December 27, 2005

UCSB Plays Host to Portland Before Traveling to UC Riverside for Big West Opener

Dec. 27, 2005

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The Schedule
Game No. 10
Wednesday, December 28, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. the University of Portland Pilots
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTMS 990 AM

Game No. 11
Monday, January 2, 2006 at 7:05 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCR's Student Recreation Center
Radio: KIST 1340 AM

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its game against Portland, the final pre-Big West game of the year, with a record of 4-5. Although the Gauchos have gone 2-5 since opening the season with wins over the University of San Francisco and the University of San Diego, they played some of their best basketball in their most recent game, a 79-76 loss, at Fresno State on Dec. 23. UCSB is unbeaten at home with a 4-0 record and winless on the road with an 0-5 mark. The Gauchos have split their last two games.

Time Changed For Jan. 4 Game At Cal State Fullerton
The game time for UCSB's Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006 game at Cal State Fullerton has been switched from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The time change was made by agreement between Gaucho head coach Bob Williams and Titan head coach Bob Burton. The move will allow fans the opportunity to attend the basketball game, if they can get the day off of work, and then return home in time to watch that night's National Championship football game at the Rose Bowl.

On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara radio games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara by Clear Channel Santa Barbara. The games are carried either on KIST 1340-AM or KTMS 990-AM. Note the schedule above for the station breakdown. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his second season as the play-by-play voice of UCSB basketball. He is assisted by Color Announcer Supreme Don Ford, the former UCSB and Cleveland Cavalier superstar. Also, much to the chagrin of the entire Central Coast and a vast internet audience, UCSB Assistant Athletics Director Bill Mahoney handles the color at selected road games. Mostly when Ford is not available.

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 players and welcome guests from the Santa Barbara sports community.

Gauchos Catch Fire In Second Half But Lose At Fresno State, 79-76
UCSB played its best road game of the 2005-06 season in Friday's 79-76 loss at Fresno State. The Gauchos actually played well early, had their problems in the middle, and then nearly completely overcame a 22-point deficit before losing by three. UCSB jumped out to a 23-15 lead with 9:41 remaining in the first half. The Bulldogs, however, used a 40-10 to take a commanding 55-33 lead. The rally was completed when FSU forward Donovan Morris drained a three-pointer from the right corner just 25 seconds into the second half. The teams played fairly evenly for the next nine minutes. With 9:59 to go in the game, guard Cecil Brown made a three-point basket to pull the Gauchos within 17, 69-52. Brown's three-pointer ignited a 10-0 run that cut the Bulldog lead to 10, 69-59. The lead was still 10, 76-66, when guard Joe See made a pair of free throws and then a lay-up that made the score 76-70 with 3:18 to go. Following another pair of Bulldog missed three-pointers, Cameron Goettsche pulled down a rebound and got the ball out to see near midcourt. See hit forward Derek Rasp on the left side and Rasp drained a three-pointer to cut the gap to 76-73 with 2:04 remaining in the game. Following a foul, the Bulldogs made one of two free throws to make it 77-73. After a UCSB miss, FSU was fouled again and again made one of two free throws to take a 78-73 edge. With 1:16 to go, See nailed his second three-pointer of the game to make the score 78-86. Another Gaucho defensive stand gave them the ball with 34 second remaining. Brown, who had made a game-winning buzzer beater in the previous game, rimmed a three-pointer in-and-out with just three seconds to go. UCSB fouled on the rebound and the Bulldogs made 1-of-2 from the line for the final margin. The Gauchos shot 59.3% in the second half to get back in the game. Brown and See each finished with a team-high 14 points.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Has scored 10 or more in eight straight games, averaging 15.0 over that span.
G - Alex Harris - Has had 14 assists in the last three games, including season-high five twice.
G - Joe See - Made his first start of the season at Fresno State and went 5-for-5 from the field.
F - Chris Devine - Has averaged 13.0 ppg in last two games, going 10-of-13 shots, 76.9%.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Had season-best seven rebounds in each of the last three games.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Lance Hurdle - Went for career-highs in points (7), assists (3) and steals (3) at Fresno State.
G - James Powell - Freshman guard will redshirt the 2005-06 season.
G - Derek Rasp - Dating to last season, he has scored 10 or more in seven of last nine games.
G - Michael Chambers - After playing three minutes vs. Sonoma State, was a DNP at Fresno.
G - Josh Davis - Sprained left ankle is improving. Could return for Big West opener at UCR.
F - Chidi Ajufo - Played two minutes at Fresno, his first action in three games.
F - Tom Garlepp - Made a three-pointer at Fresno State,his first in seven games.
F - Glenn Turner -Injured right knee is improving and he could return for Big West opener.
F - Chris Moore - Has played in last three games after missing the first six.
C - David Massey - At 7-foot-3 his the tallest player in program history. Will redshirt the year.

