Gauchos Hope to End Three-Game Losing Streak as Big West Stretch Run Begins
Feb. 20, 2007
Game No. 25
Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Fullerton Titans
at CSUF's Titan Gymnasium
Game No. 26
Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 5:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCR's Student Recreation Center
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its final road trip of the regular season with an overall record of 15-9 and a Big West record of 6-4. The Gauchos are in third-place entering the week, but have lost three consecutive games for the first time this season. On Saturday, Feb. 17, UCSB dropped a tough 71-70 decision at home to Eastern Washington. The game was the Gauchos' final non-conference contest of the season and was part of the O'Reilly's-ESPNU Bracket Busters series. Santa Barbara has lost its last two Big West games as well, dropping an 86-79 contest at Cal Poly on Feb. 14 and a heartbreaking 68-67 home decision to Long Beach State on Feb. 10. Prior to the current three-game losing streak, the Gauchos had not lost more than two games in a row this season.
March 3 Home Finale Moved To 4:00 PM For FSN West
UCSB's regular season finale against Cal State Northridge, scheduled for Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome, has been moved to 4:00 p.m. to accommodate Fox Sports Network West, which will televise the game live. As part of the league's best game available provision in its television contracts, the Big West decides on late-season games based on record and impact on the conference standings. Also, the Gauchos' games on Feb. 22 at Cal State Fullerton will be aired by KVMD-TV in Southern California.
Stuckey Leads Eastern Washington Past UCSB, 71-70
Rodney Stuckey scored 30 points, including 14 in the final 11 minutes, to pace visiting Eastern Washington to a 71-70 non-conference win over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night. It was the Gauchos third consecutive defeat. UCSB junior Alex Harris, who finished with 27 points, was fouled while making a short jump shot with 3:59 left in the game. He made the free throw to give the Gauchos (15-9) its final lead of the game, 62-60. Center Paul Butorac, who had 18 points for the Eagles (13-14) made his only three-pointer of the game with 2:52 remaining to give his team a 63-62 lead. After a Gaucho turnover, Stuckey scored on a hanging lay-up in the key to make it 65-62. Chris Devine dropped the lead back to two points with 1:51 left on a driving lay-up. Stuckey struck back again, hitting a shot from just inside the free throw line with 1:08 left. Following a pair of misses on the UCSB offensive end, Stuckey was fouled while shooting with 19 seconds to go and he made both free throws. Harris gave the Gauchos one more chance when he hit a three-pointer with six second left to make it 69-67 Eastern Washington, but Kellen Williams, who was fouled intentionally, made a pair of free throws with four ticks left to give the Eagles an insurmountable lead. Harris made another three-pointer at the buzzer to account for the final score, 71-70. While UCSB struggled with its shooting all night, making just 37.3% from the field, Eastern Washington heated up in the second half, making 62.5% over the final 20 minutes to finish at 48.1%. Devine and freshman James Powell joined Harris in double-figures for the Gauchos with 15 and 13 points respectively. Glenn Turner had a team-high eight rebounds for UCSB, which has lost three games in a row for the first time this season.
Probable Starters - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Needs 77 points to hit the 1,000 point mark for his career.
G - Alex Harris - His 482 points on the season rank 10th on school's all-time list.
G - James Powell - His 30 three-point baskets ties him for second all-time among freshmen.
F - Chris Devine - Has scored 10 or more points in 22 of 24 games this season.
F - Glenn Turner - Averaged 5.3 rebounds in the last seven games.
Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Justin Joyner - Missed game vs. EWU with hamstring injury, questionable this week.
G - Paul Roemer - Played career-high 20 minutes against EWU.
G - Trevor Bing - Made a three-pointer vs. Cal Poly, his first basket since Jan. 4.
F - Ivan Elliott - Has had five or more rebounds in eight of the last 10 games.
F - Tom Garlepp - Has logged just 37 minutes in 10 Big West games.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Tied his season-high with one steal vs. EWU.
F - Beau Gibb - Has played in just one of the last 12 games.
F - David Massey - Played in only game and had only points on Nov. 13 at Montana State.
F - Sam Phippen - Freshman forward is redshirting the 2006-07 season.
UCSB and Cal State Fullerton have played 62 times in a series that dates back to 1977. The Gauchos hold a narrow 32-30 all-time advantage. On Dec. 30, Santa Barbara defeated the Titans at the Thunderdome, 84-76. The victory by the Gauchos ended a five-game Cal State Fullerton win streak in the series. UCSB and UC Riverside have played 20 times since the first meeting between the schools in 1955. The Gauchos hold a decisive 16-4 lead in the all-time series, including two straight wins. On Dec. 28, the teams opened Big West play and UCSB registered a 73-65 win. While the Gauchos hold the all-time lead in the series, the Highlanders have won the last two games played in Riverside, including an 81-78 win to open the 2005-06 Big West season.
