Men's Basketball Hosts Detroit Mercy In Bracket Buster Saturday Game

Feb. 21, 2003

UC Santa Barbara Hosts Detroit Mercy In Bracket Buster Game
UC Santa Barbara hosts the University of Detroit Mercy in an ESPN Bracket Buster Saturday game. The Gauchos and Titans are two of 18 mid-major schools nationwide that were selected in August to participate in the first annual event. UCSB and Detroit will each enter the game with 13-11 overall records. The game, which will tip-off at 8:00 p.m. (PST) will be televised by ESPN as part of its Full Court package. It will be carried in the Detroit area on PAX-TV and in the Los Angeles/Orange County area by KDOC-TV.

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's Bracket Buster game against the University of Detroit Mercy with an overall record of 13-11 and a Big West record of 10-4. The Gauchos are tied for first-place in the Big West as they enter this non-conference battle.

Streaks Snapped In Loss At Cal Poly
Two streaks ended in UCSB's 66-63 loss at Cal Poly on Thursday night. The Gauchos' four-game winning streak ended and their ten game streak over the Mustangs was halted. Cal Poly made 56.1% of its shots, the second-highest opponent percentage this season, en route to the win. UCSB, which trailed by as many as ten points in the second half, took a one-point lead on a three-pointer by Jacoby Atako with less than four minutes remaining. The Gauchos, however, couldn't make many shots down the stretch and they lost for just the second time in the last ten games. Nick Jones led UCSB with 18 points, while Jacoby Atako and Branduinn Fullove each tallied 11. Despite the Mustangs' tremendous shooting performance, the Gauchos were able to stay in the game by coming-up with ten steals, their second highest total of the season, and making all 16 of their free throw attempts, their best performance of the year.

Dome, Sweet Dome
UCSB enters its game against Detroit on Saturday with a home record of 8-1 and a home winning streak of five. The Gauchos have recorded home wins over San Francisco, USC, UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge, Pacific, Cal Poly, Utah State and Idaho this season. Their average margin of victory in those eight games is an impressive 14.6 points. UCSB's lone loss at the Thunderdome this year was a tough one to absorb. The Gauchos lost to Cal State Fullerton on January 4 by a score of 57-55 in overtime. Last year, the Gauchos recorded a 10-2 record at the Thunderdome and dating back to the 2000-01 season, they have won 21 of the last 24 games at home. The last time UCSB lost a non-conference home game was on December 9, 2000 when it dropped a 75-73 decision to USC.

The Gauchos And Titans
UCSB and Detroit Mercy have played one time. The Gauchos and Titans met in the first round of last season's Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara with UCSB winning by a score of 86-59.

The Williams File
Bob Williams is in his fifth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to a 20-11 overall record and an 11-7 mark in Big West Conference play. It was the school's first 20-win season since 1992. Most importantly, however, Williams led UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Williams' teams have posted a 75-64 overall record and a 51-28 record in Big West games. In 1998-99, his first year, the Gauchos went 15-13 overall and 12-4 in the Big West, winning the league's Western Division championship. That year, they closed the campaign by going 15-5 and Williams was selected Big West Coach of the Year. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, he spent eight years at UC Davis and in those eight years his teams had a 158-76 record and in 1997-98, Williams' final season, they went 31-2, and won the NCAA Division II title. Williams has a record of 264-164 at four-year schools.

Selected Second-Team All-District
Senior forward Mark Hull, UCSB's second-leading scorer and its leading rebounder, has been selected Second Team All-District 15 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, it was announced today. Hull becomes the first Gaucho player since point guard Ray Kelly was selected in 1993. A a 6-foot-7 senior from Glendale, Hull is averaging 13.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He has made 57 three-point baskets, including at least one in 22 of 24 games. In ad

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - His 288 assists rank him eighth all-time.
G - Branduinn Fullove - Leads Gauchos at 15.2 points per game.
G - Nick Jones - 18 points at Cal Poly was his most since 11/23.
F - Casey Cook - Has made 6-of-9 field goals in last three games.
F - Mark Hull - Selected 2nd Team All-District 15 by NABC.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - B.J. Ward - Has played in two of last five games.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Has hit at least one three in 3 of last 4 games.
G - Josh Davis - Shooting 51.9% in the last eight games.
G - Cecil Brown - Scored career-high 16 at Pacific.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Has 35 rebounds in last five games.
F - Scott Rainey - Has scored three points in 15 appearances.
F - Derek Wheeler - Made a free throw vs. CSUN, his only point.

