UCSB Travels to San Diego for Sunday Matinée, Heads to Utah State Tourney

Photo by Eric Isaacs
Photo by Eric Isaacs

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• This Week
Game No. 8
Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Univ. of San Diego Toreros

at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion - San Diego, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
TV: Fox Sports San Diego

Basketball Travelers Classic at Logan Utah
Game No. 9
Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Troy University Trojans

Game No. 10
Friday, December 20, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Utah State Aggies

Game No. 11
Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Western Illinois Leathernecks

All games played at Utah State's Smith Spectrum
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com

• 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 10th year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star 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. 

• Tickets Available
Great seats are available for all Gaucho home games. For more information drop by the Ticket Office in the ICA Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.  

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Sunday's game at San Diego with a 4-3 overall record. The Gauchos won their last game, a 75-68 decision over Cal on Dec. 6. Overall, they have won two of their last three games with the only loss coming at nationally ranked UCLA on Dec. 3. UCSB's other significant win this season came on Nov. 12 at UNLV when it pounded the Runnin' Rebels, 86-65. The Gauchos other losses came to Utah State (71-64) and at Colorado (76-68). They played both of those games without leading scorer and rebounder Alan Williams

Williams Earns Second Straight Big West Player Of The Week Honor
Alan Williams was named Big West Player of the Week for the second straight week after leading the Gauchos to their first win ever over Cal as well as a close defeat to then 16th-ranked UCLA. Williams had 24 points and 10 rebounds on Dec. 6 as UCSB defeated visiting Cal 72-65. He scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half. It was Williams' second double-double of the year. On Dec. 3, he had 23 points and nine rebounds in the Gauchos' loss to the Bruins. UCSB led that game with eight minutes left but ran out of gas. Williams has now been named Big West Player of the Week four times in his career.

Big Second Half Pushes Gauchos To First Win Over Cal
Alan Williams had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Taran Brown added 14 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots and UCSB shot a blistering 59.3% in the second half en route to the program's first-ever win over visiting Cal on Dec. 6. The Gauchos trailed 28-27 at halftime when a slam dunk by Sam Beeler was ruled to have come after the final buzzer, but they quickly turned that around in the second half by opening on a 13-6 run to take a 40-34 lead with 15:04 to play. UCSB never trailed the rest of the way. The Golden Bears did, however, come close. Trailing 48-47 with 10:22 left in the game, David Kravish went up for a slam dunk, but Gaucho forward Mitch Brewe caught up with Kravish and blocked the dunk attempt. With the momentum clearly turned back in its favor, Santa Barbara went on a 12-2 run to take a commanding 60-49 advantage with 7:08 remaining. Cal pulled within 66-62 with 1:42 left, but never got any closer. In addition to Williams and Brown, Kyle Boswell was in double figures with 10 points. Zalmico Harmon had nine points, 10 assists and just one turnover. The Gauchos limited the Golden Bears to 36.1% shooting overall. Jordan Mathews had a team-high 22 for Cal, making 4-of-9 three-point attempts. 

Possible Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Had career-high 10 assists and just 1 turnover in win over Cal.
G 24 Michael Bryson - First career double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds at UCLA. 
G 35 Taran Brown- Had 14 points and tied career-high with 4 blocked shots vs. Cal.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Season-highs 6 points, 6 rebounds vs. Cal. Also had pivotal blocked shot.
F 15  Alan Williams - Had 19th career double-double vs. Cal with 24 points, 12 rebounds.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Eric Childress - Has 9 turnovers in last 2 games after having 6 in first 5 games.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Scored his first 4 career points in game vs. Utah State.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Now has 162 career threes and needs 1 to to move into 9th all-time.
F 31  John Green - Injury to left foot has him sideline, most likely, until early January.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Made 7-of-11 shots in the last five games, 63.6%. 
G 43  Duke DaRé - Has played 7 minutes in 3 games.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Had 4 points in 9 minutes vs. Cal.

The Opposition
In a series that dates back to 1964, UCSB has an all-time record of 15-6 against the University of San Diego. The Gauchos have won the last two in a row against the Toreros, including a 57-39 victory last season. The last time the teams met in San Diego, on Dec. 13, 2011, UCSB won by a 65-61 score. According to our records, the Gauchos have never played Troy or Western Illinois. Utah State, however, is another matter. UCSB and Utah State have played 63 times in a series that began in 1971. The Aggies hold a 40-23 all-time edge, including a 71-64 win on Nov. 16 in Santa Barbara. The last time the teams played in Logan, on Feb. 18, 2012, the Gauchos won 72-64.

