Gauchos Hope to Clinch First Round Bye as They Return Home for Final Two Games

Feb. 27, 2007

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

The Schedule
Game No. 27
Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. the University of the Pacific Tigers
at UCSB's Thunderdome

Game No. 28
Saturday, March 3, 2007 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Television: FSN West (Channel 37 in Santa Barbara)

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its final regular season weekend of the year with an overall record of 16-10 and a Big West record of 7-5. On Saturday, Feb. 24, the Gauchos ended a season-long four-game losing streak with a narrow 68-67 win at UC Riverside. The victory not only gave UCSB a school record 10 road wins on the season, it pulled them closer to a top-four finish in the league, securing a first round Big West Tournament bye. The Gauchos lead Pacific by a game and a half was the Tigers enter their Monday night home game against Long Beach State and the teams will meet on Thursday night at the Thunderdome.


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.

Brown's Late Jumper Lifts Gauchos Past Highlanders, 68-67
Senior guard Cecil Brown made a turnaround 10-foot fallaway shot with 7.4 seconds left on Saturday to lift UC Santa Barbara to a 68-67 win at UC Riverside, ending the Gauchos four-game losing streak and putting them one step closer to a first round bye in next month's Big West Tournament. Brown, who finished with 16 points, made the shot out of a timeout to rescue UCSB. The Gauchos, who led for the first 39 minutes and 32 seconds, fell behind for the first time when Highlander guard Justin Bell made a three-pointer from deep in the left corner with 28 seconds remaining. Bell's shot came after a tough sequence of events for Santa Barbara. With 39 seconds to play, the Gauchos turned the ball over on a baseline inbounds play. After a timeout, UCR got the ball into its leading scorer, Larry Cunningham. Cunningham, guarded by Alex Harris, lost the handle on the ball just above the top of the key. Both player scrambled after the loose ball, but with Harris sprawled on the floor, Cunningham wrested the ball free. He drove the lane to draw the defenders and found Bell wide open in the corner for the three-point shot. The Gauchos then brought the ball in against token Riverside pressure and called a timeout upon entering the frontcourt. UCSB got the ball into Justin Joyner who dribbled across the court. He got the ball to Ivan Elliott who then hit Brown near the free throw line for the game-winner. The Gauchos, who led by as many as nine points in the second half, were led by Harris who finished with a game-high 25 points. He made 5-of-8 three-pointers to help carry his team for much for much of the first 30 minutes of the game. With his 25 points, Harris becomes the 21st UCSB player to hit the 1,000 point mark. He has exactly 1,000. Chris Devine finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, two steals, one blocked shot and a season-high five assists. Elliott was the fourth Gaucho in double-figures finishing with 10 points and eight rebounds. UCSB shot 57.8% overall. Riverside was paced by freshman forward Henrik Thomsen who had 15 points but fouled out with two minutes to play. Cunningham had 14 and Chris Johnson added 13 for the Highlanders, who were limited to 42.1% shooting from the field, but had just seven turnovers.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Made 7-of-10 shots, including game-winner, at UC Riverside.
G - Alex Harris - 25 points at UC Riverside give him exactly 1,000 in his career.
G - Justin Joyner - His 74 assists rank sixth all-time among Gaucho freshmen.
F - Chris Devine - Has scored 10 or more points in 24 of 26 games this season.
F - Glenn Turner - Averaged 5.0 rebounds in the last nine games.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - James Powell - His 31 three-point baskets ties him for second all-time among freshmen.
G - Paul Roemer - Had a basket at Cal State Fullerton, his first since Jan. 20.
G - Trevor Bing - Has not played in the last three games.
F - Ivan Elliott - Has had five or more rebounds in 10 of the last 12 games.
F - Tom Garlepp - Has logged just 37 minutes in 12 Big West games.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Had five points and four boards in 11 minutes at Fullerton.
F - Beau Gibb - Has played in just one of the last 14 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.

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 138-121 (.533) overall record and an 84-59 (.587) 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 326-221 (.596) at four-year schools.

The Opponents
UCSB and Pacific have played 94 times in a series that dates back to 1947. The Tigers hold the all-time edge with a record of 49-45. On Jan. 27, the Gauchos posted a 70-62 win at the Spanos Center in Stockton. The victory by UCSB ended the Tigers' six-game winning streak in the series. The Gauchos and Cal State Northridge have played 33 times in a series that began in 1960. The teams split a pair of games last season with each winning on the other's home court. UCSB continued that trend in the first meeting this season. On Jan. 25, the Gauchos recorded a 67-57 win in Northride. The victory gives Santa Barbara an all-time series record of 25-8.

