UCSB Hosts Northridge Thursday; Saturday's Game Against Hawai'i Moved to 4:00 pm for Fox Sports

Kyle Boswell (Photo by Vince Agapito)
Kyle Boswell (Photo by Vince Agapito)

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• This Week
Game No. 18
Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.TV

Game No. 19
Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Univ. of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket

UCSB-Hawai'i Game Moved To 4:00 p.m. for Fox Sports Prime Ticket
UC Santa Barbara's Jan. 26 game against the University of Hawai'i has been moved from 7:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to accommodate Fox Sports Prime Ticket, which will televise from the Thunderdome for the third time over a four-week span.  The schedule change was made after the NHL settled its labor dispute, creating scheduling conflicts.

• Single Game Tickets Available!
Single game tickets for all Gaucho men's and women's basketball games are now available and can be purchased in advance from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here. Great seats for the showdown with Long Beach State, and for all games, are also available at the Thunderdome ticket office one hour prior to tip-off.

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB and will stream live online at UCSBgauchos.com and NewsPress.com. Gerry Fall is in his ninth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB superstar Don Ford  and Santa Barbara News-Press legend Mark Patton handle the color commentary.

• Talk'n Gauchos
UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show, Talk'n Gauchos, airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from The Beachside Café, located on Goleta Beach and it features UCSB coaches and athletes.  Hosted by Gerry Fall, the voice of the Gauchos.  Fans can also catch Gaucho head coach Bob Williams every Thursday morning at 8:50 a.m. as he visits with Baron Ron Herron on "Bob and The Baron" on AM 1290.

Alan Williams Sidelined Indefinitely With Strained Hamstring  
Alan Williams, UCSB's leading scorer and rebounder, was injured while trying to block a shot with six minutes left in the first half of the game against Cal Poly on Saturday.  He was examined at halftime and held out the remainder of the Gauchos' double-overtime win.  On Monday, he was given a more thorough exam and it revealed a strained left hamstring tendon, an injury that will sideline him indefinitely.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters the week with an overall record of 7-10 and a Big West Conference mark of 3-3.  The Gauchos are coming off of an emotional 83-81 double-overtime win over Blue-Green Rivalry opponent Cal Poly on Jan. 19.  The victory gave Santa Barbara a two-game winning streak for just the second time this season.    

Williams Passes McCarthy For Third On Big West Conference Victory List
The Jan. 19 win over Cal Poly was the 143rd Big West Conference victory for head coach Bob Williams since his arrival at UCSB for the 1998-99 season.  The victory broke a tie with former New Mexico State head coach Neil McCarthy for third-place on the league's all-time list for conference wins.  Williams is 143-91.  With 244 overall wins as coach of the Gauchos, Williams is in fourth in that category, four behind McCarthy.  

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)  
G 11 T.J. Taylor- Has had 5 or more assists in last 6, averaging 7.0 per game in Big West play.F 12 Lewis Thomas - Has 12 three-pointers on the year, all on the road.  

F 21 Mitch Brewe - Scored career-high 10 points in win over Cal Poly.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Had 10 points and career-highs of 3 steals and 3 blocks vs. Cal Poly.  
F 35 Taran Brown- Needs 2 three-pointers to break UCSB freshman record of 43.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Had 8 assists and season-high 13 points vs. Cal Poly.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Back injury has him sidelined him indefinitely and he will redshirt.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Has played in 2 straight after missing 5 weeks with ankle sprain.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Tied season-high with 23 points in win over Cal Poly.
F 15 Alan Williams - Out indefinitely with strained left hamstring tendon.
G 32  John Green - Projected starter, broken bone in his foot has him sidelined indefinitely.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Has played in 5 straight since missing Big West opener at Fullerton.
G 43  Duke DaRé - After missing UC Davis game with shoulder injury, played 7 vs. Cal Poly.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Produced career-highs of 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots vs. Cal Poly.

