Gauchos Play at UC Irvine Saturday Night

Mitch Brewe (Photo by Vince Agapito)
Mitch Brewe (Photo by Vince Agapito)

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• This Week
Game No. 21
Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Irvine Anteaters

at UCI's Bren Events Center - Irvine, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:
On-Line Video Stream: BigWest.TV

Game No. 22
Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Davis Aggies

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

• 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 and 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.

On The Docket
UC Santa Barbara will remain in Southern California and travel to UC Irvine on Saturday, Feb. 2 for a 7:00 p.m. game.  Next weekend, the Gauchos return home for games against Northern California foes UC Davis and Pacific.  The game against Pacific on Feb. 9 will by UCSB's final regular season game against the Tigers as a member of the Big West.  They will move to the West Coast Conference next season.   

Davis Introduced As Legend Of The 'Dome On Feb. 9
The Feb. 9 game will not only mark the final Big West regular season match-up between UCSB and Pacific, it will also be the night that former Gaucho great Lucius Davis becomes the fifth men's basketball Legend of the 'Dome.  Davis (1988-92) helped lead the program to three postseason appearances, including its only Division I NCAA Tournament victory in 1990, and he was named Big West Player of the Year  and Honorable Mention All-American in 1992.  The banner saluting him will be unveiled at halftime time of the game. 

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Saturday's game at UC Irvine with an overall record of 7-13 and a Big West Conference mark of 3-6.  The Gauchos have lost their last three games, including a tough 57-55 decision at Long Beach State on Wednesday night.  The three losses have come as UCSB has played without leading scorer and rebounder Alan Williams, who remains sidelined with a strained left hamstring tendon.    

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 143-94.  With 244 overall wins as coach of the Gauchos, Williams is in fourth in that category, four behind McCarthy.   

Gauchos Drop Tight One To Long Beach State, 57-55
Mike Caffey made two free throws with less than eight seconds to play and a long three-pointer by Kyle Boswell didn't fall, as Long Beach State held on for a 57-55 win over UCSB on Wednesday night.  Caffey's game-winning free throws were preceded by a game-tying three-pointer from Gaucho freshman Michael Bryson, who had also pulled his team to within 55-52 on an acrobatic put-back with 57 seconds to play.  The game was tight most of the way with neither team leading by more than eight.  Both teams played outstanding defense with Long Beach limited to 37.0% shooting and UCSB held to 33.9%.  The Gauchos were led by Kyle Boswell who had 13 and Taran Brown with 12 points and eight rebounds.  Bryson added nine points and a career-high seven boards.  

Probable Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 11 T.J. Taylor- Had 5 assists and career-high 5 rebounds at LBSU. 
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Has scored 10 or more in 4 straight, 7 of 8 and 13 of last 15.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Tied career-high with 7 rebounds at LBSU.  
F 35 Taran Brown- 254 points are the 9th most ever by a Gaucho freshman.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Has made 22 of his last 30 field goal attempts, 73.3%.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Pulled hamstring at LBSU, not expected to play at UC Irvine.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Back injury will cuase him to redshirt.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Made 4-of-5 3-point attempts in last three games.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Has 12 three-pointers on the year, all on the road.  
F 15 Alan Williams - Has missed most of the last 4 games with strained hamstring.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Scored 8 points in a career-high 24 minutes at LBSU.
G 32  John Green - Projected starter, broken bone in his foot has him sidelined indefinitely.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Played 1 minute in game at LBSU.
G 43  Duke DaRé - Had 2 steals in just 6 minutes at LBSU. 

Alan Williams Still Questionable, Garth Will Join Him  
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 Jan. 19.  He missed the final 36 minutes of that game and has missed the last three entirely with a strained hamstring tendon in his left leg.  His status remains questionable.  Williams was joined on the hamstring injury list by Nate Garth who pulled-up in the first half of the Gauchos' game at Long Beach State on Wednesday night.  Garth, the team's leader in assists, pulled his left hamstring against the 49ers and will not play at UC Irvine.  Earlier in the season, he missed two full games and parts of two others with a sprained ankle.