On The Road Again
UCSB is 10-4 in road games this season. In their last road game, the final one of the season, the Gauchos defeated UC Riverside, 68-67. The victory over the Highlanders gave Santa Barbara a new school record for true road wins in a single season. The 10 wins are one more than the previous record of nine set during the 1963-64 season when the school still competed at the NCAA College Division level. In addition to Saturday's win at Riverside, 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 a 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 14-5 on the road in their last 19 games.

The Gauchos At Home
The Thunderdome has not been as kind to UCSB this season. The Gauchos are 6-6 at home 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.

Gauchos Surpass 2005-06 Win Totals
With its victory at UC Riverside on Feb. 24, UCSB now has 16 win overall and it has surpassed its win total of the 2005-06 season. The Gauchos went 15-14 last season. In addition, the win over the Highlanders was the team's seventh Big West win, one more than it recorded in 2005-06. The seven league wins also guarantees UCSB at least a .500 mark in conference games this season.

A Return To Normalcy
Normalcy is not a word, but if it was good enough for a 1920's presidential candidate to use, it's good enough for me. Anyway, after a pair of sub-par shooting performances, UCSB was back on the beam in its win at UC Riverside. The Gauchos made 26-of-45 shots, 57.8%. It was their highest shooting percentage since Dec. 19 when they made 62.5% of their shots in a win over Vanguard. It was also the third highest percentage of the season. UCSB has now made 50.0% or better 11 times this season, three more times than it did all of last year. The Gauchos have also lifted their percentage on the season to a Big West-leading 47.5%.

Three-Point Imbalance
In its recently concluded road trip to Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside, UCSB attempted a total of 27 three-pointers. In the game at Fullerton, the Titans attempted 27. In the two games, the opposition combined for 53 attempts. That was nothing new. For the year, the Gauchos have taken 437 three-point shots, making 37.1%, while their opponents have attempted 616, making 32.8%. UCSB opponents are attempting 7.1 more three-pointers per game. In 26 games, the Gauchos have attempted more threes than their opponents just four times, including just once in the last seven games.

Protecting The Ball
In recent games, Santa Barbara has done a better job of protecting the basketball. On Saturday, the Gauchos had 12 turnovers against UC Riverside and in the last three games, they have averaged 11.3 per game, a drop from their season average of 14.1 per contest. Also, in each of the last four games, UCSB has had a positive ratio of assists to turnovers. Overall, in the last four, the Gauchos have had 59 assists and only 46 turnovers.

That 70's Show
Make no mistake, UCSB wants low-scoring games. When the Gauchos have been able to limit their opponents to fewer than 70 points, they have gone 13-2. When the opponents score more than 70 points they have gone 3-8. The only two opponents who were held to fewer than 70 points and still won were Long Beach State (68-67) and Loyola Marymount (58-55).

