UCSB-Cal Poly Renew Central Coast Rivalry on Valentine's Day

UCSB-Cal Poly Renew Central Coast Rivalry on Valentine's Day

Feb. 12, 2008

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The Schedule
Game No. 24
Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Mustangs
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTMS 990/1490-AM
Television: None
Internet: Bigwest.org

Game No. 25
Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Davis Aggies
at UCD's Pavilion
Radio: KTMS 990/1490-AM
Television: None
Internet: Bigwest.org

UCSB Travels To Utah State For ESPNU O'Reilly BracketBusters
UCSB will play at Utah State on Friday, Feb. 22 in the ESPNU O'Reilly BracketBusters. The teams have not met since the Aggies departed the Big West for the Western Athletic Conference following the 2004-05 campaign. While 100 schools will take part in BracketBusters, just 14 games will be televised, including the UCSB-USU match-up. ESPN determined this week that the game will be broadcast on ESPNU and it will tip-off at 6:00 p.m. (PST)

On The Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Thursday's game against Cal Poly with an overall record of 17-6 and a Big West mark of 6-4. The Gauchos have won three of their last four games, but had a three-game winning streak ended on Saturday when they lost a 65-59 decision to visiting UC Irvine. Since opening Big West play with a 1-2 record, UCSB has gone 5-2.

Rivals Get Together On Valentine's Day
In what seems to have become a tradition, UCSB and its Central Coast neighbor, Cal Poly, will play on Valentine's Day. The teams have met on Valentine's Day on two other occasions. Last year, the Mustangs defeated the Gauchos in San Luis Obispo, 86-79, and in 2004, UCSB handed the Mustangs a 73-57 defeat on Feb. 14.

Williams, 1998 Team To Be Honored UC Davis Saturday
UCSB head coach Bob Williams and his 1998 UC Davis team that won the NCAA Division II National Championship, will be honored this weekend in Davis. The 10th anniversary of the title will be celebrated in a halftime ceremony during Saturday's Gaucho-Aggie game. On Friday night, the 1998 team, coached by Williams, will take-on a UCD alumni team, coached by current Aggie head coach and former UCSB assistant coach Gary Stewart.

UCSB Holds-On For 83-80 Win Over Cal State Fullerton
UC Santa Barbara went ice cold in the final 15 minutes of the second half and blew a 10-point lead, losing to visiting UC Irvine, 65-59 on Saturday night. The loss ended UCSB's three-game winning streak. The Gauchos took a commanding 47-37 lead on a three-pointer by Alex Harris with 15:13 to play, but then were outscored 13-0 over the next 5:47 to fall behind, 50-47. The UCI rally was capped by guard Marcus McIntosh who scored on a driving lay-up along the baseline, was fouled by Chris Devine, and made the free throw. Devine tied the score at 50-50 on the next possession, scoring on a lay-up and then making the free throw after a foul by Darren Fells. After UCI's Brett Lauer missed a three-pointer, Devine took a feed from Justin Joyner and scored on another lay-up, giving the Gauchos their final lead of the game, 52-50. The Anteaters used a 12-2 outburst to seize their biggest lead of the game, 62-54 with 1:57 to play. Patrick Sanders, who finished with a game-high 18 points, scored six during the 12-2 run. UCSB tried in vain to get back into the game, but the closest they could get was three points on a three-pointer by James Powell with 1:06 left. After leading 47-37, the Gauchos scored just 12 points in the final 15:13 of the game, missing 21 of their final 25 shots. McIntosh joined Sanders in double-figures for the Anteaters with 16 points. Darren Fells had nine points and 12 rebounds. Santa Barbara was led by Joyner who had a career-high 16 points, including four three-point baskets, and seven assists. Devine finished with 15 before fouling out, and Harris had 14, despite making just 3-of-12 shots. For the game, UCI hit 47.7% from the field while the Gauchos hit just 40.4%, including 27.3% in the final 20 minutes.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Justin Joyner - Had career-highs of 16 points and four three-pointers vs. UC Irvine.
G - Alex Harris - Became third UCSB player over 1,500 points and now has 1,524, third all-time.
G - James Powell - Has made 11 three-point baskets in his last three games.
F - Chris Devine - 22nd Gaucho to hit 1,000 career points. Has 1,045 in career, 20th all-time.
F - Ivan Elliott - One game after scoring career-high, had season-low four vs. UC Irvine.