The Opponents
UCSB has played UC Irvine 78 times since 1968.  The Gauchos hold a 48-30 edge and won the first game between the schools this year, defeating the Anteaters 74-71 on Jan. 3.  UCSB swept last year's two meetings, winning at Santa Barbara by a score of 74-56 and at Irvine, 85-62. The Gauchos and UC Davis have played 25 times with Santa Barbara holding a 21-4 all-time edge.  UCSB won in Davis on Jan. 12, 66-59 and swept two games last season.  In all, the Gauchos have won nine straight games over the Aggies.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 2-9 in road games this season.  The Gauchos ended a five-game road losing streak with a Jan. 12 win at UC Davis, but on Jan. 30, they dropped a tough 57-55 game at Long Beach State.  After losing at LSU, Illinois State and Boise State, UCSB traveled to Santa Clara on Dec. 1 and recorded an overtime win for their first road win of the season.  It then dropped five consecutive road contests: Dec. 6 at San Diego State, Dec. 18 at Cal, Dec. 21 at Wyoming, Dec. 29 at Cal State Fullerton and Jan. 10 at Pacific.  In 2011-12 the Gauchos went 7-7 in true road games and 9-8 in all games away from home, including 5-3 in Big West road games.  

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 1,338 points that UCSB has scored through 20 games this season 934, or 69.8%, have been scored by freshmen or sophomores.  Of the team's 642 individual rebounds 541, or 84.3%, have been collected by freshmen and sophomores.  Also, of the team's 91 blocked shots 91, or 100.0%, have been recorded by freshmen and sophomores. Finally, of the 4,075 minutes played by all Gaucho players this season, 2,901 have been played by freshmen and sophomores, 71.2%.  

Gauchos Remain On Record Three-Point Pace
Although making just 7-of-25 three-point attempts in Wednesday's loss at Long Beach State, UCSB remains on a school record pace for threes.  Through 20 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.  The current record of 242 was set over a 32 game schedule in 2007-08.  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.  They've made 10 or more eight times this year.

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 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.  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 two blocked shots on Jan. 19 vs. Cal Poly, Williams now has 81 and has moved into eighth in school history.

Taran It Up
Freshman Taran Brown had 12 points and a team-leading eight rebounds in UCSB's game at Long Beach State on Wednesday.  He also added two blocked shots and two steals.  While he has struggled with his shooting in the last two games - 12-of-42 overall and 3-of-20 from three-point range - Brown has now scored in double-figures in four straight - equaling his longest streak of the season - and 15 times overall.  He is averaging 12.7 points per game overall, but has scored 14.5 per game in the last four.  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 against North Carolina on Nov. 21, 2008.  He is second on the team with 49 three-point baskets, the most ever by a Gaucho freshman.  Brown has had three or more three-pointers 11 times this season. He's made at least one in 17 of 20 games. While he is averaging 5.8 rebounds per game, he has led the team in rebounding in four straight, averaging 7.2 over that span.  Brown has 21 blocked shots on the year, the fourth most by a Gaucho freshman.  Finally, he had the first double-double of his career with 20 points and 13 rebounds vs. The Master's College on Nov. 17.   

Brown On Freshman Top-10 Lists
Freshman Taran Brown is climbing several UCSB freshman top-10 lists.  Here is where he currently ranks on those lists:
9th - 254 points 
2nd - 12.7 points per game
10th - 116 rebounds
5th - 5.8 rebounds per game
t-7th - 94 field goals
3rd - 245 field goal attempts
1st - 49 3-point field goals
1st - 141 3-point field goal attempts
8th - 34.8% from 3-point range
4th - 21 blocked shots 

Who's The Bos?
Junior Kyle Boswell scored 13 points in the Jan. 30 game at Long Beach State, making his second start since Nov. 24 at Boise State.  Boswell made 3-of-7 three-point attempts against the 49ers after missing all three of his attempts on Jan. 26 vs. Hawai'i.  The game against Hawai'i marked first time he was without a three-pointer since Nov. 12 at Illinois State, a span of 16 straight games.  In a Jan. 19 double-overtime win over Cal Poly, Boswell tied his career-high with 23 points, including six in the final 1:10 of the second overtime and the game-winning lay-up and free throw with nine seconds left.  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 Gaucho since Joe See made eight at Utah State on Jan. 6, 2005. On the season, Boswell is now second on the team in scoring at 13.0 points per game.  He has been in double-figures 13 times in the last 15 games, including a career-long streak of six in a row prior to the Dec. 29 game at Cal State Fullerton.  Boswell has 54 threes on the year, the same total he had in 31 games last season.  In 15 games since his scoring average dipped to a season-low 8.0 per game, Boswell has scored 220 points and averaged 14.7 per game, making 46-of-106 from three-point range over that span, 43.4%.  He had made at least one three-pointer in 16 consecutive games before Jan. 26.  He has now made one or more in 18 of 20 and two or more 15 times. Boswell  has 119 career threes in 282 attempts, 42.2%, the second highest percentage in school history. Finally, he has played 30 or more minutes in nine consecutive games after doing so twice in the first 11 games of the season.