On The Road Again
UCSB is 9-3 in road games this season. The Gauchos had a four-game road winning streak ended in their last Big West game, an 86-79 defeat at Cal Poly on Feb. 14. Still, according to our records, the nine true road wins are the most ever at the NCAA Division I level by a UCSB team and the total equals the previous record set at the College Division level during the 1963-64 season. The Gauchos have logged road wins at Montana State, UNLV, Pepperdine, Portland, San Francisco, UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge and Pacific this season. They began the year with five straight true road wins for the first time since the 1987-88 campaign. The five straight road wins to open the year extended the Gauchos' road streak over two seasons to six in a row, tying a school record also set during the 1987-88 season. On Dec. 22, 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. UCSB bounced-back and won four consecutive road games before the Valentine's Day loss at Cal Poly. Finally, dating back to the 2005-06 season when they won four of their last five true road games, the Gauchos have gone 13-4 on the road in their last 17 games.
The Gauchos At Home
UCSB has not experienced the same success at home this season as it has on the road. The Gauchos are 6-6 at the Thunderdome in 2006-07. Since winning four straight home games, including its first two Big West games on Dec. 28 and Dec. 30 against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton respectively, Santa Barbara has lost four of its last five home appearances, including two in a row. The last two losses, to Long Beach State and Eastern Washing, came by a combined two points and overall the Gauchos have lost their six home games by a total of 23 points, 3.8 points per defeat. On Jan. 20, Cal Poly beat Santa Barbara by 10, but the other five losses came by a combined 13 points, 2.6 points per defeat. UCSB went 9-4 in home games during the 2005-06 season. Since Bob Williams became head coach prior to the 1998-99 season, the Gauchos have gone 79-34 in home contests. The six losses this season are the most home defeats by a Williams-led Santa Barbara team.
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 137-120 (.535) overall record and an 83-58 (.593) 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 325-220 (.598) at four-year schools.
Joyner Questionable This Week
Freshman point guard Justin Joyner, who missed Saturday's game against Eastern Washington with a strained left hamstring, is questionable for this weekend's games at Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside. Joyner, who lead the Gauchos in assists with 70 and steals with 30, has started 21 of the team's 24 games this season. He has been an important part of UCSB's success, both offensively and defensively. He had one of his best games of the season in the Gauchos' first meeting with Cal State Fullerton when he passed off for a career-high 10 assists, the most by a UCSB guard since the 1998-99 season.
UCSB has made 21 three-point baskets in its last two games. On Feb. 14, the Gauchos made a season-high 11 three-pointers in a loss to Cal Poly and then on Saturday, they came back with 10 against Eastern Washington. This marks the first time this season that Santa Barbara has had double-figures in three-point baskets in consecutive games. Overall, the Gauchos have made 10 or more three-pointers three times this season.
Letting Their Defenses Down
The 86 points scored by Cal Poly on Feb. 14 were the second highest total registered by a UCSB opponent this season. The only opponent to score more in a game was Long Beach State. On Jan. 4, the 49ers piled-up 101 points against the Gauchos. In fact, those two games were also historical from a statistical point of view. Long Beach made 17 three-pointers on Jan. 4, the most ever by a UCSB opponent, and Cal Poly made 15 last week, the second most ever. On Saturday, Eastern Washington made just six three-pointers, but scored 71 points and made 48.1% from the field. In the last two games, Gaucho opponents have made 53 out of 106 field goal attempts, 50.0%. It is the first time this season that UCSB opponents have made 50.0% over a two-game span.
The Vanishing Free Throws
During the current three-game losing streak, UCSB has attempted just 40 free throws, an average of 13.3 per game. In each of the defeats, the Gauchos made 10 free throws. In the six games prior to the current streak, UCSB took 162 free throws, an average of 27 per game, and it never attempted fewer than 20 in the six games.
A Shooting Blip
UCSB made just 37.3% of its field goals in Saturday's loss to Eastern Washington. It was the Gauchos third lowest percentage of the season and it ended a stretch of five straight games of 43.4% or better, including three of 51.0% or better. UCSB has been below 40.0% five times this season and it has been over 50.0% 10 times.