Free Throw Frenzy
In Thursday night's loss at Cal Poly, UCSB made a season-best 16-for-16 from the free throw line. Since a slow start at the line this season, the Gauchos have made steady improvement. In 14 league games, they are shooting 75.4% from the stripe, the best mark in league. In the last eight games, they have hit 139-of-178, 78.1. In fact, while UCSB has outscored its opponents by nine points from the free throw line for the season, the Gauchos have outscored their last 14 opponents by 87 points from the charity stripe, an average of 6.2 per game.

Big Wins, Marginal Defeats
Of UCSB's four Big West Conference losses, one has been by a large margin. On January 11, the Gauchos dropped a 16-point game, 75-59, at Utah State. The other three have come by narrow margins. The Gauchos dropped a 57-55 overtime loss to Cal State Fullerton on January, a 68-67 heartbreaker to Long Beach State on February 6 and then a 66-63 decision at Cal Poly on Thursday. On the other side of the coin, Santa Barbara's ten league wins have come by comfortable margins. The Gauchos have posted wins of 16, nine, 18, 15, nine, 16, 12, eight, ten and nine points. The average margin of victory in Big West games has been 12.5 points and the average margin of defeat, including the 16-point loss at Utah State, has been 5.5 per game. In fact, of UCSB's 13 wins this season, nine have come by margins of ten points or more and the other three came by margins nine, nine and eight points.

In Defense Of The Gauchos
Overall, UCSB leads the Big West Conference in field goal percentage defense at 41.5%. On Thursday, for the fourth time this season, they allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50.0% from the field and for the fourth time in those games, they lost. Last weekend, in wins at Pacific and Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos limited their opponents to a combined 45-of-124 from the field overall, 36.3% and a meager 19.6% from beyond the three-point arc. In fact, UCSB has held three of its last four opponents below 40.0% shooting. Overall, 11 of UCSB's 24 opponents have shot below the 40.0% barrier, including eight of 14 Big West opponents. The Gauchos have won all eight league games in which their opponent has made fewer than 40.0% of its shots. In 14 league games, opponents are shooting 40.9% from the floor, a statistic that also leads the Big West. In the last ten games, eight of which have been wins, Gaucho opponents are shooting a combined 39.5%. In the two losses over the last ten games, a one-point defeat at Long Beach State and a three-point defeat at Cal Poly, the opponents made a combined 44-of-82 shots, 53.7%.

LBSU Home Game Moved To 5:00 P.M.
UCSB's February 27 home game against Long Beach State, originally scheduled for 5:30 p.m., has been moved to 5:00 p.m. to accommodate television. The Gaucho-49er game will be aired as part of the Big West's Fox Sports Net 2 package in the Southern California area.