The Opponents
UCSB is 30-14 in 44 games all-time against Cal State Northridge.  The teams first met in 1959.  The Gauchos won both regular season games between the schools in 2011-12, winning at the Thunderdome,   69-61, and at the Matadome, 85-70.  UCSB has won the last three games in the series, the first coming in the semifinals of the 2011 Big West Tournament.  Saturday will mark the first-ever conference game between the Gauchos and Hawai'i.  The programs have met six times starting in 1959 and Santa Barbara holds a 4-2 edge.  The teams have not played since the Gauchos defeated the Rainbow Warriors 57-51 to open the 2003 season in Honolulu.

The Gauchos At Home 
UCSB is 5-2 at home this season.  After opening the year with Thunderdome wins over The Master's College and the University of San Diego, the Gauchos dropped a game to Wyoming.  On Dec. 15, they defeated San Diego Christian and on Jan. 3 they topped UC Irvine.  After a loss to Long Beach State, they bounced back with a Jan. 19 double-overtime win over Cal Poly. Last season, UCSB went 11-3 at home with the losses coming to Long Beach State, San Diego State (in overtime) and UNLV (in double overtime), all teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. 

Youth Is Served
The Gauchos' leading scorer is sophomore Alan Williams.  Their third leading scorer is freshman Taran Brown.  The fifth leading scorer is freshman Michael Bryson.  Of the 1,141 points that UCSB has scored through 17 games this season 816, or 71.5%, have been scored by freshmen or sophomores.  Of the team's 512 individual rebounds 473, or 85.7%, have been collected by freshmen and sophomores.  Finally, of the team's 81 blocked shots 81, or 100.0%, have been recorded by freshmen and sophomores.   

Gauchos Remain On Record Three-Point Pace
After making 9-of-23 three-point attempts in its win over Cal Poly on Jan. 19, UCSB remains on a school record pace.  Through 17 games, the Gauchos are averaging 8.6 three-point baskets per game, a pace that would equate to approximately 265 over a 31-game season.  On Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton, UCSB made a season-high 15 three-point baskets, the third highest total in school history and the most since it made 16 against Arizona in the first found of the 2002 NCAA Tournament.  One game after making a season-high 15, the Gauchos hit for season-best 50.0% (13-of-26) in a Jan. 3 win over UC Irvine.  After making fewer than 40.0% from three-point range in its first six games this season, UCSB has been at 39.1% or better in eight of the last 11 games.  

On Balance, That Was A Pretty Balanced Attack 
In an oddity for the Gauchos, they had five players score in double-figures in the double-overtime win over Cal Poly on Jan. 19.  It was just the second time this season that they have had five double-figure scorers in the same game.  Making the oddity even odder is that none of the five was Alan Williams.  UCSB's leading scorer finished with seven points and five rebounds and suffered an injury that sidelined him for the final 36 minutes of the game.  The five who scored 10 or more were Kyle Boswell (23), Taran Brown (15), Nate Garth (13), Michael Bryson (10) and Mitch Brewe (10).

Close Encounters Of The Winning Kind
Of UCSB's 17 games this season, 10 have been decided by double-figure margins.  The seven that have been decided by a solo digit have seen the Gauchos winning four times.  Upon further inspection, however, when the game has been really tight, they have come out on the winning end.  In three games decided by three or fewer points, two of which went overtime (at Santa Clara and vs. Cal Poly), UCSB is a perfect 3-0.   

The "Other" Freshmen
While UCSB has gotten major contributions from freshmen starters Taran Brown and Michael Bryson this season, two other freshmen whose last names also start with the letter 'b', made their mark on Jan. 19 vs. Cal Poly.  Forwards Mitch Brewe and Sam Beeler, forced into much larger roles due to the Alan Williams injury, combined to play 37 minutes, tally 15 points, grab nine rebound, block two shots and collect two assists.  Brewe had a career-high with 10 points while Beeler set a new personal best with six rebounds.  Also, it was Brewe's lay-up with 11 seconds left in the first of two OTs that tied the score at 71 and sent the game into a second extra period.   

Locking Down On Defense
Although UCSB opponents are shooting 44.1% on the season, things have started to change in the last two games.  In wins over UC Davis and Cal Poly, the Gauchos have held the opposition to 43-of-116 shooting from the field, 37.1%.  It marks just the second time this season that two straight opponents have shot below 40.0%.  Not coincidentally, the last time resulted in the team's other two-game winning streak. 