Juniors Alex Harris and Chris Devine have proven to be one of the best one-two scoring punches in UCSB history. Currently, the duo ranks 11th all-time on the Gauchos' one-two punch list. Harris and Devine combined for 839 points in the first 24 games, an average of 35.0 per game, slightly higher than the 34.9 per game that Lucius Davis and Idris Jones combined for in 1991-92. In UCSB's November 21 double-overtime victory over Pepperdine, Harris and Devine each eclipsed the 25-point mark, the first Santa Barbara pair to do so since Mike Doyle tallied 31 and Brian Shaw added 26 in a Feb. 25, 1988 game at Long Beach State. Three times this season the duo has scored 20 or more in the same game. The last time that happened was in 1990-91 when Davis and Gary Gray also did it three times.
Top One-Two Punches
# Players Season Points 1. L. Davis/I. Jones 1991-92 1,014 2. C. DeHart/M. Doyle 1988-89 957 3. C. DeHart/E. McArthur 1989-90 929 4. L. Davis/G. Gray 1990-91 928 5. M. Hull/B. Fullove 2001-02 893 6. R. Tutt/J. Merrill 1996-97 882 7. C. Henry/S. Fisher 1985-86 878 8. B. Fullove/M. Hull 2002-03 869 9. B.J. Bunton/J. Merrill 1998-99 867 10. Y. Gross/M. Russell 1982-83 860 11. A. Harris/C. Devine 2006-07 839Note: The leading scorer is listed first.
Active Scoring Leaders
Player Points Games Avg. Alex Harris 940 82 11.5 Cecil Brown 923 106 8.7 Chris Devine 712 53 13.4
Led by Alex Harris and Chris Devine, seven different UCSB players have scored in double-figures this season. Harris has scored 10 or more points in 23 of 24 games and Devine has done so 22 times. James Powell, has done so in 11, including the last four, after doing so just once in the previous 13 games. Here is a list of all Gaucho players and the number of times they have hit double-digits this season.
The Gauchos have produced six statistical double-doubles this season. Chris Devine has five of them and Ivan Elliott has the the other. Devine now has nine in his career, seven of which have come on the road.
Player Opponent Digits (figure out the r and the p) Chris Devine at Pepperdine 28p, 13r Chris Devine at USF 12p, 10r Chris Devine Vanguard 22p, 11r Chris Devine at UC Irvine 15p, 11r Chris Devine at UC Davis 19p, 10r Ivan Elliott UC Riverside 12p, 10r
The Harris Poll
Junior guard Alex Harris reclaimed the Big West Conference scoring lead with a 27-point performance in Saturday's game against Eastern Washington. After struggling offensively for three games, he has rebounded in the last two, averaging 23.0 per game, hitting 15-of-31 overall, 8-of-19 from three-point range and all eight of his free throws. Harris is now averaging 20.1 points per game and on Saturday he moved into UCSB's all-time single-season top-10 for points with 482. He ranks 10th all-time and needs just five to move into seventh and 11 to move into fifth. If Harris can score 18 more points over the remainder of the season, he would become just the fifth Gaucho player to hit the 500 point plateau for a season. With his 27 points on Saturday, Harris has now tallied 20 or more points 13 times this season and 25 or more seven times. He scored 20 or more points in each of the first seven games this season, the longest streak of 20 or more points by a UCSB player since 1996 and the longest ever to open a season. He has also scored in double-figures in 23 of the 24 games. He tallied a career-high 32 points in a Dec. 28 win over UC Riverside. It was the most points scored by a Gaucho since Mark Hull had 32 points in an NCAA Tournament game in March of 2002. In his two-plus seasons, Harris has scored 940 points. The 482 points he has scored this season are 24 more than he scored in 58 games during his first two seasons. He needs 60 points to become the 21st UCSB player to score 1,000 for his career. Also against Eastern Washington, Harris tied his career-high with five three-point baskets. He was 5-for-10 from three-point territory. In the season-opener against San Jose State, he also had five threes. In all this season, the Alameda, Calif., native has nailed 53 three-point baskets and he needs just three to move into 10th on the all-time single-season list. Harris has not only made five three-point baskets twice, he has made four three times and three five times. He has made at least one three-pointer in 22 of 24 games and two or more 14 times, including the last three games. In his career he has now hit 102 three-pointers, 10th all-time. Harris is also moving up on the single-season free throw list for UCSB. His 127 made free throws are tied for eighth all-time and his 160 attempts are tied for ninth. Harris has attempted 10 or more free throws seven times, including one stretch of five straight games. He attempted a career-high 16 on Dec. 28 against UC Riverside. He is shooting 79.4% from the line but has made 34 of his last 37 attempts, 91.9%. A two-time Big West Plyer of the Week, Harris has been more than a scorer this season. His average of 4.8 rebounds per game ranks third on the team and in the last 21 games he has averaged 5.1 boards per outing and had five or more 13 times, including the last three in a row. He is also averaging 2.3 assists per game and has had two or more in each of the last five games and six times in the last eight. Finally, Harris has been Santa Barbara's workhorse this season. He is averaging 35.3 minutes per game and has played 30 or more in 22 of 24, including the last 13. He logged a career-high 48 minutes (out of 50) in a double-overtime win over Pepperdine on Nov. 21.
