Gauchos Take Five-Game Winning Streak Into Final Home Weekend of Season
Feb. 21, 2006
Game No. 24
Thursday, February 23, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1340 AM
Game No. 25
Saturday, February 25, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1340 AM
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters the week with an overall record of 12-11 and a Big West record of 4-6. The Gauchos are riding a five-game winning streak. On Saturday, in a Bracket Busters match-up, they won at San Jose State, 76-72. UCSB is over the .500 mark for the first time since they were 2-1 in late-November. In addition, the 12 wins are one more than the team posted in 2004-05 when it finished with an 11-18 overall record.
Cecil Brown Named Big West Player Of The Week
Senior guard Cecil Brown was named Big West Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Gauchos to road wins at UC Irvine and Long Beach State last weekend. In the win at UCI, Brown had 14 points, two rebounds and two assists. More importantly, he made two key baskets in the final minute to aid the win. On Saturday at Long Beach, Brown had 23 points, the second-highest total of his career, two rebounds, two assists and a steal. He also made three three-point baskets, including one during UCSB's 11-2 game-ending rally that sealed the victory. The award is the first of Brown's career and the first of the year for any Gaucho player.
UCSB's five-game winning streak is its longest in nearly three seasons. The last time the Gauchos won five games in succession was near the end of the 2002-03 season and the last time they won six consecutive games was at the very beginning of the 1992-93 season when they opened with a 6-0 record. The five-game streak near the close of the 2002-03 season helped Santa Barbara win the Big West regular season championship. Saturday's win at San Jose State was also the Gauchos' third straight road victory. The last time UCSB had three straight road wins was during Bob Williams' first season, 1998-99, when it ran off consecutive wins over Cal Poly, Nevada and Utah State.
UCSB Completes Non-Conference Portion Of Schedule At 8-5
Not only have the Gauchos battled back over the .500 mark, they have also finished a pretty solid non-conference season. The win over San Jose State was UCSB's fourth in a row over a non-Big West opponent and its fifth in six games. The Gauchos finish the 2005-06 non-conference schedule with a record of 8-5, including 6-0 at the Thunderdome and 2-5 on the road. Last season, UCSB went 3-6 in non-conference games. Granted the team is playing fewer Big West games this season, but the last time the Gauchos won as many as eight non-conference games was in 1988-89 when they had a perfect 9-0 record in non-Big West encounters.
Gauchos Get Defensive In 64-37 Blowout Win Over Cal Poly UCSB piled-up a 19-point lead and then held-off San Jose State on Saturday afternoon for a 76-72 road victory. The Gauchos were able to maintain much of their lead for most of the game. When Chris Devine made a lay-up with 4:05 remaining on the clock, UCSB led 70-55. The Gauchos, however, did not make another field goal and San Jose went on a 17-4 run to cut the gap to 74-72 with the ball. After a UCSB turnover on an inbounds play, Spartan guard Tyree Gardner missed on open three-point attempt with just three seconds to go that would have given San Jose State its first lead of the game. Joe See pulled down the rebound of Gardner's miss and was immediately fouled. He made both of his free throw attempts to stretch the lead to 76-72, the final score. The Gauchos were near-perfect from the free throw line down the stretch and finished the game at 29-for-35. Cecil Brown, who finished with a team-high 22 points to go along with five rebounds and a career-high six assists, made all 12 of his free throw attempts. , including a pair in the final minute. See, scored just six points but was a perfect 6-for-6 from the line. Cameron Goettsche added 13 points for UCSB. San Jose State was led by guard Carlton Spencer who had 29 points, including 25 in the second half. While UCSB committed 23 turnovers, helping to fuel the comeback for the Spartans, they also won the battle of the boards, 35-20. Glenn Turner led UCSB with 11 rebounds.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Joe See - Had a career-high six rebounds at San Jose State, including the last one in the game.
G - Cecil Brown - Was 12-for-12 from FT line at SJSU, has made 31 of last 32.
G - Michael Chambers - Has 22 points in last three games, all in the second half.
F - Chris Devine - Has back-to-back sub-10 point games for the first time since December.