The Gauchos Away From Home
UCSB has gone 1-2 in road games this season. The Gauchos won their first road game of the year on Nov. 12 at UNLV, 88-65, but have since lost their last two. They lost 76-68 at Colorado on Nov. 21 and 89-76 on Dec. 3 at UCLA.

Williams In 16th Season at UCSB, Wins 250th Game 
2013-14 is Bob Williams' 16th season at the helm of the UCSB basketball program, equaling the longest tenure of any coach in program history and the longest of any current Division I coach west of the Mississippi.  Willie Wilton guided the Gauchos from 1937-43, 1946-51 and 1952-57, a total of 16 seasons. Jerry Pimm was in charge from 1983-98, 15 seasons. Williams is the school's all-time leader in coaching victories and the win at UNLV on Nov. 12 was his 250th as UCSB's head coach. He now has 252. He shares the same 16-year tenure as Utah State's Stew Morrill and Rick Barnes of Texas.

On Target 
UCSB is shooting the ball well this season. Last year, as a team, the Gauchos struggled with their shooting, making 41.9% of their shots for the season and hitting 50.0% or better just twice. They made a season-high 50.8% in a game at Cal State Northridge. This season has been a different story. UCSB is hitting 50.7% of its shots through seven games, 13th in the nation. Twice the Gauchos have made 55.0% or better in a game and they enter the contest at San Diego with a streak of four consecutive games at 50.0% or better, the first time they've accomplished that since midway through the 2005-06 season. Overall, they have been over 50.0% five times and had a sixth game when they shot 48.0%. During the current four-game streak Santa Barbara has made 113 out of 216 field goal attempts, 52.3%. The Gauchos hit a season-best 55.8% at UNLV on Nov. 12. They also made 55.2% on Nov. 29 against South Dakota State.

The Alan Williams Difference
There is no escaping it: the Gauchos are a very different team when Alan Williams is in the lineup. Williams has played in five of the seven UCSB games this season and the team has gone 4-1 in those games, including a resounding win at UNLV and a first-ever win over Cal. In the five games Williams has played, the Gauchos have scored an average of 78.6 points per game and have scored at least 75 in all five. In the two games in which he didn't play, Santa Barbara was 0-2 and scored an average of 66.0 points per game. UCSB has made 140-of-273 field goal attempts when Williams has played, 51.3%. Finally, in the two games in which he didn't play, the Gauchos were outrebounded by an average of 11.0 boards per game and in the five games in which he has played, they have an average rebound margin of +5.2 per game.

Free At Last
The Gauchos have not been very good from the free throw line this season and they enter the game at San Diego with a team mark of 67.7%. In their last game though, they were better and, in fact, perfect when it mattered most. UCSB hit 13-of-16 free throws against Cal, 81.3%, including six in a row in the last minute to seal the victory. The 81.3% mark was the best of the year. 

Passing Fancy 
UCSB is averaging 18.3 assists per game, second in the Big West Conference and eighth in the nation. Junior Zalmico Harmon, who had a career-high 10 in the win over Cal, is leading the league at 5.4 per game. Harmon, who is averaging 7.3 assists in his last three games, is one of three Gauchos averaging more than three assists per game. Senior Kyle Boswell has improved his playmaking ability and is averaging 4.1 assists per outing and despite producing just one assist in the last two games, freshman Eric Childress is averaging 3.4 per game. Finally, the team's assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.60-to-1.0 ranks 15th nationally.