The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine is second on the team in scoring at 14.9 points per game and he leads the team in rebounding at 6.6 per game. In Saturday's game against Eastern Washington, he had 15 points and five rebounds, but he made just 6-of-15 field goal attempts. Devine has scored in double-figures in 22 of the Gauchos' 24 games, including the last 12 in a row. He leads the team with five double-doubles and now has nine for his career. Of his double-doubles, four have come on the road this season and seven of nine in his two-year career have come away from the Thunderdome. This season, when Devine has produced a double-double, UCSB has gone 5-0. He had 28 points and 13 rebounds on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine, helping the Gauchos to a double-overtime win. The 28 points were a career-high. He has scored 20 or more five times this season, but he has not done so since he went for 25 in a Dec. 30 home win over Cal State Fullerton. While Devine is averaging 6.6 rebounds per game, he has had five or more 17 times n 24 games. He had five or more in each of the first 10 this year but has had five or more just seven times in the last 14 games. Devine has averaged 4.7 per game in the last four games. In addition to points, he has had career-highs this season in steals (five vs. San Jose State on Nov. 13) and assists (five at San Francisco on Dec. 17). Devine was named Big West Player of the Week after leading the Gauchos to road wins at Montana State and UNLV. Finally, he and Alex Harris are the only two players on the roster to start all 24 games this season and Devine is the sole player to start all 53 the last two seasons.
Help Cecil! Help!
Senior guard Cecil Brown struggled in UCSB's loss to Eastern Washington on Saturday. He finished with six points on 2-of-11 shooting overall. On the bright side, Brown did make a pair of three-point baskets in the game. The six-point effort ended a streak of three consecutive games in which he was in double-figures. In three games prior to Saturday, Brown averaged 18.0 points per game and made 17-of-29 shots, 58.6%. He tallied 23 points in UCSB's last win, a Feb. 8 victory over UC Irvine. It equaled the second highest scoring total of his career. On the year, Brown is now averaging 9.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and a team-leading 3.1 assists per game. He has started the last eight games and in the last 16 games he has averaged 10.6 points per game and scored 10 or more 10 times. He has now scored 923 points in his career and needs 77 to hit the 1,000 point mark. Brown has led the team in assists seven times in the last nine games and has averaged 4.0 per game over that stretch. On Jan. 27 at Pacific, Brown passed-off for a game-high and career-high six assists in a win over the Tigers. He also had six in a Dec. 19 win over Vanguard. He has also moved into third on the team in three-point baskets with 25, 11 of which have come in the last four games. In the last four, he has gone 11-of-24 from beyond the three-point arc, 45.8%. He now has 113 career three-pointers, eighth all-time. Finally, since averaging 18.3 minutes per game in his first three games this season, Brown has averaged 29.4 in his last 16. In his last eight, all starts, he has played 30 or more seven times and averaged 33.0 per game.
Justin Joins In
Freshman guard Justin Joyner missed UCSB's Saturday night game against Eastern Washington with a strained left hamstring. He is questionable for this weeks games at Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside and considering how he has played on the road recently, that's a tough pill to swallow. In his last appearance, Feb. 14 at Cal Poly, Joyner scored six points, but he also had six assists, five rebounds and a steal. The six assists were the most he has had in his last 10 games. He now has 70 on the year, the most on the team and a figure that ranks sixth on UCSB's all-time freshman list. If Joyner could pass off for 14 more assists this season, he would move into second on the all-time list. On Dec. 30, in a win over Cal State Fullerton, he had a career-high 10 assists, the most by a Gaucho since the 1998-99 season. He has had four or more assists nine times. Joyner is averaging 5.3 points per game and has scored 10 or more four times, including three straight late in January and early in February. He tallied a career-high 15 points in a Jan. 25 win at Cal State Northridge and in his last six games, Joyner has averaged 8.3 points per game. He has recently become a legitimate three-point threat as well. On the year, he has made 17 three-point baskets, 11 of which have come in his last eight appearances. The 11 threes are the 11th most by a freshman in school history. Overall, he is shooting 38.5%, but in his last six games, he has made 16 out of 33 shots, 48.5%. Finally, Joyner has become a defensive stalwart for the Gauchos. There is more to it than steals, but he has a team-leading 30 steals in his 23 games, 1.3 per game. He has had a career-high three steals five times this season and he has had two or more 11 times, including six of the last eight games. In his last eight, Joyner has produced 17 steals, including three in four games. His 30 steals rank second on the all-time freshman list.