The "Other" Williams
Prior to straining his left hamstring tendon with six minutes to play in the first half on Jan. 19 vs. Cal Poly, sophomore Alan Williams had seven points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.  The injury, which occurred as Williams went up to block a shot and came down off-balanced, will keep him sidelined indefinitely.  He was coming off of a 28 point, 11 rebounds, four block shot game in a Jan. 12 win at UC Davis that represented the ninth double-double of the season for Williams and 11th of his career, the 28 points were just one shy of his career-high and the most that he has scored in a non-overtime game.  The nine double-doubles are the most by a Gaucho since Kealon Wallace had 10 in 1995-96.  It was also his second straight and fifth in the last six games.  He continues to lead the Gauchos in scoring (17.4 points per game), rebounds (9.9 per game) and blocked shots (2.4 per game).  Williams is nearly averaging a double-double and has scored 20 or more in two of his last three and four of his last six games.  The last Gaucho to finish the season averaging 10 or more points and 10 or more rebounds per game was Eric McArthur in 1990. On Dec. 1 at Santa Clara, Williams had a career-best game with 29 points and 17 rebounds.  That performance was the first time a Gaucho has had 25 or more points and 15 or more rebounds in the same game since Jan. 29, 1990 when McArthur had 28 points and 21 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton.  The 17 boards were the most by a UCSB player since Josh Merrill collected 18 against Westmont on Dec. 7, 1996. For his efforts, he was named Big West Player of the Week.  In all, Williams has scored in double-figures 15 times in 17 games and he has tallied 20 or more six times, all in the last 11 games. Also, he has collected 10 or more rebounds 10 times.  In addition to his career-high 17 on Dec. 1 at Santa Clara, he had 16 in the Big West opener at Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 29.  Williams has 40 blocked shots this season, including 16 in his last five games.  He has at least one in six straight and 14 overall.  In fact, he has two or more 13 times.  He has a high of five twice, once each against San Diego and UC Irvine.  With his four blocked shots on Jan. 12 at UC Davis, Williams now has 79 and has moved into eighth in school history.

Taran It Up
Freshman Taran Brown bounced back from a tough two-game trip to UC Davis and Pacific with a solid effort in the Jan. 19 win over Cal Poly.  Brown struggled on the Gauchos' trip north, averaging 3.5 points and making 3-for-14 from the field, 21.4%, but against the Mustangs he had 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.  Also, it was a long three-pointer by Brown, from straight away, that tied the game near the end of regulation, sending it into the first of two overtimes.  Brown has scored in double-figures in four of the last six games and 12 times overall this season.  He is averaging 12.4 points per game, third on the team but first among Big West freshmen, as well as 5.5 rebounds, second on the team.  On Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton, he made a career-high six three-point baskets and scored 20 points.  He has 20 or more three times.  Brown scored 22 and 20 in back-to-back games against Illinois State and The Master's College in mid-November becoming the first Gaucho freshman ever to score 20 or more in two straight games.  The 22 he had at Illinois State were the most by a UCSB freshman since James Nunnally had 22 in against North Carolina on Nov. 21, 2008.  He is second on the team with 42 three-point baskets and needs just two to break the school's freshman record of 43 set in 1990 by Idris Jones.  Brown has had six or more eight times and recorded his first career double-double when he had 20 points and 13 rebounds vs. The Master's College on Nov. 17.  Brown has now made at least one three-point basket in 14 of 17 games, two or more 11 times and three or more 10 times, including seven of the last 11 games. Since missing his first eight three-pointers this season, he has gone 42-of-104, 40.4%.  Finally, Brown has 17 blocked shots on the year, the fifth most by a Gaucho freshman. 

