December 20, 2006

UCSB, 8-2 on the Season, Carries Four-Game Winning Streak Into Friday Night Showdown at San Diego

Dec. 20, 2006

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The Schedule
Game No. 11
Friday, December 22, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at the University of San Diego Toreros
at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion

Game No. 12
Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCSB's Thunderdome

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara will enter its Friday night road game at the University of San Diego with a record of 8-2 and a four-game winning streak. This is UCSB's second four-game winning streak of the season. The Gauchos opened the year with four consecutive wins for the first time since the 1992-93 season and since back-to-back home defeats to San Diego State and Loyola Marymount, they have defeated Portland, Fresno State, the University of San Francisco and Vanguard. The 8-2 record matches the best 10-game start by the Gauchos since 2001-02, when they also went 8-2.

On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990-AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his third year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers' and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of games, home and road. When Ford is not available for road games, Bill Mahoney, yours truly, will handle the task. Steve Wendt, the voice of the UCSB women's basketball team, will handle the play-by-play for a handful of men's games this season.

The Bob Williams Show
The Bob Williams show will be aired each Tuesday night from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on KTMS 990-AM in Santa Barbara. Coach Williams will talk about past and upcoming games, interview Gaucho playe

Gauchos Play Final Pre-Big West Game
UCSB's game at the University of San Diego on Friday night will be the team's final pre-Big West game of the year. While the Gauchos will play three more non-conference games (two against UC Davis and a Bracket Buster game), this will be the last one before the start of league play on Thursday, Dec. 28. The Gauchos open the league slate at home against UC Riverside on Dec. 28 and then on Dec. 30, they will host one of the Big West favorites, Cal State Fullerton.

UCSB Extends Season-Opening Road Winning Streak To Five
UCSB's win at San Francisco on Sunday extended its season-opening road winning streak to five in a row. Dating back to last season's regular season finale at Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos have now won six straight true road games, tying a school record. The last time Santa Barbara opened a season with a 5-0 record in true road games was in 1987-88 when it began 6-0 on the road. The key phrase is true road games. In 1987-88, UCSB dropped a neutral court game in Indianapolis to Stanford. The last time a Gaucho team went 5-0 away from home to start a season was in 1988-89 when they went 4-0 in road games and 1-0 in a neutral court game. According to our records, if you include true road games and neutral court games, UCSB has never gone 6-0 away from home to begin a season.

Gauchos Extend Winning Streak To Four With 90-63 Win Over Vanguard
Junior forward Chris Devine scored 22 points and had 11 rebounds, and junior guard Alex Harris added 18 points and six assists as UC Santa Barbara won its fourth consecutive game, 90-63 over visiting Vanguard on Tuesday night. The Gauchos (8-2), who led by 11 points at half, made 23-of-32 shots in the second and coasted to the 27-point victory over the Lions (2-8). Devine and Harris combined for 26 of UCSB's 51 points in the second half, making 12-of-14 shots. For the game, Santa Barbara made 62.5% of its shots, its best mark of the season. Junior forward Ivan Elliott, who made all six of his shots in Sunday's win at San Francisco, made 5-of-6 and scored 12 points against Vanguard. Senior guard Cecil Brown scored just six points, but added six assists and no turnovers for the Gauchos. In all, eight UCSB players scored at least five points in the game. For the second straight game, the Gauchos dominated the backboards as well, outrebounding the Lions by a 36-23 margin. UCSB also had a season-low nine turnovers in the win. The contest also marked the return of Gaucho senior forward Glenn Turner. Turner, who missed the final three games of the of the 2005-06 season after suffering a reaction to a combination of medications he was taking, had surgery to repair a hernia before the start of the exhibition season. He missed both exhibition games and the first nine regular season games before his return on Tuesday night. Turner played eight minutes, scoring four points and blocking one shot.