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 111-102 (.520) overall record and a 73-47 (.608) 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 300-202 (.597) at four-year schools.

Williams Gets 300th Career Win
Bob Williams' 300th career win wasn't pretty, but at least it was. Get it? The Gauchos' eighth-year head coach posted the 300th win of his career on Tuesday, Dec. 20, when UCSB narrowly topped visiting Sonoma State, 67-66. Last season, Williams posted his 100th career win as head coach of the Gauchos. In all, he has won 111 games since arriving at UCSB for the 1998-99 season.

The Opponents
The Gauchos and Portland have played seven times in a series that dates back to 1975. The Pilots have won the last two games between the schools, including a 78-73 home win in 1998-99, Bob Williams first year at UCSB. The Gauchos and UC Riverside have played 13 times in a series that dates back to 1955. UCSB holds a decisive 13-3 edge all-time, but the Highlanders have given the Gauchos fits in Riverside, winning two straight. 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 4-0 at home this season. UCSB has won games against Sonoma State, Pepperdine, San Francisco and San Diego. Although Santa Barbara struggled through the 2004-05 season, things were not that bad at home. The Gauchos 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 over Pepperdine, USF and USD, UCSB is 69-26 at home since Bob Williams arrived for the 1998-99 season.

Davis, Turner Improve, But Status Is Still Questionable
Senior guard Josh Davis and junior forward Glenn Turner were each injured in UCSB's Dec. 17 game at San Diego State. In the case of Turner, he was actually re-injured. Davis suffered a severely sprained left ankle and missed UCSB's games against Sonoma State and Fresno State. He did not accompany the team to Fresno. While his ankle has made significant progress, he is not expected to return until the outset of the Big West season at the earliest. Turner, who re-injured a right knee that he originally injured in preseason practice, did accompany the team to Fresno, but did not play. It is possible, but doubtful, that he could return for Wednesday night's game against Portland, but it is far more likely that he will return for Big West play which tips-off on Jan. 2 at UC Riverside.

A Light At The End Of The Shooting Tunnel
There were times during UCSB's games at Arizona State and Loyola Marymount that one had wonder if the Gauchos would ever make another shot. At one point in the loss at LMU, UCSB missed 17 of 18 shots. Well, rest easy, Santa Barbara not only can, but has made some shots. The Gauchos have shot better than 40.0% in four straight games, a season-first. In fact, UCSB has shot better than 45.0% in consecutive games for the first time this year. The 45.6% that the Gauchos shot on Friday at Fresno State was their highest road percentage of the year and the 59.3% that they made in the second half was the single best half of the season. Overall, in the last two games, one win and one loss, UCSB made 49-of-107 shots, 45.8%.

Three-Point Tunnel Is Brighter Too
The shooting improvement has not been limited to the overall field goal percentage. In the loss at Fresno State, UCSB had one of its best three-point shooting performances this season and easily the best since the first game of the season. The Gauchos, who made just 15-of-65, 23.1%, from beyond the arc in the three games prior to the outing against the Bulldogs, made 10-of-20, 50.0%, at Fresno. It was the third time this season at UCSB had made at least 10 three-point baskets in a game and it was the second time that it had made 50.0% or better in a game.

Double The Pleasure
Although senior guard Cecil Brown is the only UCSB player scoring in double-figures, the Gauchos do have three other players averaging 9.0 points or better. In addition, when senior forward Cameron Goettsche scored a career-high 21 points on Dec. 20 against Sonoma State, he became the ninth Gaucho player to score in double-figures this season. Brown, who scored in single-digits in the season-opener against San Francisco, has scored 10 or more in eight straight games since. Also, five different UCSB players have either led, or tied for the team-lead in scoring.