Who's The Bos?
Junior Kyle Boswell tied his career-high with 23 points, including six in the final 1:10 of the second overtime, in the Gauchos double-overtime win over Cal Poly on Jan. 19.  Boswell was fouled while shooting a three-pointer with 1:10 left, making all three free throws, and then, with nine seconds left trailing by one, he was fouled while making a lay-up, made the free throw and gave UCSB the 83-81 win.  It was the third time this season that Boswell has scored 23 in a game.  He also did so on Dec. 6 at San Diego State and Jan. 3 vs. UC Irvine.  In the game at SDSU, he also made a career-best seven three-point buckets, the most by a Gauchosince Joe See made eight at Utah State on Jan. 6, 2005. On the season, Boswell is now second on the team in scoring at 12.9 points per game, a figure that is at its highest level since he scored 17 points in the opener at LSU.  He has been in double-figures 10 times in the last 12 games, including a career-long streak of six in a row prior to the Dec. 29 game at Cal State Fullerton.  Boswell has 48 threes on the year, an average of 2.9 per game, second in the Big West.  In 12 games since his scoring average dipped to a season-low 8.0 per game, Boswell has scored 180 points and averaged 15.0 per game, making 40-of-90 from three-point range over that span, 44.4%.  Boswell has made at least one three-pointer in 15 consecutive games and 16 of 17 overall.  He has hit two or more 13 times and four or more five times.  He  has 113 career threes and needs eight to move into 10th in school history. 

The World According To Garth 
After missing two games and playing just 22 minutes over a four-game span because of an ankle injury, Nate Garth bounced back with one of his best games of the season against Cal Poly.  Garth played a career-high 36 minutes, scored a season-high 13 points, had eight assists, two steals and just two turnovers.  He is now averaging a team-leading 4.1 assists per game and his assist to turnover ratio of 2.3-to-1.0 is second on the team.  In his last four appearances, the first being the Big West opener at Cal State Fullerton, Garth has 17 assists and just four turnovers.  On the season, the team's only senior is averaging 5.9 points  per game.  Garth had a career-high nine assists on Dec. 6 at San Diego State and has had five or more seven times in his 15 games.  He had started all 12 games prior to his ankle sprain.

Taylor Made
Sophomore point guard T.J. Taylor has started the last five games. While he was scoreless in the team's win over Cal Poly, missing both of his field goal attempts, he had five assists.  On Jan. 12 at UC Davis he made all three of his field goal attempts, including a pair of three-pointers, and tied his career-high with 10 points.  He also added six assists.  In two games prior to the Davis game, Taylor had a career-high nine assists.  While he is averaging 4.2 points and 3.8 assists while shooting 47.3% overall and 44.4% from three-point range, he has been even better in six Big West games.  In league play, he is averaging 7.0 points and 7.0 assists per game while shooting 60.0% overall and 55.6% (10-of-18) from three-point range.  Over that span, he also has 42 assists and just 14 turnovers.

The Life Of Bryson
Freshman Michael Bryson made 3-of-7 shots, including a pair of three-pointers, and scored 10 points in UCSB's win over Cal Poly on Jan. 19.  It was, however, on the other end of the court where he really made hismark.  Bryson was assigned to guard Mustang forward Chris Eversley, their top scorer, and while he did score 17, Eversley was limited to 4-for-17 from the field.  For his part, Bryson had three blocked shots, three steals and five reboiiunds in his team-high 42 minutes.  He is now averaging 5.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, but in the last four contests, he is averaging 10..2 points per game.  On Jan. 5 vs. Long Beach State, Bryson made five of his last seven shots, including three three-pointers, and scored a career-high 15 points.  He has played in 16 of the 17 games this season, missing the Nov. 17 contest against The Master's College with a strained back.  Bryson is third on the team with 16 three-point baskets, having made two or more in seven games.  

More Fresh Faces
Freshmen forwards Mitch Brewe and Sam Beeler saw their importance to UCSB's fortunes shoot through the roof when sophomore Alan Williams was injured in the Gauchos' Jan. 19 win over Cal Poly.  Brewe and Beeler each played key parts in the win.  Brewe scored a career-high 10 points on 4-of-5 from the field, while Beeler had five points, six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.  While Brewe is now averaging 2.1 points per game, he's put together consecutive career-high games and is averaging 7.5 per game over that span.  As for Beeler, going back to the Gauchos' Dec. 1 game at Santa Clara, he has made 13 of his last 19 shots, 68.4%.  He played 20 minutes in the Cal Poly game, easily a career-high and that was after playing just 21 in the previous four games combined.