Gauchos Move Up In Mid-Major Top-25
Two weeks ago, the Gauchos entered The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll for the first time since early in the 2003-04 season. UCSB was ranked 25th in the poll dated Dec. 4. Last week, the Gauchos jumped six spots to 19th and this week, in the poll dated Dec. 18, they have moved up to 16th nationally.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - James Powell - His 17 three-pointers rank 10th on UCSB's all-time freshman list.
G - Alex Harris - His top 10 career scoring efforts have come in season's first 10 games.
G - Justin Joyner - Suffering from stomach virus, played just nine minutes vs. Vanguard.
F - Chris Devine - Had third double-double of the season in win vs. Vanguard.
F - Ivan Elliott - Has made 11-of-12 shots from the field in the last two games, 91.7%.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Tied his career-high with six assists against Vanguard.
G - Paul Roemer - Had a personal-best two steals vs. Vanguard.
G - Trevor Bing - Made a pair of threes and had a career-high eight vs. Vanguard.
F - Tom Garlepp - Hit 11-of-21 overall and 4-of-6 from three-point range in last four games.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Did not play against Vanguard.
F - Beau Gibb - Tallied season-best six points in win over Vanguard.
F - David Massey - Suffering from flu, did not suit-up Tuesday night.
F - Sam Phippen - Freshman forward will redshirt the 2006-07 season.
F - Glenn Turner - Returned to active duty with eight minutes vs. Vanguard.

The Opponents
UCSB and the University of San Diego have played 18 times in a series that dates back to 1964. The Gauchos hold a 13-5 edge in the all-time series, including a 67-65 win in Santa Barbara last season. The last time the teams played in San Diego, December of 2004, the Toreros recorded a 71-63 win. UCSB has not won at USD since December 6, 1995, when it won 76-73. The Gauchos and UC Riverside have played 19 times since their first meeting in 1955. Santa Barbara holds a decisive 15-4 lead in the series. Last season, the Highlanders won in Riverside, 81-78, and the Gauchos won in Santa Barbara, 81-71. The teams also met in Anaheim in the first round of the 2006 Big West Tournament with Santa Barbara recording a resounding 76-44 victory.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 5-0 in road games this season. The Gauchos opened the road portion of their schedule with an 88-56 win at Montana State on Nov. 13. On Nov. 17, they won at UNLV, 79-76 and on Nov. 21 they won at Pepperdine, 89-80 in double overtime. On Dec. 2, they won at Portland, 75-67 and then on Dec. 17, they won at San Francisco, 74-69. This marks the first 5-0 start in true road games since the 1987-88 campaign when the team jumped out of the gates with the same 5-0 road record. UCSB posted a 5-9 record in true road games in 2005-06 and a 6-10 mark in all non-home games. While the 5-9 doesn't seem like much, it includes an 0-7 start and a 5-2 finish. The Gauchos opened the 2005-06 season with seven straight road losses, extending a two-season streak to nine straight road defeats. However, since the end of that streak, UCSB has gone 9-2 on the road.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB is 3-2 at home in 2006-07. The Gauchos defeated San Jose State on Nov. 10 and, after losing consecutive games to San Diego State and Loyola Marymount, they have posted back-to-back wins, defeating Fresno State on Dec. 6 and Vanguard on Dec. 19. UCSB went 9-4 in home games during the 2005-06 season, including 3-4 in Big West games. Since Bob Williams became head coach in 1998-99, Santa Barbara has gone 76-31 in home games.

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 131-113 (.537) overall record and a 79-55 (.590) 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 319-213 (.600) at four-year schools.

An Early Christmas Present
Senior forward Glenn Turner, sidelined since he had surgery to repair a hernia on Nov. 9, was expected to return to the active lineup for the Big West opener on Dec. 28 against UC Riverside. Turner, however, was cleared to practice last week and cleared to play early on Tuesday. He logged eight minutes in the Gauchos' win over Vanguard University, scoring four points and blocking one shot. He made both of his field goal attempts. He reported no pain after the game, and that was considered a good sign.