Ivan The Good
Junior forward Ivan Elliott had just two points in 24 minutes against Eastern Washington on Saturday. He is now averaging 6.0 points per game. On the other hand, Elliott did collect seven rebounds against the Eagles and he is now averaging 5.7 per game, second on the team. He has had five or more rebounds 14 times this year, including four straight and six of the last eight. In the last 13 games, Elliott is averaging 6.7 rebounds per game and three of his four double-figure rebounding efforts have come during that span. He had a career-high 12 rebounds on Feb. 1 at UC Davis and on Dec. 28 against UC Riverside, he registered the first double-double of his career with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He is the only Gaucho, besides Chris Devine, to have a double-double this season. Elliott has scored 10 or more points six times, but just once in the last 11 games. He had 10 points on Feb. 10 against Long Beach State. His career-high of 14 points came on Nov. 13 at Montana State. , five rebounds and a career-high two steals in Saturday's game against Long Beach State. Elliott came off the bench for the first seven games this season but has stated the last 17. After playing more than 20 minutes twice in the first seven games, he has played 20 or more in the last 17.
Old Buddy, Old Powell
Freshman guard James Powell has started to reassert himself offensively for the Gauchos. He is averaging 9.2 points per game, but after scoring in double-figures just once over a period of 13 games, he has tallied 10 or more in each of the last four games. In Saturday's game against Eastern Washington, Powell returned the starting lineup for the first time since a Jan. 13 game against UC Davis. He finished with 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting overall, including 3-of-7 from three-point territory. Powell has averaged 11.7 points per game in the last four games. Interestingly, in the last three games, he scored 37 points, 32 of which came in the second halves. With his 13 points on Saturday, he has entered the school's all-time freshman scoring list at No. 10. He needs four points to move into ninth. Also, while he is shooting 40.3% from the field, Powell has gotten back on track with his shooting in recent games. Since making just 24.1% of his field goal attempts over an 11 game span, he has hit 22 out of his last 45 in the last six games, 48.9%. Also, while he is making 32.6% of his three-point attempts, he has drilled 9-of-19 in the last four games, 47.4%. On the year, Powell now has 30 three-point baskets, second on the team and a figure that ties him for second on UCSB's all-time freshman list. His 92 attempts also rank second. Additionally, Powell has assumed the team-lead in free throw percentage at 83.1% and he has made his last 18 in a row. Finally, the Glendora, Calif., native has entered two other all-time freshman lists. With 53 assists on the year, including four in Saturday's game against Eastern Washington, Powell now has 53, the 10th most by a freshman, and with six steals in the last three games, including a career-high three on Saturday, he now has 25, tied for fourth all-time.
Turning The Corner
Senior forward Glenn Turner ha truly started to turn the corner in recent games. On Saturday he scored seven points, had eight rebounds and a pair of blocked shots in a season-high 26 minutes. He has averaged 20.0 minutes per game in the last four games, a significant increase over his season average of 13.7 per game. Statistically, he has been better too. While Turner is averaging 3.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game for the season, he has averaged 5.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shot in the last four games. He has also displayed more of a willingness to play a role offensively in recent games. While Turner has attempted 29 field goals on the year, 16 have come in the last four contests. He has gone 10-of-16, 62.5% over that time. Turner had his best all-around game of the year on Dec. 28 against UC Riverside when he had eight points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. He has had five or more rebonds six times, including four times in the last seven games. Finally, despite missing nine games, he has taken over the team-lead with 20 blocked shots. Turner's two blocked shots on Saturday give him 101 for his career. He is the fourth UCSB player to hit the 100 blocked shot mark.
And Then There Were Two
As is the case with MOST of the teams in the Big West, when play ends this weekend, the Gauchos will have two games remaining in the regular season. UCSB will host Pacific on Thursday, March 1, and Cal State Northridge on Saturday, March 3. The game against Northridge has been moved to 4:00 p.m. to accommodate Fox Sports Net West which will carry the game live. Following the games next weekend, UCSB will take part int he Big West Tournament on March 7-10.