Free Throw Baby Steps
For UCSB improvement in free throw shooting comes like baby steps. The Gauchos have two crawl and walk before they can run. UCSB is shooting 63.2% from the free throw line, but in the loss at Fresno State, things started looking up. Against the Bulldogs, Santa Barbara made a season-best 73.7% from the one-point line. It marked just the second time this year that the Gauchos made 70.0% or better and it was the first time since the first game of the season against San Francisco. In the last two games, UCSB has made a respectable 31-of-44 from the line, 70.5%.

The Defense Rests
UCSB has started to crank things up a bit on the offensive end of the floor. On the flip side, the Gauchos seemed to have eased-up a bit on the defensive end in recent games. Although Santa Barbara's opponents are shooting 42.8% from the floor overall, they have made 71-of-151 in the last three games, 48.3%. In the last two games, the Gaucho perimeter defense has had its problems. Fresno State and Sonoma State combined to make 19-of-39 shots from beyond the three-point line, 48.7%. The Bulldogs made 11-of-22, 50.0%. The 11 three-pointers were the most made by an opponent this season and the 50.0% is the second best mark this by an opponent this season. On the year, UCSB opponents have made 65-of-162 from three-point range, 40.1%.

Help, Cecil! Help!
Senior guard Cecil Brown has seized control of UCSB's scoring lead at 13.8 points per game. With 14 points in the Gauchos' narrow loss at Fresno State on Friday, he tied for the team-lead in scoring. It marked the fifth time in nine games that Brown has either led the team or tied for the team-lead in scoring. His 14 points against the Bulldogs also gives him exactly 500 career points. Brown has now scored 10 or more points in eight straight games and since scoring just four points in the season-opener, he has averaged 15.0 per game. Last season, the longest streak of double-figure scoring by any UCSB player was five consecutive games by Chrismen Oliver. The last time a Gaucho player scored 10 or more in more than eight straight games was late in the 2001-02 season when Branduinn Fullove scored 10 or more in 10 straight. On Dec. 20 against Sonoma State, Davis scored 18 points, the second-highest total of his career. He scored six of the points on a pair of clutch three-pointer in the final 51 seconds, including one at the buzzer that gave the Gauchos a one-point win. Brown scored a career-high 28 points in a Dec. 7 home win over Pepperdine. It was the highest scoring game by a UCSB player since Mark Hull had 28 against San Diego State in a National Invitation Tournament game in 2003. Brown, who made just 2-of-10 shots in the opener against USF, has made 47-of-104 since, 45.2%. Also, sing going 2-for-11 from three-point range through the first three games he has made 13-of-30, 43.3%. Finally, in the game at Fresno State, Brown had a career-high eight rebounds and a season-high five assists, one short of his career-best.

The Harris Poll
Sophomore guard Alex Harris is struggling with his shooting, but he has become the team's best playmaker. Harris has taken-over the team-lead in assists with 25, an average of 2.8 per game. On three occasions this season he has tied his career-high with five assists, including two of the last three games. In fact, after Harris had only 11 assists in the first six games , including five in the opener against USF, he was averaging just 1.8 per game. In the last three games, however, he has produced 14 assists, 4.7 per game. Harris also ranks second on the team in rebounding at 5.0 per game. He had five in the game at Fresno State and it was the sixth time in nine games in which he has had five or more. On Nov. 21 against San Diego, he became the first UCSB guard to record a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) since the 2002-03 season. While much of his game is picking-up, Harris' shooting has fallen off. He started the season by making 11-of-19 shots, 57.9%, in the first two games, but he has had his problems since then. In the last seven games Harris has made just 17-of-62 shots, 27.4%. Also, since making 5-of-8 from three-point territory in the first two games, he has hit just 7-of-30, 23.3%. Harris is tied for the team-lead in steals with 10 and he had a career-high four on Dec. 20 against Sonoma State.