Playing The Percentages
After making 62.5% of its shots in Tuesday's win over Vanguard, UCSB is now shooting 49.7% overall, the top figure in the Big West Conference. In fact, since opening the year with a 39.4% performance against San Jose State, Santa Barbara has made 251-of-491 shots, an outstanding 51.1%. In their last two games, the Gauchos have made 66-of-113 from the floor, 58.4%. The 62.5% mark against Vanguard was the highest single-game field goal percentage since Nov. 24, 2002, when UCSB made 64.3% of its shots in a win over Centenary. Breaking down the shooting even more, UCSB has been much better on the road than at home. In home games against San Jose State, San Diego State, Loyola Marymount, Fresno State and Vanguard, the Gauchos have made 133-of-288 shots, 46.2%. In those five games, they have shot better than 40.0% just two times. They made 50.9% against SDSU and then 62.5% against Vanguard. On the other hand, in five road games, UCSB has gone 144-of-269, 53.5%, and it has shot below 50.0% just once. The lowest road mark for the Gauchos this season was the 49.2% that they shot at Pepperdine.

Passive Aggressive
UCSB had a season-high 22 assists and a season-low nine turnovers in Tuesday's win over Vanguard. The 22 assists were also spread fairly evenly. Senior guard Cecil Brown and junior guard Alex Harris each tied his career-high with six and freshman James Powell had four. The Gauchos previous high for assists this season was 18. Santa Barbara had 18 assists twice in the first four games, at UNLV and at Pepperdine.

On The Rebound
The one area of struggle for UCSB early in the season was rebounding. The Gauchos were outrebounded in five of their first seven games in 2006-07 and they went 3-2 in those games. Santa Barbara seems to have turned things around, however, outrebounding its last three opponents. In the last three games, UCSB has produced 28 more rebounds than its opponents, an advantage of 9.3 per game. In fact, in the last two games, wins over San Francisco and Vanguard, the Gauchos have registered rebound edges of 12 and 13, an average of 12.5 per game. Through 10 games, UCSB is now outrebounding opponents by an average of 1.4 rebounds per game.

Non Contact Sport
When Tuesday's game between UCSB and Vanguard ended, I looked up at the clock in the Thunderdome and the time was 8:37. I figured the clock had stopped. This is, after all, the Thunderdome. Then someone upstairs by our stat crew said something about a quick game and I realized that the clock had not stopped. The reason for the quick game? Well, how about 12 TOTAL fouls, six for each team, both the fewest on record, and a TOTAL of 21 turnovers. No Gaucho player had more than one foul and even if each team had committed all of its fouls in the same half, neither team would have reached the bonus. There were only 13 TOTAL free throws attempted in the game, the lowest total I could find.

Junior Partners
In UCSB's November 21 double-overtime victory over Pepperdine, two Gaucho players eclipsed the 25-point mark. Junior forward Chris Devine poured in a career-high 28 points, while junior guard Alex Harris had a career-best 27. Prior to Nov. 21, the last time a Santa Barbara duo achieved the feat was at Long Beach State on Feb. 25, 1988, when sophomore forward Mike Doyle scored 31 points and senior guard Brian Shaw scored 26. Three times this season Harris and Devine have scored 20 or more points in the same game, the first time a UCSB duo has pulled that off since 1990-91 when Gary Gray and Lucius Davis did it three times. Finally, through 10 games the Harris-Devine tandem has combined for 391 of the Gauchos' 767 points, 51.0%. They are combining for 39.1 points per game and if they can remain anywhere near that figure, they would easily become the highest scoring duo in school history. Previously, the highest combined average for two players was in 1991-92 when Lucius Davis and Idris Jones combined to score 1,014 points in 29 games, an average of just a tick under 35.0 points per game.

Marginalizing The Opposition
Through 10 games, UCSB is outscoring its opposition by an average of 11.3 points per game, the best figure among Big West Conference schools. In its eight wins, the Gauchos have outscored opponents by 120 points, 15.0 points per game. Their two biggest margins of victory have been 32 points (Nov. 13 at Montana State) and 28 points (Dec. 6 vs. Fresno State). Their narrowest margin has been three points (Nov. 17 at UNLV). In its two losses UCSB was outscored by a total of seven points. They dropped a four-point decision on Nov. 25 against San Diego State and a three-point game to Loyola Marymount on Nov. 29. In their five road games, the Gauchos are outscoring opponents by 11.4 points per game and in five home games they are outscoring opponents by 11.2 points per contest.