Junior Partners
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 fifth all-time on the Gauchos' one-two punch list. Harris and Devine combined for 926 points in the first 26 games, an average of 35.6 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.	A. Harris/C. Devine    2006-07    926
6.	M. Hull/B. Fullove     2001-02    893
7. 	R. Tutt/J. Merrill     1996-97    882
8.	C. Henry/S. Fisher     1985-86    878
9.	B. Fullove/M. Hull     2002-03    869
10.	B.J. Bunton/J. Merrill 1998-99    867
11.	Y. Gross/M. Russell	   1982-83    860
Note: The leading scorer is listed first.
Active Scoring Leaders
Player                Points    Games   Avg.
Alex Harris           1,000     84	    11.9
Cecil Brown           939       108     8.7
Chris Devine          739       55      13.4
Double Dipping 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 25 of 26 games and Devine has done so 24 times. James Powell, has done so in 11, including the last four of the last five, 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.
Player	                 GP	   10+
Alex Harris              26	   25
Chris Devine             26    24
James Powell             26    11
Cecil Brown              21    11
Ivan Elliott             26    7
Justin Joyner            25    5
Tom Garlepp              19    1
Double-Double Dipping
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          Stats
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 continues to lead the Big West Conference in scoring at 20.8 points per game. After he reclaimed the scoring lead with a 27-point performance on Feb. 17 against Eastern Washington, he solidified his hold in games at Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside. On Thursday night at Cal State Fullerton he scored a career-high 35 points. Harris made 12-of-28 shots overall and 5-of-7 from three-point range in the game against the Titans. In Saturday's win at Riverside, he scored 25 more on 9-of-13 shooting overall and 5-of-8 from three-point range. In the last three games, Harris has averaged 27.0 points per game while making 29-of-56 shots overall, 51.8%, and 15-of-25 from three-point range, 60.0%. In fact, while Harris has equaled his career-high with five three-pointers in each of the last three games, in the last two he has made 10-of-15, 66.7%. This also marks the first time this season that Harris has scored 25 or more in three straight games. He opened the year by scoring 20 or more in seven straight, but at no point did he score 25 or more in three straight. With his 25 points on Sturday, the junior from Alameda, Calif., has now scored exactly 1,000 career points. He became the 21st UCSB player to break the 1,000 point barrier. Harris has scored in double-figures 25 times in 26 games and he has been at or over the 20 point mark 15 times, the most by a Gaucho player since the 1997-98 season. 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. Harris' career-high 35 points at Cal State Fullerton were the most scored by a Gaucho since Raymond Tutt tallied 37 on Feb. 21, 1997. If you cast your gaze upward a bit, you will notice that he is also scaling a variety of UCSB's single-season statistical lists. He enters the final regular season weekend with 542 points, fourth all-time. Harris needs 23 points to move past York Gross and into third on the list. Moving any higher than third is going to be a tough task. Lucius Davis is second with 644 points. Harris' run of three straight games with five three-point baskets has also moved him to sixth on that list with 63. He also has 112 career three-point baskets, ninth all-time. Not only has he made five three-point baskets in three straight and four times this year, he has made four three times and three five times. He has made at least one three-pointer in 24 of 26 games and two or more 16 times. Ironically, while his three-point shooting was outstanding over the weekend, his free throw shooting suffered. In the two games, he made just 8-of-17 charity attempts, 47.1%. Harris is also third on the team in rebounding at 4.8 per game. He had just two in the win at Riverside, ending a streak of four games in a row with at least five. Finally, Harris has been Santa Barbara's workhorse this season. He is averaging 35.2 minutes per game and has played 30 or more in 24 of 26, including the last 15. He logged a career-high 48 minutes (out of 50) in a double-overtime win over Pepperdine on Nov. 21.

Harris' Single-Season Ranks
Category              Stat     Rank
Points                542      4th
Scoring Average       20.8     4th
Free Throws           135      5th
Free Throw Atts.      177      t-5th
3-Pt. FGs             63       6th
3-Pt. FGAs            139      10th

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine is second on the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game and he leads the team in rebounding at 6.7 per game. In Saturday's win at UC Riverside, he narrowly missed his sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and nine rebounds. Additionally, however, Devine tied his season-high with five assists in the victory. He has scored in double-figures in 24 of the Gauchos' 26 games, including the last 14 in a row, the longest such streak of his career. 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 6.7 rebounds per game, he has had five or more 19 times, including each of the last four. In the last four, he has averaged 7.2 caroms per game. 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 and at UC Riverside on Feb. 24). While he is still shooting 53.9% from the field, Devine has struggled with his shot lately. In the last three games, he has made 15-of-37, 40.5%. On the other hand, he is shooting 72.6% from the free throw line overall, but he has drained 15-of-18, 83.3%, in the last four game. Finally, Devine is one of two Gauchos to have started all 26 games this season and he is the only player to start all 55 over the past two seasons.

Help Cecil! Help!
Senior guard Cecil Brown has struggled bounced back from two subpar offensive games with an outstanding, and clutch, game at UC Riverside. Brown finished with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting overall, including 1-for-2 from three-point range, and it was his fall-away shot with fewer than nine seconds left that gave the Gauchos the 68-67 win. Brown's outstanding effort against the Highlanders came on the heels of consecutive poor offensive games. In two games prior to Riverside, he scored just six total points and made just 2-of-16 shots from the field, both three-pointers. Still, despite those two games, Brown has been in double-figures in four of the last six games and he has averaged 12.7 per game over that span. On the year, he has been in double-figures 11 times in 21 games and since scoring a total of 10 points in his first three appearances, Brown has averaged 10.1 points per game. In fact, in his 12 league games, he has averaged 11.5 points per game. He scored a season-high 23 in a Feb. 8 home win over UC Irvine. Brown has also become one of the Gauchos' most important playmakers. He is averaging 3.0 assists per game overall, but he has had two or more in 12 straight games, the longest current streak of any UCSB player. He has averaged 4.0 assists in his last 12 games. Finally, while he needs 61 points to hit the 1,000 point mark, Brown has scaled the career list for three-pointers. With 113 in his career, he ranks eighth on the all-time list.