Probable Reserves - Notes>
G - Nick Quick - Has attempted eight shots in just 11 minutes of action.
G - Jordan Weiner - All 12 of his baskets this season have been three-pointers.
G - Paul Roemer - Averaged 3.0 assists per game in the last two.
G - D.J. Posley - Tied his season-high with four rebounds vs. UC Irvine.
F - Nedim Pajevic - Has averaged 5.0 rebounds per game in the last two games.
F - Sam Phippen - Has not played in the last six games.
F - Beau Gibb - Has played in 21 of 23 games.
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 157-128 (.553) overall record and an 92-63 (.597) 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 346-228 (.604) at four-year schools.

The Opposition
UCSB and Cal Poly have played 89 times in a series that began in 1938. The Gauchos hold a sizable 59-30 edge all-time and won the season's first meeting between the schools, 75-60 on Jan. 19 in San Luis Obispo. Prior to that win by UCSB, the Mustangs had won three in a row and four of five in the series. In 2006-07, Cal Poly won the game in San Luis Obispo by a score of 86-79, and in Santa Barbara by a 71-61 count. Santa Barbara and UC Davis have played 15 times in a series that began in 1939. The Gauchos lead the series with a record of 12-3. On Jan. 26, in the first game between the schools this season, UCSB defeated the Aggies by a score of 60-45 at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos have now won two straight games against UC Davis. The last time the team's met in Davis, on Feb. 1, 2007, UCSB recorded a 66-48 victory.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB had its nine-game home winning streak ended on Jan. 5 by Cal State Northridge, 88-84, and on Jan. 24, Pacific handed the Gauchos their second straight home loss, 71-58. After bouncing back with consecutive wins over UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos dropped their last home game, a 65-59 decision to UC Irvine. Having lost three out of their last five Thunderdome appearances, UCSB is now 9-3 at home this season. With victories 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 home 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 had since it won 15 in a row bridging the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons.

The Gauchos On The Road
The Gauchos are 6-3 in true road games this season. They won their last three road games, 64-53 at UC Riverside on Jan. 30, 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 20-9 in its last 29 true road games.

Double-Digit Dynamic
Although UCSB has three players averaging in double-figures overall, the Gauchos have four players who are doing the deed in Big West games. Overall, Alex Harris (20.7 ppg), Chris Devine (12.8 ppg), and James Powell (11.9 ppg) are each over the 10-point barrier. In nine Big West games, the scoring is even more balanced as Harris (18.6 ppg), Powell (13.7 ppg), and Devine (12.9 ppg) are joined by Ivan Elliott (10.0) in double-figure territory.

A Marginal Difference
UCSB has started Big West play with a 6-4 record this season. Three of the four losses in conference action have come by six points or less. The only double-figure margin of defeat came at the hands of Pacific on Jan. 24, 71-58. Of the six wins in league play, the first five came by way of double-digit margins. Four of the wins (Long Beach State, the first Cal State Fullerton game, Cal Poly, and UC Davis) came by 15 points and the other, UC Riverside, was an 11-point decision. UCSB's 83-80 win over Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 7 was the only close league victory that the team has had this season. In all, 15 of 23 Gaucho games have been decided by 10 or more points this year and UCSB has gone 12-3 in those games.

Three-Point Bliss Turns To Three-Point Blues
In its Feb. 7 win over Cal State Fullerton, UCSB made eight out of its 14 three-point field goal attempts. In doing so, the Gauchos improved their three-point field goal percentage on the season to 43.0%, a figure that ranked first in the Big West and second in the NCAA. The outstanding performance against the Titans gave UCSB a two-game total of 19 out of 35 attempts, 54.3%. The joy of those two performances, however, was dampened when the Gauchos made just 8-of-26 from beyond the arc in the loss to UC Irvine, 30.8%. The performance was among the team's worst this season. The three-point shooting was particularly bad in the second half as Santa Barbara made just 4-of-17, 23.5%.

Plenty Of Turnover
UCSB opponents are averaging 18.1 turnovers per game in 2007-08, an increase of 4.7 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 23 games and only three opponents have had fewer than 16, including the last two. Cal State Fullerton had 11 on Feb. 7, and UC Irvine had 13 on Feb. 9.