F - Glenn Turner - Has 10 or more rebounds in five of the last six games.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Josh Davis - Eight points and 24 minutes were his highest totals since Jan. 7.
G - Alex Harris - Has made 26-of-53 shots in the last 11 games, 49.3%.
G - Lance Hurdle - Has 16 steals in just 138 minutes this season.
G - James Powell - Freshman guard is redshirting the 2005-06 season.
G - Derek Rasp - Has scored three points in his last eight appearances.
F - Chidi Ajufo - Has played just 12 minutes in last 18 games.
F - Tom Garlepp - Played seven minutes at San Jose State, his high since Jan. 7.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Has scored 10 or more in two straight for first time this year.
F - Chris Moore - Has played just eight minutes in the last 11 games.
C - David Massey - Freshman center is redshirting the 2005-06 season.
UCSB and Cal State Fullerton have played 60 times in a series that dates back to 1977. The Gauchos hold a 31-29 lead, but the Titans won all three games played between the schools last season and the first meeting this season. On Jan. 4, Fullerton topped UCSB 73-59 in Orange County. Last year, the Titans won on their home floor (68-59), at the Thunderdome (66-57) and in the quarterfinal round of the Big West Tournament (66-55). The last time UCSB won in the series was near the end of the 2003-04 season when it won a double-overtime affair at Titan Gym, 98-95. The Gauchos and UC Riverside have played 14 times in a series that dates back to 1955. UCSB holds a decisive 13-4 edge all-time, but the Highlanders have given the Gauchos fits in Riverside, winning three straight, including an 81-78 decision that opened Big West play on Jan. 2. Last year, each team won on its own court, UCR posting a 54-50 in Riverside and the Gauchos winning 58-54 at the Thunderdome.
The Gauchos At Home
The Gauchos are 8-3 at home this season. After winning their first six Thunderdome games, UCSB dropped consecutive games to UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge and Pacific. They have since bounced-back to win two straight. On Feb. 15, they defeated Cal Poly 64-37 and three weeks ago, they posted a decisive 73-54 win over UC Davis. This season, UCSB has also won home games against Long Beach State, Portland, Sonoma State, Pepperdine, San Francisco and San Diego. In 2004-05, Santa Barbara went 8-4 at the Thunderdome, including 2-1 in non-conference games and 6-3 in league games. In three seasons prior to last year, Santa Barbara posted home records of 10-2 and the Gauchos have never won fewer than eight home games in a season under Bob Williams. Including its wins this season, UCSB is 73-29 at home since Bob Williams arrived for the 1998-99 season.
The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his eighth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team struggled with injuries and finished 11-18 overall and 7-11 in the Big West Conference. It marked the first time that a Williams-coached UCSB team finished below the .500 mark in league play. During the 2004-05 season, however, Williams became the fifth UCSB coach to record 100 wins. Prior to last season, he had guided the Gauchos to three straight winning seasons, the first time the program accomplished the feat since 1987-88 through 1989-90. 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 postseason trip to the 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 119-108 (.524) overall record and a 77-53 (.584) 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 308-208 (.597) at four-year schools. He recorded his 300th career coaching victory on Dec. 20, 2005, against Sonoma State.
Bob Williams' Gaucho teams have been particularly successful in the month of February. UCSB enters this week's games against Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside with a perfect 5-0 record this February. In his career, Williams has recorded a solid 39-18 record in February games. Last year, although they finished the year with an overall record of 11-18, the injury-riddled Gauchos were a respectable 3-4 in the second month of the year.
Half Good Not Good Enough
Saturday at San Jose State, UCSB allowed the Spartans to score 52 points in the second half. While it was not enough to hand them a loss, it was the most points scored in a half by a Gaucho opponent this season. In the three halves prior to Saturday's second half, two against Cal Poly and the first one against the SJSU, UCSB had allowed its opponents 57 total points. In those three halves, the opposition made just 17-of-70 from the field, 24.3%.
Back In Black
By outscoring their last five opponents by 54 points, the Gauchos have gone back into the black. On the season UCSB has outscored its opponents by a count of 1,529 to 1,523. Santa Barbara went back into the black, point-wise, during its Feb. 15 win over Cal Poly. Prior to Feb. 15, the Gauchos had been in the red since Nov. 28 when they were beaten at Arizona State by a margin of 16 points, 73-57.
