebounds and one assist in the Jan. 19 win at Cal Poly. On Jan. 12 at Cal State Fullerton, he scored just two points yet had probably the best game of his UCSB career. Posley had a career-high six assists and no turnovers in 18 minutes against the Titans. He also had a pair of rebounds and a steal. His six assists equaled the total he accumulated in the previous five games combined. Posley is third on the team with 21 steals and he has had at least one 15 times and two or more four times.