Out Of The Red, Into The Black
With 36 assists and just 23 turnovers in the last two games, UCSB has gone into the black in the assist-to-turnover ratio. Entering Thursday's game against Cal Poly, the Gauchos have totaled 347 assists as compared to a mere 344 turnovers. It marks the first time since the second game of the year that they have been on the plus side in that category.

Free, But Valuable
UCSB has been outstanding from the free throw line this season. After making 9-of-11 in the loss to UC Irvine, the Gauchos are making 78.1% on the season, tops in the Big West, and third in the nation. On Jan. 19 at Cal Poly, UCSB posted season-highs for makes and attempts by hitting 25 out of 30, 83.3%. In the last nine games, all in Big West Conference play, Santa Barbara has made 141-of-177, 79.7%, In 23 games this season, the Gauchos have made 80.0% or better from the free throw line 11 times. The school's all-time record of 77.2% was set during the 1982-83 season. Last year's mark of 72.5% was the ninth best ever.

Record Paces
Assuming the Gauchos make the Big West Tournament and play a 31st game, they are on a record pace in a couple of statistical categories. In addition to free throw percentage, which is impossible to predict, UCSB is on pace to break school records for steals and three-point baskets. The Gauchos are averaging 7.86 steals per game and, if they play 31 games, that pace would put them at about 244 steals, eight more than the current school record of 236. They are also averaging 7.96 three-pointers per game and, if they could average that the rest of the way, would finish with right around 246, 27 more than the current record of 219 set in 2002-03.

Take Me To Your Leaders
While only three players (Alex Harris, James Powell and Chris Devine) have led the Gauchos in scoring this season, the same has not held true for the other statistical categories. UCSB has had eight players lead or tie for the team-lead in steals, six lead or tie for the team-lead in rebounding, five lead or tie for the lead in assists, and six have done so in blocked shots.

The Harris Poll
Senior guard Alex Harris continues to lead the Gauchos and the Big West in scoring at 20.7 points per game. He ranks 24th in the nation in scoring. In Saturday's game against UC Irvine, Harris had his poorest offensive game of the season. While he did have 14 points, which was one more than his season-low, he made just 3-of-12 shots overall, 25.0%, and 2-of-8 from three-point territory. In the previous game, a win over Cal State Fullerton, Harris had 24 points, making 4-of-6 three-point attempts. He has scored 13 or more points in all 22 of his appearances this season and 29 straight times dating back to the 2006-07 season. He has led or tied for the team-lead in scoring 17 times this year, going for 20 or more 11 times and 25 or more six times. He scored a season-high 31 points on Jan. 19 at Cal Poly. The senior from Alameda, Calif., has now scored 1,524 points in his career. On Feb. 7, in a win over Cal State Fullerton, Harris became the third player in school history to move past the 1,500 point barrier. He enters Thursday's game against Cal Poly with 1,524 career points, ranking third all-time. He needs 57 to move past Mark Hull (1,580) and into second-place on the all-time list. The Gauchos' all-time leading scorer is Carrick DeHart, who finished his career with 1,687 points. In addition to scoring, Harris paces the team in three-point shooting. By making 4-of-6, Harris has boosted his percentage past the 50.0% mark again at 48.7%, ninth in the nation. He has hit 58 out of 119 attempts this season and has made at least one three-point basket in 21 of 22 games. In addition, he has hit two or more 18 times, and three or more nine times. In the last three games, he has gone 11-of-22, 50.0%. Harris made a career-high six three-point baskets, in eight attempts, on Dec. 7 against Utah Valley. In his career, he has now hit 178 out of 427, 41.7%. the fourth most makes and the second highest percentage in UCSB 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 had career-highs for free throws, 15, and free throw attempts, 18. On the year, Harris has gone to the free throw line 150 times, an average of 6.8 times per game. He has made 83.3% of his attempts overall, but has gone 36 out of his last 39, 92.3%. By going 6-of-8 from the charity stripe in the game against UC Irvine, Harris is now 420-of-533 in his career, 78.8%. He is the school's all-time leader in free throws and free throw attempts. With five rebounds in the last game, he is now averaging 3.5 per game. The five boards were his highest total in 10 games. He had a season-high eight rebounds on Nov. 24 against Montana State. Finally, Harris was a Preseason All-Big West and Mid-Major All-America selection.