Upper Left Corner Of Page Three
The 90 points scored by the Gauchos in their last game against Vanguard were the most points the team has scored since it went for 98 in a double overtime win over Cal State Fullerton near the end of the 2003-04 season. It was the most points scored in regulatiton since UCSB scored 90 on Dec. 13 in a home win over the University of San Diego...UCSB has won games in four different states for the first time since the 1989-90 season...With its double-overtime win over Pepperdine on Nov. 21, UCSB has now won four straight overtime games dating back to the 2003-04 season...UCSB has two Big West Conference Players of the Week this year, the same total it has had in the last two seasons combined...UCSB has scored 40 or more points in seven halves this season while opponents have done so twice.

The Harris Poll
Junior guard Alex Harris continues to lead UCSB in scoring at 22.0 points per game. In the Gauchos most recent game, a 90-63 win over Vanguard, Harris scored 18 points, marking the 10th time in 10 games that he has scored 18 or more points. In fact, he has scored 20 or more eight times in the 10 games, including the first seven games of the season. Harris is the first Gaucho ever to start a season with seven straight 20-point games and the first UCSB player to score 20 or more in seven straight at any point in a season since Raymond Tutt did so during the 1996-97 campaign. The first 10 games this season represent the top 10 scoring performances of Harris' career. In the game against Vanguard, Harris made 8-of-13 shots overall and he is now shooting 54.5% for the season. In his last two games, he has gone 15-of-24 overall, 62.5%. He has made 50.0% or more eight times in 10 games. Harris is also shooting 50.0% from three-point range and he has gone 11-of-18 in the last four games, 61.1%. He has made at least one three-pointer in all 10 games and his 26 threes are two short of his career-high of 28 set last season. Harris tied his season and career-high with six assists against Vanguard. He has had five or more rebounds in four of the last five games and five times in his last seven games. He is now averaging 4.8 rebounds per game. Harris scored a career-high 27 points in a Nov. 21 win at Pepperdine and this season he has also recorded single-game career-highs in assists (six on two occasions), three-point baskets (five on Nov. 10 against San Jose State), steals (five on Nov. 13 at Montana State), free throws made (nine on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine), field goals made (nine on Dec. 2 in Portland) and minutes played (48 on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine). Harris earned his first Big West Player of the Week honor after scoring 25 points in the Gauchos season-opening come-from-behind win over San Jose State.

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine is second on the team in scoring at 17.1 points per game and he leads the team in rebounding at 8.0 per game. On Tuesday, Devine had his third double-double of the season when he had 22 points and 11 rebounds against Vanguard. It was his second double-double in as many games. He went for 12 points and 10 boards at San Francisco on Dec. 17. He now has seven double-doubles in his career. Devine's other double-double this season came, fittingly, in a double overtime win at Pepperdine on Nov. 21 when he scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. On Tuesday night, Devine also snapped out of a mild shooting slump. After going 11-for-25, 44.0% in the previous two games, he was 10-of-13, 76.9%, against Vanguard. He leads the team at 56.9% and since going 7-for-16 in the season opener, he has made 63-of-107, 58.9%. He has been in double-figures in nine of 10 games and in four straight games since scoring a season-low five points on Nov. 29 against Loyola Marymount. Devine has scored 20 or more four times this season. He has had five or more rebounds in all 10 games. In addition to rebounding and field goal percentage, Devine paces the team with 14 steals, including a career-high five on Nov. 10 against San Jose State. He was named Big West Player of the Week after leading the Gauchos to road wins at Montana State and UNLV. A Second Team All-Big West choice last season, Devine was selected to the league's preseason all-conference team this year.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Freshman guard James Powell is third on the Gauchos in scoring at 12.0 points per game, but he has hit a bump in the offensive road in recent games. In the last three games, Powell has made just 4-of-19 shots overall, 21.1%, and 2-of-13 from three-point range, 15.4%. In the last three, he has scored a total of just 17 points, 5.7 per game. Still, while he has struggled with his shooting and scoring, Powell has been productive in other ways. He is now averaging a team-high 3.4 assists per game, including 4.7 per game in the last four games and a career-high six in a Dec. 6 win over Fresno State. He has improved his rebounding to 3.3 per game, including 4.7 per game in the last three. On Tuesday against Vanguard, Powell equaled his career-highs with six rebounds and two steals. He also ranks second to Alex Harris with 17 three-point baskets, a figure that already ranks him 10th on UCSB's all-time single-season list for freshmen. Powell has made at least one three-pointer in nine of 10 games and two or more five times.

