Feb. 23, 2000
Game No. 24
Wednesday, February 23, 2000, 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Mustangs
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Game No. 25
Saturday, February 26, 2000, 6:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Boise State Broncos
at BSU's Pavilion
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters the week with an overall record of 11-12 and a Big West mark of 7-5. Since opening league play with an 0-3 record, the Gauchos have rallied to go 7-2 and move into second place in the Big West's Western Division. UCSB is two games up on third place Pacific (5-7) and three games up on two teams that are tied for fourth, Cal Poly and UC Irvine, both 4-9.
UCSB Streak Reaches Five Before Loss At UCI
With its 82-67 win at Cal State Fullerton last Thursday, UCSB extended its winning streak to five consecutive games. A five game streak was the longest that the Gaucho program had produced since the latter part of the 1992-93 season. On Saturday, UCSB dropped a heartbreaking 61-58 decision at UC Irvine, ending the five game streak. In that one, the Gauchos fell behind by as many as 19 points before narrowing the gap to a deuce inside the final minute of play.
What About Bob?
Bob Williams is in his second season as head coach of the Gauchos. Last year he guided the Gauchos to a 15-13 overall record and an outstanding 12-4 mark in Big West play. After guiding the squad to the league's Western Division Championship, Williams was selected Big West Coach of the Year and National Association of Basketball Coaches District 15 Coach of the Year. After 21 games this season, Williams' Gaucho record is now 26-25 and his overall record as a college coach is 215-125. His teams have won either a league, division or National Championship in five straight seasons.
UCSB-LBSU Game Time Changed
As mentioned about 75 other times, the game time for UC Santa Barbara's March 2 game at the Thunderdome against division-rival Long Beach State, has been changed from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live by Fox Sports Net. The game will be carried by Fox Sports West 2 in Southern California.
Probable Starters - Notes
G - Derrick Allen - Has 39 assists and only ten turnovers in last nine games.
G - Erick Ashe - Has at least one three-point basket in 22 consecutive games.
G - Larry Bell - Has 54 assists in the last nine games, 6.0 per game.
F - Mark Hull - 235 points is the sixth highest freshman total in UCSB history.
F - Adama Ndiaye - Has averaged 15.0 points and shot 61.1% in last two games.
Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Brandon Payton - Has averaged 15.3 points in the last six games.
G - B.J. Ward - Played a total of only ten minutes on road trip to UCI and CSUF.
G - Matt Long - Walkon guard has played in two games.
G - LaRon Bryant - After opening 1-for-11 from 3-pt. range, he is 27-of-57, 47.4%.
F - Juliano Jordani - Scoreless in two games since return from back injury.
F - Mike Vukovich - His 14 minutes at UCI were his most in a BWC game.
F - Ross Carmichael - Had first DNP at UC Irvine.
Senior guard Erick Ashe has made a habit of hitting three-point baskets. By making two more on Saturday at UC Irvine, Ashe has now made at least one three-point basket in 22 consecutive games. In fact, over the last 22 games, Ashe has made two or more 14 times. On January 22 against Nevada, he drilled a career-best six three-point buckets. In last week's victory at Cal State Fullerton, he made five. He has hit four treys on three occasions. In all this season, Ashe has made 53 three-point baskets, tying him for eighth on the all-time single-season list. If he could hit six more on the year and get to 59, he would move into fourth place. In his two season career, Ashe has now hit 98 three-pointers, the fifth highest career total in school history and the most by a two-year player. In addition to his three-point exploits, Ashe has had a recent defensive surge as well. He has had at least one steal in ten consecutive games and in the last five games he had produced two or more and a total of 17. His 38 steals on the year rank him second on the team to Derrick Allen's 40.
With Bell's Assistance
It was no accident that UCSB's fortunes changed when senior guard Larry Bell entered the starting lineup. In his nine starts, the Gauchos have gone 7-2, giving him a 17-5 record as a starter over the last two seasons. Recently, Bell has started to emerge as, along with Allen, one of the team's best playmakers. He has had four or more assists in ten straight games and in the last eight games he has averaged 6.8 per game. At one point during the last eight games, Bell had eight or more assists in three straight games. In the last four games, he has had 26 assists and only eight turnovers, a ratio of 3.3 to 1.