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine bounced back with a solid overall game in the loss to UC Irvine. Devine, recovering from the flu, made 6-of-8 shots from the field and all three of his free throw attempts, to finish with 15 points. It was his highest scoring effort since he went for 18 on Jan. 12 at Cal State Fullerton. Devine is now averaging 12.8 points per game, second on the team. Before fouling out against the Anteaters, he also had four rebounds and three assists. Devine has scored 10 or more points 16 times in his 22 appearances this year, but just six times in the last 12 games. He scored a season-high 24 on Jan. 5 against Cal State Northridge, and his other 20 point game came when he had 22 at Ball State on Dec. 19. On Jan. 24 against Pacific, Devine became the 22nd player in UCSB history to move past the 1,000 point mark. He enters Thursday's game with a career total of 1,045, a figure that ranks 20th all-time. He needs six to move into 19th-place. Devine is second on the team in rebounding at 5.4 per game. He has had seven or more nine times and he had a season-high nine on Dec. 1 at Loyola Marymount. When he had eight on Feb. 7 against Cal State Fullerton, it was his highest total in seven games. He had eight in consecutive games to open Big West play in early-January. Devine is also second on the team in field goal percentage at 51.8%, but he has made 54.8% of his shots in the last four games. A Preseason All-Big West selection, Devine paces the team in steals with 28, although he has just two in the last five games.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Sophomore guard James Powell scored six points, had two rebounds and one assist in the loss to UC Irvine. Powell had his worst shooting night of the season against the Anteaters as he hit just 2-of-10 shots overall, 20.0%, and 2-for-7 from three-point range. He ewas coming off of a two-game stretch in which he averaged 19.5 points and drained 12-of-21 shots overall, 57.1%, and 9-of-14 from three-point territory, 64.3%. For the season, Powell is third on the team at 11.9 points per game. He scored his career-high 25 points in a Jan. 30 win at UC Riverside, making a career-high six three-point baskets in the process. In all,, he has been in double-figures 14 times this season, all in the last 20 games, and he has scored 20 or more four times, including three times in the last seven games. Since scoring a total of 17 points through the first three games, he has averaged 12.8 points per game. He is now shooting 42.2% from outside the three-point line, but since opening the year by going 2-for-12, Powell has made 47 out of his last 104 attempts, 45.2%. Prior to draining six three-pointers against Riverside, his career-high was five, set on Nov. 27 against UNLV. He made all five three-pointers in the second half against the Runnin' Rebels, including one with less than a second remaining to give the Gauchos the win. Powell is averaging 2.4 assists per game, second on the team, and he has had two or more in six of the last seven games. He tied a career-high with six on Jan. 5 against Cal State Northridge.

Justin Joins In
Sophomore guard Justin Joyner had one of the best overall games of his career in UCSB's loss to UC Irvine on Saturday. Joyner scored a career-high 16 points, making 6-of-10 shots overall and a career-best 4-of-6 from three-point territory. In addition, he tied his season-high with seven assists and had just one turnover. Joyner had his 16 points after scoring a total of six in the previous five games combined. It was Joyner's second double-figure scoring game of the season. He had 13 points on Jan. 12 at Cal State Fullerton. The seven assists that he had were one more than he had in the previous three games combined. It equaled his season-high, also achieved on Dec. 7 against Utah Valley. Joyner, who is now averaging 3.8 points per game, leads the Gauchos in assists at 3.9 per game. In addition to his pair of seven assist games, he has had two games with six assists and three games with five assists. In all, Joyner has produced four or more 14 times this season and UCSB has gone 11-3 in those games. Even more impressively, he has now collected 89 assist and just 39 turnovers, an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.3-to-1.0, the best mark in the Big West Conference. He has had more turnovers than assists in a game just one time this season (Four turnovers and two assists on Nov. 11 at Stanford) and in his last 16 games, he has had 65 assists and just 23 turnovers. He has had just five turnovers in the last five games, 134 minutes. In fact, despite playing 613 minutes and handling the ball more than anyone else on the team, Joyner has committed just 39 turnovers, an average of just 1.69 per game. Joyner has made 14 out of 41 three-pointers this season, but 11 have come in four games, two apiece against UNLV and Ball State, three at Fullerton and four against UC Irvine. He has made seven of his last 12 attempts from outside the stripe, 58.3%.