During its current five-game winning streak, UCSB has won two games by way of blowout and three games by way of biting nails. The Gauchos defeated UC Davis by 19 and Cal Poly by 27, but their road wins over UC Irvine, Long Beach State and San Jose State have come by a combined eight points. On the season, Santa Barbara has won five of its 12 games by double-figure margins and are 3-0 in games decided by 20 or more points. In games decided by single-digit margins, the Gauchos have gone 7-3 and in games decided by five points or less, they have gone 6-3. Of UCSB's 11 defeats on the year, eight have been by 10 or more points.
n On The Rebound In Saturday's win, UCSB outrebounded San Jose State 35-20. The 15-rebound margin equaled the largest by the Gauchos this season and the 20 rebounds collected by the Spartans were the fewest by an opponent this season. Saturday's rebound advantage for UCSB ended a streak of two straight games in which the opponent had the advantage. In all, the Gauchos have outrebounded eight of their last 10 opponents and 13 of 23 on the season. UCSB is outrebounding its opponents on the campaign by a margin of +0.9 per game. During the current five-game streak the figure is at +2.6.
UCSB has won five games in a row for the first time since the 2002-03 season and, to a degree, the numbers tell the story. The Gauchos struggled at times this season in virtually every statistical category, but with just a few exceptions, their numbers have been good. The only statistical categories in which the numbers are either identical or worse are assists per game and turnovers per game. The Gauchos are actually averaging fewer assists per game during the last five games than they average on the season and they are averaging exactly 14 turnovers during the streak and for the season as a whole. The most striking differences are in scoring margin (duh) and free throw percentage. While UCSB is shooting 68.6% from the free throw line overall, it is shooting 78.8% during the winning streak. In fact, before the streak began, the Gauchos were making just 65.4% of their free throws and during the recent run they are shooting 13.4% higher. Finally, another noteworthy statistical characteristic about the streak is the Gauchos' balance. In the five games, Cecil Brown and Chris Devine have averaged 15.6 points and 11.8 points respectively, but in all, UCSB has seven players who have averaged 6.0 points or more in the last five outings.
Streaking By The Numbers Category Streak Season PPG 70.8 66.5 Margin +10.8 +0.3 Reb. Margin +2.6 +0.9 FG% 47.1% 45.6% 3-FG% 43.1% 36.5% Opp. FG% 39.2% 42.9% Opp. 3-FG% 27.4% 35.4% FT% 78.8% 68.6% APG 12.0 12.6 BPG 4.8 3.3 Turnover Avg. 14.0 14.0
Free At Last
For much of the season, free throws had been anything but for UCSB. In fact, they had been quite costly. Through 23 games, the Gauchos are shooting just 68.6% from the free throw line, but in 10 Big West games, they have made 74.7%, second in the league. In the last eight games overall, UCSB has hit 107-of-135, 79.3%. In their last six Big West games, the Gauchos have gone 70-of-85 from the line, 82.4%. In the last four games overall, Santa Barbara made 74-of-89, 83.1%. On Saturday, the Gauchos made 29-of-35 free throw attempts. The attempts and makes were both season-highs.
A Good Omen
Through 23 games this season one thing is for certain. If UCSB can enter the locker room at halftime with a lead, they are going to win. They haven't been likely to win, they have won. The Gauchos are a perfect 10-0 this season when leading at the half. Twice this season UCSB has won games that it did not lead at the half. On Dec. 7 the Gauchos were tied with Pepperdine and on Dec. 20, they trailed Sonoma State by two.
Half Good Not Good Enough
On Saturday, UCSB made 48.9% of its field goal attempts to improve to 45.6% on the season. The Gauchos have now made 45.0% or better 11 times in 23 games after having done so just four times in 2004-05. Also, Santa Barbara has made 50.0% or better seven times this season after turning the trick just once last season.
Help, Cecil! Help!