The World According To Garth 
The team's only senior, Nate Garth, pulled his left hamstring on Wednesday night at Long Beach State and is not expected to play in Saturday's game at UC Irvine.  Garth logged just six minutes before injuring himself in the game against the 49ers.  Earlier in January, he missed two full games, and parts of two others, with a sprained ankle.  Garth is averaging 5.7 points and a team-leading 4.1 assists per game.  In his last full game, Jan. 26 vs. Hawai'i, he had eight points, eight assists and just one turnover.  Garth also had eight assists, to go with a season-high 13 points, in UCSB's Jan. 19 double-overtime win over Cal Poly.  His assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.2-to-1.0 is second on the team.  Garth had a career-high nine assists on Dec. 6 at San Diego State and has had five or more eight times in his 18 games.  

Taylor Made
Sophomore point guard T.J. Taylor has started the last eight games.  On Wednesday at Long Beach State, he had two points, five assists and a career-high five rebounds.  A week ago, on Jan. 26 against Hawai'i, Taylor scored a career-high 11 points while adding four assists and no turnovers.  He has had four or more assists in nine straight games, all in Big West play, averaging 6.3 per game over that span.  On Jan. 5 vs. Long Beach State and Jan. 10 at Pacific, he had a career-high nine assists.  Taylor is averaging 4.3 points and 4.0 assists while shooting 42.5% overall and 38.3% from three-point range. In nine Big West games he is averaging 6.1 points and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 46.5% overall and 41.4% (12-of-29) from three-point range.  Over that span, he also has 57 assists and just 18 turnovers. Taylor leads the team with a 2.5-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio.

The Life Of Bryson
Freshman Michael Bryson scored nine points - including a game-tying three-pointer with 23 seconds to play - and tied his career-high with seven rebounds on Wednesday night at Long Beach State.  Bryson was bouncing back after playing just 14 minutes and fouling out on Jan. 26 vs. Hawai'i.  He is now averaging 5.9 points and 3.0 rebound per game.  In the last seven games, Bryson has averaged 9.1 points per game and in the seven games, he has hit 12 three-point baskets, including two or more four times. 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 also had 10 points in a career-high 42 minutes as the Gauchos beat Cal Poly in double-overtime on Jan. 19.  He is averaging 22.9 minutes per game, but has averaged 26.1 in the last seven.  Bryson has played in 19 of the 20 games this season, missing the Nov. 17 contest against The Master's College with a strained back.  He is third on the team with 23 three-point baskets, the ninth most ever by a Gaucho freshman, and he has made two or more nine times.

Buckling Down
Junior forward Keegan Hornbuckle has battled injuries since he transferred to UCSB from Colorado following the 2009-10 season.  This year, after severely injuring his ankle over the summer and then re-injuring it in a Dec. 1 game at Santa Clara, Hornbuckle played in just four of the season's first 17 games for a total of 18 minutes.  In the last three games, however, he has given the Gauchos a glimpse of what could be.  In the last three games, Hornbuckle made 8-of-11 shots overall, 72.7%, and 4-of-5 from three-point range, 80.0%.  He has averaged 7.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and one steal over that span.  Finally, while he slightly sprained his good ankle against Long Beach, he is expected to play Saturday.  

Into The Fire
With the injury to Alan Williams, freshmen forwards Mitch Brewe and Sam Beeler went from the frying pan into the proverbial fire.  If you include the Jan. 19 game against Cal Poly when Williams went down with about six minutes to play in the first half, the Brewe-Beeler combination has scored 53 points (13.2 per game) and grabbed 31 rebounds (7.7 per game), while making 22-of-33 shots from the field, 67.7%.  Also in the four games, Beeler has five blocked shots while Brewe has a block and three steals.