Ivan The Good
One game after scoring a career-high 22 points in a win over Cal State Fullerton, senior forward Ivan Elliott scored a season-low four points in a loss to UC Irvine. Elliott made just 2-of-5 shots overall, missing his only three-point attempt, in the game against the Anteaters. He did have a team-high six rebounds. On Feb. 7, against Cal State Fullerton, he had the best offensive game of his career. Against the Titans, Elliott scored a career-high 22 points, making a career-high 10 field goals on a career-high 13 attempts. He also made one of his two three-point field goal attempts in the game. Elliott enters the week averaging 9.4 points and a team-leading 6.0 rebounds per game. He has scored 10 or more points 11 times this season, including twice in the last three games. In addition to rebounding, Elliott paces the Gauchos in three-point field goal percentage at 48.9%, field goal percentage at 55.0%, and blocked shots with 23. He added three-point shooting to his arsenal this season. In 2006-07, the San Franciscan made just 5-of-13 shots from outside the arc, but this year he has drilled 22 out of his 45 attempts. Although he has slumped from three-point range in recent games, making just one out of eight attempts in the last four, he is still third on the team. Elliott made a career-high three three-pointers on Nov. 24 against Montana State, and he has made two on five other occasions. Elliott has had a season-high nine rebounds twice this year, on Dec. 29 at Eastern Washington and then again on Jan. 24 against Pacific. He has averaged nearly seven rebounds per game in the last 13 games and he has had five or more in 14 of the last 15.

A Piece Of The Pajevic (Pronounced Pie-uh-vich)
Senior forward Nedim Pajevic is averaging 5.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He had four points, three rebounds and one steal in Saturday's loss to UC Irvine. On Thursday against Cal State Fullerton, Pajevic had one of his best all-around games of the year. He had nine points, seven rebounds and he tied his career-high with five assists in the win over the Titans. The nine points were the most he scored since he went for 12 on Dec. 22 at North Carolina, and the seven rebounds were his highest total since he had a season-high 10 on Nov. 20 against San Francisco. Not coincidentally, Pajevic played 24 minutes against Fullerton, the most he has logged since Nov. 24 against Montana State. He has scored 10 or more points six times this season, but he has not done so since the North Carolina game. He went for a season-high 16 points on Nov. 10 against Harvard. In addition, he had a personal-best 10 rebounds on Nov. 20 against San Francisco, recording a double-double in the process as he also scored 10 points. In fact, Pajevic's double-double against the Dons is the only one recorded by a Gaucho player this season. Pajevic has had three or more assists eight times this year, going for a season-high five on Nov. 15 against Cal Poly Pomona, in addition to Feb. 7 against Fullerton. He has had four or more 11 times this season, including four times in the last eight games. Finally, while he is shooting 49.1% overall, Pajevic is making 55.4% from two-point range.

Roemer Charges
Sophomore guard Paul Roemer continues to give the Gauchos valuable minutes as a reserve in the backcourt. In Saturday's game against UC Irvine, Roemer played just nine minutes, his lowest total since he played eight on Nov. 27 against UNLV. In the previous game, a win over Cal State Fullerton, he had one of his best all-around games. Roemer played 13 minutes in the win over the Titans, and while he scored just two points, making his only field goal attempt, he had a career-high five assists, a career-high two blocked shots, and two steals. He is now averaging 2.3 points and 1.6 assists per game. He also has 19 steals on the year. He scored a career-high 12 points on Jan. 10 at UC Irvine, making four three-pointers in the process. His only other double-figure game this season came in the opener against Northwestern State when he had 10. Finally, in 2006-07, Roemer played 132 minutes in 16 games. This year, Roemer has played in all 23 games, logging 351 minutes.

Strike A Posley
Junior guard D.J. Posley has gone scoreless in each of the last three games, missing his only four field goal attempts over that span. Posley is averaging 2.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. He tallied a season-high seven on Dec. 5 against Pepperdine. He has also had six points three times, including Jan. 26 against UC Davis, the last time he scored. Despite ranking seventh on the team in minutes played, Posley is tied for second with 25 steals. In one of his best games this season, he had six assists and no turnovers in a Jan. 12 win at Cal State Fullerton.