Cecil Brown scored a team-high 22 points in UCSB's win at San Jose State on Saturday. With the 22 point effort, Brown is now averaging a season-high 14.1 points per game. After a Dec. 28 win over Portland, he was averaging 14.0 points per game, his previous high. Brown has scored 20 or more points three times this season and in his career, including twice in the last three games. In the last three, he has scored 59 points, 19.7 per game, and made 17-of-31 shots from the field, 54.8%. Brown scored a career-high 28 points on Dec. 7 against Pepperdine, the most points scored by a Gaucho since the end of the 2002-03 season and he has scored in double-figures 20 times in his last 21 games, the most on the team. At one point he went 16 straight games with 10 or more points, the longest streak by a Gaucho since 1998-99. Last week, he became the first UCSB player this season to earn Big West Player of the Week honors after he averaged 18.5 points and made several key shots in road wins over UC Irvine and Long Beach State. Brown is also on fire from the free throw line. On Saturday at San Jose, he was 12-for-12 from the line and both his total makes and total attempts were career-highs and the most by a UCSB player this season. He has now made 14 straight and 31-of-32, 96.9%, dating back to a Jan. 15 game at UC Davis. When he began the current stretch, Brown was shooting 58.6% from the free throw line and he enters this week at 78.7%. He also leads the team with 39 three-point baskets, but he had his streak of making at least one three-point bucket in 20 consecutive games snapped on Saturday. The 39 three-pointers by Brown are 15 more than his previous career-high of 24 set in 2003-04. He has also become a key playmaker for the Gauchos and his 50 assists rank second on the team. In the win at San Jose State, he had a career-high six assists. Brown also had five rebounds in each of the last two games and he is now averaging 3.9 per outing.
Sophomore forward Chris Devine is in a mild slump. After scoring 10 or more points in 14 straight games, he has been in single-digits in each of the last two. In the win over San Jose State on Saturday, Devine had nine points and one rebound in 22 minutes. He has been plagued by first half foul trouble in recent games and has not played more than 25 minutes in any of the last three games. In the last two, Devine has averaged 6.5 points per game and made just 4-of-11 shots, 36.4%. On the season, he remains UCSB's second leading scorer at 12.2 points per game, field goal percentage at 58.4% and steals with 22. At 5.3 rebounds per game, he ranks second on the team in that category. He did rank first for most of the season but was passed on Saturday by Glenn Turner. On Feb. 9, in a win at Long Beach State, Devine had his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. The 11 rebounds also tied his career-high. Devine has scored 10 or more 17 times in 23 games, second on the team. He tallied a career-high 21 points, to go with 11 rebounds, on Jan. 2 at UC Riverside. In the last 16 games, Devine has scored 221 points, 13.9 per game. He has made at least half of his shots in 18 of 23 games and has made 60.0% or better 14 times. He is also the only UCSB player to have started all 23 games. Finally, Devine has made his last 21 of his last 23 free throw attempts, 91.3%, to improve to 77.8% for the year.
Even when Joe See doesn't shoot the ball well, he makes big shots. See missed all four of his field goal attempts, including his only three-point attempt, in the win at San Jose State, but he made all six of his free throws, including two with just three seconds to go in the game, to clinch the four-point win. See, who has started the last 15 games, is now averaging 7.7 points per game, fourth on the team, and has taken over the team-lead in assists at 2.3 per game. He scored a season-high 17 points in the team's opener against San Francisco, making a season-best five three-point baskets in the process. See has now made 32 three-pointers on the year and 119 in his career. He needs just one more to move into seventh on the school's all-time list. As a starter in the last 15 games, he has averaged 9.6 points, 3.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. As a starter, See has made 44-of-90 shots from the field overall, 48.9%, and 22-of-51 from three-point range, 43.1%. Also, in Saturday's game at San Jose, he had a career-high six rebounds in just 24 minutes.