Ivan The Pretty Good
Junior forward Ivan Elliott has made the most the first three starts of his career. Elliott, who came off the bench in UCSB's first seven regular season games, has started the last three. In the last three games, he has averaged 10.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Over that span, Elliott has made 14-of-19 shots from the field, 73.7%. In fact, in the last three, he has scored 31 of his 59 points this season. In the most recent two games, he has taken his offensive game to an even higher level, averaging 12.5 points per game and making 11-of-12 shots from the field, 91.7%. Elliott is also a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range in the last two games. Overall, he is now averaging 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He has also emerged as a shot-blocker with 10 on the season, including two or more four times. Elliott had a career-high three swats on Nov. 21 against Pepperdine, the same night he had a career-high with 10 rebounds. His top scoring effort of the season came on Nov. 13 at Montana State when he tallied 14.

Help Cecil! Help!
Senior guard Cecil Brown is rounding his way back to form. After missing both exhibition games and the first five regular season games, Brown has played in each of the last five games and each game he looks more like the player he was last season. On Tuesday night, Brown scored six points, making 3-of-6 shots, and he tied his career-high with six assists in just 23 minutes. In his five games, he is now averaging 5.4 points, 2.8 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game. Also, since going just 1-of-5 from the field in his first two games, Brown has made 10-of-20 from the field in the last three, 50.0%. He has had two rebounds in four of his five games and two or more assists in four of his five appearances. In his last two games, Brown has averaged 4.5 assists and in addition to his six assists on Tuesday, he had no turnovers.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oye, Oye, Oye!
Sophomore forward Tom Garlepp has come off the bench in each of the last three games after starting the first seven this season. In the last three games, Garlepp has recorded his three lowest minute totals of the season, including a season-low 11 on Tuesday night against Vanguard. He is now averaging 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He leads the Gauchos in blocked shots with 11. After making just 9-of-31 shots, 29.0%, in his first six games, Garlepp has gone 11-of-21, 52.4%, in the last four games, averaging 7.0 points per game over that span. Also, after making 1-of-6 from three-point range in the first six games, he has made 4-of-6, 66.7%, in the last four. He has made one three-pointer in each of the last four games. Not only does Garlepp lead UCSB in blocked shots, he has blocked a career-best three twice this season, on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine and Nov. 29 against Loyola Marymount. He has also set career-highs this season in assists (five on Nov. 13 at Montana State), rebounds (eight on Nov. 10 vs. San Jose State) and steals (two on Nov. 10 vs. San Jose State).

Justin Joins In
Freshman guard Justin Joyner has been limited in the last two games because of a stomach virus. In fact, he was not expected to play at all in Sunday's game at San Francisco, but he wound up fouling out in 17 minutes off the bench. On Tuesday against Vanguard, he was back in the starting lineup, but he was clearly ailing and played a season-low nine minutes, scoring two points. He is now averaging 4.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He is shooting 34.2% overall and 17.4% from three-point range, but since starting his season by going 5-for-19 overall and 0-for-10 from three-point range, Joyner has gone 8-for-19 overall, 42.1%, and 4-for-13 from three-point range, 30.8%.