Devine Is Fine
After suffering through his worst offensive game of the season in a loss at San Diego State, sophomore forward Chris Devine has bounced back with two of his best games. In the games against Sonoma State and Fresno State, he scored 14 and 12 points, an average of 13.0 per game, making 10-of-13 shots from the field and all six of his free throw attempts. Devine now ranks second on the team in scoring at 9.4 points per game and, despite grabbing a season-low two rebounds at Fresno State, he leads the Gauchos in rebounding at 5.8 per game. He had a season-high 17 points in the opener at USF and he had a season-high nine rebounds on Nov. 21 against San Diego. Devine has made at least half of his shots in seven of the nine games and he is shooting 58.6% from the field. He has been particularly adept at shooing in home games as he has made 18-of-28 shots at the Thunderdome, 64.3%. In the loss at Fresno State, he played a season-low 22 minutes and fouled out. It was the third time this season that Devine has fouled out of a game. Last year, no UCSB player fouled out more than two times. Finally, in addition to his scoring and rebounding abilities, he has proven to be a pretty good passer too and ranks second on the team with 23 assists. Devine had a personal best six assists on Nov. 19 against USF and he has had three or more three times.

Wait And See
After getting off to a sizzling start to the 2005-06 season, senior guard Joe See hit a slump. In three games prior to the San Diego State game, See was scoreless, missing all 12 of his shots overall and all eight of his three-point attempts. In the last three games, however, he has bounced back and in the last game, at Fresno State, he had one of his finest games of the year. Against the Bulldogs, See received his first start of the season and he responded by playing a season-high 27 minutes, making all five of his field goal attempts, including 2-of-2 from beyond the three-point arc, and he scored 14 points. See scored 14 points after scoring totaling just seven in the preceding five games. Although he didn't score much in the two games prior to the Fresno State game, he did start to make some shots. In the last three games, See has hit 8-of-10 shots overall, 80.0%, and 3-of-5, 60.0% from three-point range. With his two three-point baskets in the last game, See has now made 99 in his UCSB career, tying him for eighth-place with Erick Ashe (1998-2000). When he makes his next three-pointer, he will become the eighth Gaucho to make 100 three-pointers.

Cam I Am
One game after scoring a career-high 21 points against Sonoma State, senior forward Cameron Goettsche played a season-high 31 minutes at Fresno State. Although his offensive success was not at the same level, he had seven points on 2-of-8 shooting, he tied his season-high with seven rebounds. Overall, Goettsche is now averaging 7.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. In the last three games, he has averaged 12.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game. Also over that span, he has made 13-of-25 shots from the field, 52.0%. Goettsche is picking up the pace in almost all categories. While he is shooting just 53.7% from the free throw line on the season, he has made 10-of-14 in the last two games, 71.4%. In fact, while he went just 1-for-6 from the line on Dec. 17 at San Diego State, in the game before that, a home win over Pepperdine, Goettsche made 5-of-6, so he has been comfortably over 50.0% in three of the last four games. Also, he has played his three highest minute totals of the season in the last three games.

Grasping His Opportunity
Sophomore swingman Derek Rasp returned three games ago after missing the first six games of the regular season. He has immediately made his impact felt. Rasp is averaging 9.3 points per game and he has made seven three-pointers in his first three games. He scored 11 in his first game back, at San Diego State, and then he went for 10 at Fresno State. Dating back to last season, the walk-on has scored in double-figures in seven of the last nine Gaucho games and over that span he has averaged 10.6 points per game. Also, in his last nine games he has made 22-of-45 shots from three-point range, 48.9% and 32-of-65 overall, 49.2%. In his career, Rasp has now made 37-of-89 from beyond the arc, 41.6%, third in school history.

One Small Step, One Giant Hurdle
Freshman guard Lance Hurdle tied his season-high with 12 minutes played at Fresno State, but he played by far his best game and helped to spark UCSB's near-miracle comeback. In his 12 minutes, Hurdle had career-highs in points with seven, assists with three and steals with three. His three steals doubled the total that he had previously recorded in 52 minutes. The San Diego County Player of the Year after leading La Mesa's Helix High School to the CIF Division I Championship, Hurdle also made his second three-pointer of the year and he helped give UCSB momentum in the second half at Fresno with a resounding slam dunk, his first of the season.

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