A Turning Point
Junior forward Glenn Turner has started the last six games for UCSB and is emerging as a force in the pivot. In Saturday's win at San Jose State,, Turner had a game-high 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. It was the fifth time in six games that he had double-figures in rebounds. In the last six he is averaging 9.7 rebounds per game. In fact, while Turner is averaging 5.8 boards per game, tops on the team, he has averaged 6.8 per game in 10 Big West games and 9.2 per game in the last eight. Also he is now averaging 5.0 points per game overall, but 7.0 per game in the last nine. On Feb. 2 against UC Davis, Turner had 12 points to go along with 10 rebounds. It was the first double-double of his career. The following game, Feb. 9 at UC Irvine, he had a career-high 12 rebounds. On Dec. 7 against Pepperdine, Turner scored a career-best 13 points. Turner also had a pair of blocked shots in his hometown of San Jose and he has now taken over the Big West lead in that category with 31 in 20 games, 1.6 per game. He had a season-high five blocks on Feb. 2 against UC Davis and he has had two or more in each of the last five, totaling 15 over that span. Last year, in a game at Idaho, he tied the school record with six blocks. Turner has 80 swats in his career, fifth all-time. He needs just four to move into fourth on the list. Finally, after averaging 13.0 minutes per game off the bench in his first 14 appearances, Turner has averaged 27.5 in the last six games, all starting assignments.
The Harris Poll
Sophomore guard Alex Harris scored eight points at San Jose State on 2-of-3 shooting overall and 1-of-1 from three-point range. While he is averaging 8.2 points per game, Harris has scored 10.0 per game in the last three games. On Feb. 9, in an 81-78 come-from-behind win at Long Beach State, he made all eight of his free throws and scored 13 points. It was Harris' eighth double-figure performance of the season. He had a career-high 17 points on Jan. 7 against Long Beach State and beginning with that game, a span of 11 games, Harris has made 26-of-53 shots from the field, 49.1%, a major improvement over his season mark of 38.5%. Also, he has hit 13 of his last 28 three-point attempts in the last 11 games, 46.4%. Harris has 26 three-point baskets, third on the team and five more than he made all of last year. Like many of his teammates, he has also picked things up at the free throw line. Although he is shooting 70.0% from the stripe, he has made 20-of-24 over the last seven games, 83.3%. Finally, Harris had his first career double-double, a 14-point, 10-rebound performance on Nov. 21 against San Diego. It was the first time a Gaucho guard had notched a double-double since the 2002-03 season.
Cam I Am
Senior forward Cameron Goettsche has come off the bench in the last six games. On Saturday at San Jose State, he had one his best offensive games of the season with 13 points on 5-of-11 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. The 13 points were his second-highest total of the season. On Feb. 15 against Cal Poly, Goettsche had one of his best all-around games of the season with 12 points, five rebounds, two steals, one blocked shot and one assist. He has now scored in double-figures in back-to-back games for the first time this season. In the last three contests, Goettsche has averaged 11.3 points, made 14-of-24 shots, 58.3%, and 6-of-8 from the free throw line, 75.0%. Goettsche, who scored a career-high 21 points on Dec. 20 against Sonoma State, is averaging 7.2 points per game and 4.1 rebounds. He is third on the team in rebounding. He has also blocked 23 shots and now has 61 in his career, seventh all-time at UCSB.
Senior guard Michael Chambers played 55 minutes in UCSB's first 16 games. In the last seven games, Chambers has played 128 minutes, including 94 in the last five, the first five starts of his career. In Saturday's win at San Jose State, Chambers scored seven points, making 3-of-4 shots, including his only three-point attempt. He has now tallied 22 points in the last three games and all 22 have come in the second halves. Chambers had a season-high 11 points in his first start on Feb. 2 against UC Davis and while he is averaging 4.2 points per game in his 16 appearances, he is averaging 7.2 per game in his five starts. Going beyond his recent emergence, in his last 11 appearances, Chambers is 22-of-40 overall, 55.0%, and 9-of-19 from three-point range, 47.4%.
Senior guard Josh Davis had his best offensive game in more than a month in the win at San Jose State. Davis made 3-of-4 shots from the field, including his only three-point attempt, and finished with eight points, his third highest total of the year. He also logged 24 minutes, his most in five games. Davis was coming off of a game against Cal Poly in which he played just nine minutes. In the game at San Jose, he also had three rebounds, three assists and a steal. He now has 104 career steals, ninth in school history. David has nine steals in his last seven games and needs just two to move into eighth-place on UCSB's all-time career list.