Player Updates

Mark Hull
Hull, who was selected Second Team All-District 15 by the NABC, remains second on the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game, but he continues to struggle on the offensive end....On Thursday night he made just 1-of-9 shots from the field and scored eight points...In the last seven games, Hull has made just 15-of-58 shots from the field overall, 25.9%...In the game at Cal Poly, Hull was 0-for-5 from three-point range, snapping a streak of 15 straight games with at least one three-point basket...In the last four games, he has made just 3-of-22 from beyond the three-point arc, 13.6%...His eight-point output against Cal Poly was his third single-digit performance in thhe last four games and his fifth in the last nine games...Still, Hull leads the Gauchos in three-point baskets with 57, the eighth-best single-season total in school history...He now has 204 for his carereer, a UCSB school record...Hull's total of 1,467 points ranks second on the school's all-time list and with 33 more points, he stands to become just the second player in school history to eclipse the 1,500 point mark...In spite of Thursday's game, Hull has made at least one three-point basket in 22 of 24 games this season and two or more 17 times...He made a season-high five three-pointers in games against Bucknell and Cal State Fullerton...Scored a season-high 23 points in the season-opener against Weber State...While his field goal percentage has dipped to a season-low 44.1% overall and 41.0% from three-point range, he has had a recent surge at the free throw line, making 23 in a row and improving to 77.8% overall...He has not missed a free throw since a January 30 game at UC Irvine...Hull leads the team in rebounds at 5.0 per game and he has had four or more in four straight and seven of the last eight...His season-high 11 rebounds came on January 25 against Cal Poly...Had a double-double in the first game against Cal Poly, going for 18 points and 11 rebounds...Hull has played a team-leading 822 minutes and has gone 30 or more in 23 of 24 games, including the last 20 in a row...Stands to become the first player in school history to lead the team in minutes played in four consecutive seasons...Has started all 111 games in his career.

Branduinn Fullove
Fullove remains UCSB's leading scorer at 15.2 points per game...Scored 11 points on just 4-of-12 shooting from the field in Thursday's loss at Cal Poly...Suffered a concussion 58 seconds into UCSB's February 13 game at Pacific and missed the remainder of that contest...In two games since his return, Fullove has scored 19 and 11 points, 15.0 per game, and made 9-of-23 shots from the field overall, 39.1%...Including the game against Pacific when he was scoreless, he has been in double-figures nine times in the last ten games, leading the team in scoring six times over that span...In consecutive games against UC Irvine, Utah State and Long Beach State, Fullove scored 22, 20 and 21 points, the first time in his career that he had scored 20 or more in three straight games...Has scored in double-figures 18 of his 22 games, going for 20 or more five times...Scored a season-high 23 in a December 3 win over USC...Ranks second on the team In addition to the concussion game, he missed a pair of games at the beginning of the Big West schedule with a strained groin...Averaging 3.4 rebounds per game and has had five or more six times, including a season-high eight on January 18 against Pacific...Had season-high six assists in opener against Weber State...Also leads the Gauchos in free throw percentage at 80.0%...Now ranks sixth in UCSB history with 122 three-pointers and 16th with 1,062 career points.

Nick Jones
Jones is third on the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game and he is second in rebounding at 4.6 per game...Led the Gauchos with 18 points in Thursday's loss at Cal Poly...18 points was the most Jones had scored since he went for 20 in back-to-back games to open the season, November 22 and 23 against Weber State and Jacksonville State...He has now scored in double-figures in three straight games for the first time since early January...In the last three games, Jones has averaged 15.0 points and made 16-of-26 shots overall, 61.5%...While he is second on the team in rebounding, he has had just one total rebound in the last two games...On February 13 at Pacific, he had eight rebounds, his highest total since going for nine on December 7 at Pepperdine...Had a season-high ten rebounds, posting a double-double with 16 points, on November 30 against San Francisco...Jones is shooting 48.8% on the season overall and 40.4% from beyond the three-point arc...Was 2-of-5 from three-point range on Thursday, the first time he had made more than one three-pointer in a game since he hit three at UC Irvine on January 30...In the last six games, Jones is 4-for-17 from three-point range, 23.6%, and 20-of-28 from two-point range, 71.4%...He has now made 92 career three-pointers, the eighth-highest total in school history...With 18 points on Thursday, Jones has now scored a career total of 886 and he needs 14 to hit the 900 point mark...Finally, Jones has made 28-of-33 free throws over the last nine games, 85.2%.