Justin Joins In
Freshman guard Justin Joyner returned to the Gaucho lineup last week after missing one game with a pulled hamstring. In his return, Joyner had mixed results. He scored seven points and had one assist in the game at Cal State Fullerton and on Saturday at UC Riverside, he was scoreless, but he did have three assists and now has 74 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 10 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 5.2 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 eight games, Joyner has averaged 7.2 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 10 appearances. His 17 threes are the 11th most by a freshman in school history. While Joyner is shooting 37.7% overall and 27.9% from three-point territory, he has shot 35.4% from beyond the arc since missing his first 13. Finally, he has become a defensive stalwart for the Gauchos. There is more to it than steals, but he has a team-leading 31 steals in his 25 games, 1.2 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 10 games. In his last 10, Joyner has produced 18 steals, including three in four games. His 31 steals rank second on the all-time freshman list.

Ivan The Good
Junior forward Ivan Elliott had one of his best games of the season in UCSB's win at UC Riverside. Elliott made 4-of-5 shots and both of his free throw attempts to finish with 10 points. He also had eight rebound. On the year, he is now averaging 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. With 10 points against the Highlanders, he has now scored 10 or more seven times this season. Elliott also improved his field goal percentage to a team-leading 55.6%. He scored his career-high of 14 points on Nov. 13 at Montana State. With eight rebounds against UC Riverside, Elliott has had at least seven in each of the last three games and at least five in five straight. In fact, since collecting a total of eight rebounds in the first three games of the year, he has averaged 6.3 per game and in the last 10 games he has averaged 7.0 per game. Elliott has had 10 or more rebounds four times this season, second only to Chris Devine who has had 10 or more five times. Elliott had a career-high 12 rebounds on Feb. 1 at UC Davis. 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 Devine, to have a double-double this season. Elliott came off the bench for the first seven games this season but the started 17 in a row before returning to a reserve role in the last two games. After playing more than 20 minutes twice in the first seven games, he has played 20 or more in 17 of the last 19.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Although he had just two points in Saturday's game at UC Riverside, freshman guard James Powell has started to reassert himself for the Gauchos. He had three assists against the Highlanders and it was the third straight game in which he has had at least three assists. While Powell is averaging 2.3 assists per game on the season, he has averaged 3.7 per game in the last three. Also, despite scoring just five total points in the games at Fullerton and Riverside, he has averaged 8.7 in the last seven games, scoring in double-figures four times over that span. Powell, who went through a prolonged shooting slump at mid-season, has started shooting the ball better in recent weeks. Overall, he is shooting 40.1% from the field and 32.6% from three-point range, but in the last eight games he has made 24-of-51 shots overall, 47.1%, and 10-of-25 from beyond the three-point arc, 40.0%. Powell has tallied 10 or more in four of the last six games and 11 times this season. He scored a season-high 18 points on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine. He also had a pair of 17-point games, one coming in a Nov. 17 win at UNLV, and the other in Dec. 2 win at Portland. In addition to ranking third on the team in scoring and assists, Powell is second, to fellow freshman Justin Joyner, in steals with 25. He also leads the team in free throw percentage at 83.1%, and since he was shooting 75.6% in early-January, he has made 18 in a row to improve to his current 83.1% mark. Powell has also moved-up on several UCSB freshman statistical lists. He is currently in the top-10 in 11 categories, including points with 226, scoring average at 8.7, three-pointers with 31, assists with 60 and steals with 25.

As The World Turners
Senior forward Glenn Turner has been in the starting lineup in each of the last two games. He had two points and three rebounds in the win at UC Riverside, equaling his season-high with 26 minutes played. Turner made his only field goal attempt at Riverside and is now shooting 64.7% from the field. Also, while he had just three boards against the Highlanders, he has had three or more in six straight games and eight times in the past 10 games. Turner is averaging 3.8 rebounds per game, but in the last 10 he is averaging 4.4 per game. On Feb. 17, against Eastern Washington, 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 six games, a significant increase over his season average of 14.0 per game. Finally, despite missing nine games, he has taken over the team-lead with 20 blocked shots. Turner now has 101 blocked shots in his career. He is the fourth UCSB player to hit the 100 blocked shot mark.

View: Mobile | Desktop