Ndiaye Stands Tall
In last Saturday's loss at UC Irvine, Gaucho forward Adama Ndiaye played only 23 minutes, fouling out in the second half. UCSB missed Ndiaye's presence in the end and that is a good indicator of just what he has meant to the team this season. Ndiaye is fourth on the team in scoring (8.9 points per game), first in rebounds (7.5 per game), first in blocked shots (36) and second among regulars in field goal percentage (49.3%). In last Thursday's win at Cal State Fullerton, Ndiaye scored a career-high 19 points. He has had three double-doubles on the season and on two occasions he has recorded his career-high of 16 rebounds in a game. On January 27 at Pacific, he blocked a career-high five shots in a win over UOP.
Gauchos vs. The Opposition
UCSB and Cal Poly have played 71 times over the years with the Gauchos holding a 46-25 lead in the all-time series. Santa Barbara recorded an 87-79 win at San Luis Obispo on February 3. In that one, Brandon Payton scored 27 points, a career-high at the time. Dating back to last season, UCSB has defeated Cal Poly in three consecutive games. The Gauchos and Boise State have played six times over the years with each team winning three times. BSU has won the last two games in the series, defeating the Gauchos last season in Santa Barbara (77-64) and two years ago in Boise. The last time UCSB defeated the Broncos was in 1997 in Santa Barbara.
Shooting Turnaround Continues...Despite UC Irvine Game
When UCSB opened the season with seven sub-40.0% shooting performances in its first eight games, it looked as if it might be a long season. Things slowly started turnaround, however and when the Gauchos shot 33.9% from the field in Saturday's loss at UC Irvine, it was an aberration, not the norm. UCSB's 21-for-62 performance snapped a streak of eight straight games of 41.4% or better. In fact, in the four games prior to the loss at Irvine, the Gauchos had made 111-of-216, an outstanding 51.4%. After four games this season, UCSB had made only 74-of-224 shots, a dismal 33.0%. The Gauchos are now shooting a low, but respectable, 41.0%, an improvement of 8.0%. In its 12 Big West Conference games, UCSB has made 44.0% of its shots, an improvement of 11.0% over the 33.0% of the first four games.
UCSB guard Brandon Payton has improved his scoring average on the season to 9.0 points per game. In the last six games, the junior from Oakland has averaged 15.3 points per game and included in those six games were a pair of career-best performances. On February 3 at Cal Poly, Payton scored 27 points on 8-for-13 shots from the field and 3-for-4 from three-point range. Last Thursday at Cal State Fullerton, he tallied another career-high with 28 points. In fact, the 28 point performance was the most points scored by a Gaucho this year and the most scored by a Gaucho since Josh Merrill notched 31 in a February victory over Long Beach State last season.
What The Hull?
Freshman Mark Hull is rapidly becoming one of the most pleasant surprises in the Big West Conference. In Saturday's loss at UC Irvine, he scored ten points, making 4-of-10 shots from the field. Hull has now scored in double-figures seven times in the last nine games and 13 times overall. He is one of two Gauchos averaging in double-figures overall (10.2 ppg) and in Big West play, he is scoring 11.6 points per game and pulling down 5.7 rebounds per contest. Hull has scored a career-high 19 points twice, once each against Pepperdine and Nevada. In the past nine games, Hull has also come alive from three-point range. On the year he has made 20-of-52 (38.5%) and in Big West play he has canned 13-of-29 (44.8 %). Going a step further, in the last nine games, Hull is 11-of-20 from beyond the arc, 55.0%. As he continues to produce, Hull also moves up UCSB's Freshman Top-Ten lists, as noted in the above box. His 235 points puts him in sixth on the list.
Cool Hand Allen
Last season, Derrick Allen made a late-season push on the assist to turnover ratio front. He is doing the same thing this year. In two games on the recently concluded road trip to Orange County, Allen had 12 assists and only two turnovers. In the recent win at Cal State Fullerton, he had a career-high 11 assists while turning the ball over only once. In fact, on the year, he is now significantly on the plus side of the assist to turnover ratio at 89-52. In the last nine games, Allen has had 39 assists and only ten turnovers, a 3.9 to 1 ratio. In addition to his ball-handling exploits, Allen is one of the team's best rebounders at 4.8 per game and at UC Irvine, for the third time this season, he recorded double-figures in boards, going for ten.
On The Horizon
UCSB's game at Boise State on Saturday will be their final road encounter of the year. They will return home next weekend to host Long Beach State (Thursday, March 2) and the University of the Pacific (Saturday, March 4). While the game against Long Beach will tip-off at 5:00 p.m., the UOP game is at 7:00 p.m.