Jacoby Atako
Atako had one of his best games of the season on Thursday at Cal Poly...Made all four of his field goal attempts, including a three-pointer, finishing with a season-high 11 points, two assists and a season-high four steals...Now averaging 5.1 points per game, the first time this year he has been over the 5.0 mark...In his last two games, Atako has made 6-of-8 shots overall, including both of his three-point attempts, all four of his free throw attempts, and he has averaged 9.0 points...Also, Atako has at least one steal in six straight games, two or more in four of six and three or more in three of the six...Has had nine steals in the last three games...Leads the team in assists (3.3 per game) and steals (30)...With 84 career steals, he needs just six to catch former Gaucho Brian Shaw for tenth on the school's all-time list...His 288 career assists ranks him eighth all-time.

Casey Cook
Cook is averaging 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game...had four points and two rebounds in 22 minutes at Cal Poly on Thursday...In his last three games, he has made 6-of-9 shots from the field, 66.7%...The current three-game stretch has come on the heels of a five game stretch in which he made just 5-of-26 shots from the floor, 19.2%...Cook scored a career-high 16 points on November 24 against Centenary...He has been in double-figures four times this season, but he has gone eight straight games in single-digits...While he is shooting 68.0% from the free throw line, in the last 11 games he has made 24-of-30 from the line, 80.0%.

Cecil Brown
Brown is averaging 5.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game...He was scoreless in 13 minutes at Cal Poly, missing all three of his field goal attempts...He did have four rebounds...Despite his scoreless game on Thursday, Brown has shown flashes of offensive brilliance this season...On February 13 at Pacific, with Fullove sidelined with a concussion, he had a career-high 16 points in just 21 minutes to lead the team to a win...Brown has scored ten or more four times this year...He has also had four or more rebounds six times...Also ranks fourth on the team with 16 three-point baskets and he has made two or more four times.

Josh Davis
Davis made both of his field goal attempts, both of his free throw attempts and had six points on Thursday at Cal Poly...He continues to get better and better on both ends of the floor...Davis is averaging 3.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game...On February 13 at Pacific he had seven points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals arguably his best all-around game of the season...On January 2, in a win over UC Riverside, he made all five of his field goal attempts and scored a career-high 14 points...That was Davis' only double-figure scoring effort of the year...He has emerged as one of the best defensive player on the team...While he has 21 steals, 18 have come in the last 14 games...He has had two or more steals six times and he had a season-high three twice...His 21 steals to this point rank as the sixth most by a freshman in UCSB history...Also, while Davis is averaging just 1.9 rebounds per game, he has averaged 2.5 per game over the last 12 outings...In his last eight games, Davis has made 14-of-27 shots from the field, 51.9%.

Bryan Whitehead
Whitehead is averaging 3.1 points and a season-high 3.8 rebounds per game...He has had four or more rebounds in each of the last five games, averaging 7.0 per game over that span...Whitehead pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds on February 6 against Utah State...Also, he has gone 14-of-23, 60.9%, in the last eight games...Has improved his overall field goal percentage to 49.2%...He is also the only Gaucho who has ten or more blocked shots (12) and ten or more steals (12) on the season...Whitehead had a career-high three blocked shots on November 24 against Centenary.

Chrismen Oliver
Oliver scored three points and had one assist in 15 minutes at Cal Poly on Thursday...His only basket was a three-pointer and he has now made seven this season and one in three of the last four games...While he is averaging 1.8 points per game, he has chipped in 3.0 per game over the last five...Tallied a season-high eight points and five assists on December 10 at Cal...He has had three or more assists seven times this year.

B.J. Ward
Ward has played in 21 of 24 games...Has not played in the last three contests...In the win at Pacific, his last appearance, he scored two points, had one rebound and an assist.

On The Horizon
UCSB will return home next weekend for two games. On Thursday, February 27, the Gauchos will host Long Beach State in a 5:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The game will be carried live on Fox Sports Net 2 as part of the Big West's TV package. On Saturday, March 1, UCSB hosts UC Irvine in a showdown of two of the top teams in the league. The game will also mark the final Thunderdome appearance for UCSB's seniors, including Mark Hull, the school's second all-time leading scorer.