The Honorable Alan Williams
Junior forward Alan Williams was named Big West Player of the Week for the second consecutive week after averaging 23.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in games against UCLA and Cal. In the Gauchos' first-ever win over Cal, Williams had his second double-double of the season and 19th of his career when he scored 24 points and had 12 rebounds. He had 20 of his 24 points in the second half as UCSB overcame a one-point halftime deficit en route to the 72-65 win. Williams has scored 20 or more points in all five games in which he has played this season. He tied the school record when he scored a career-high 39 on Nov. 29 vs. South Dakota State. The record is co-owned by Orlando Johnson (Currently with the Indiana Pacers) and Scott Fisher (Currently an assistant coach at Hawaii). On the season, Williams is averaging 26.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while shooting 59.3% from the field. In the last three games, he has averaged 28.7 points while making 35-of-57 shots from the field, 61.4%. The 6-foot-7 Phoenix native has done much of his damage in the second half of the last three games. In addition to the 20 points he had in the second half against Cal, Williams had 26 in the second half on Nov. 29 vs. South Dakota State and 17 on Dec. 3 at UCLA. In all, 63 of his 86 points over the last three games have come in the second half, an average of 21.0 points per second half and he's made 25-of-34 second half shots, 73.5%. Williams had 27 points and 17 rebounds in the regular season opener against Hawaii-Pacific. The 27 points were the most scored by a Gaucho in a season-opener since 2007 and the rebounds were a season-opener record. He followed-up that performance with an equally impressive 21 point, nine rebound, three blocked shot game against defending Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year Khem Birch and UNLV. Williams also leads the team in blocked shots with 14 and he tied the school record when he had eight in the game against South Dakota State. He has eclipsed the 500 rebound barrier with 550 and in the win over Cal he surpassed the 800 point mark and now has 821. Also, with his 14 blocked shots Williams now has 119 in his career, fourth in school history. While he missed two full games (Nov. 16 vs. Utah State and Nov. 21 at Colorado) with back spasms, he leads the Gauchos in minutes played per game at 31.4. Williams was a First Team All-Big West choice in 2012-13 after averaging 17.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game. He was named Preseason All-Big West by the league's media and virtually every publication, he was selected to the Lou Henson Preseason Mid-Major All-American Team and CollegeSportsMadness.com selected him First Team Mid-Major All-American and Big West Player of the Year. 

He's The Bos
Kyle Boswell, the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year, started the first five games of this season. Boswell did, however, celebrate his return to the bench with one of his best games of the season. He came off the bench for the Dec. 3 game at UCLA, finishing with 18 points, five assists, no turnovers and two rebounds. He tied his season-high with five three-point baskets. In the win over Cal, Boswell had 10 points, two rebounds and three assists while playing a season-low 21 minutes. He also made all four of his free throw attempts in the second half to help seal the victory. Boswell enters the game at USD averaging 10.9 points and 4.1 assists per game. He continues to lead the Gauchos in three-pointers with 19 and has made at least one in all seven games. He had five threes and scored a season-high 19 in a Nov. 12 win at UNLV. In addition to his scoring, Boswell has become one of the team's top playmakers, ranking second with his 4.1 assists average, a figure that would easily be a career-high. He has 162 career three-pointers which ties him with Mark Flick for ninth on UCSB's all-time list. He needs just one to move into a tie for eighth with Branduinn Fullove.  Also, he ranks second all-time in career percentage at 42.7%.  

The Life Of Bryson
Michael Bryson scored a season-low five points in the Gauchos win over Cal, attempting just four shots. Bryson was coming off one the best all-around games of his career. On Dec. 3 at UCLA, he had his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The 10 rebounds were a career-high for Bryson, as were the five assists he handed out. He and Alan Williams are the only Gauchos to record a double-double this season. He is now averaging 11.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. The 15 points he scored against the Bruins equaled his season-high which he also had on Nov. 16 against Utah State. Bryson made the first six shots he attempted against UCLA, including a trio of three-pointers. He finished that game 3-for-5 from outside the arc and he was 1-for-3 vs. Cal. He now shooting 44.1% from that distance this season. In the last three games he has hit 7-of-12 three-point attempts, 58.3%. Bryson and Kyle Boswell are the only Gauchos to make at least one three-pointer in each of the seven games. Last year, in the season finale against Pacific at the Big West Tournament, Bryson made seven three-point baskets and scored a UCSB freshman record 29 points. 

Taran It Up
After scoring a total of 20 points in the first three games of the season, sophomore forward Taran Brown  has been in double-figures in the last four, averaging 14.5 over that span. In the win over Cal, Brown had 14 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots. He made 6-of-9 shots overall and 2-for-4 from three-point range. He also scored seven of the team's 12 points in a 12-2 run that turned a 48-47 game into a 60-49 game. He set career-highs with 23 points and seven three-point baskets in the Nov. 21 game at Colorado. On Dec. 3 at UCLA, Brown made 4-of-9 shots, including 2-of-6 from three-point territory, and finished with 11 points while playing a season-high 35 minutes. Overall, he is averaging 11.1 points per game, third on the team, and 6.1 rebounds per contest, second on the team. He has had five or more rebounds six times in seven games. Also, after attempting a total of just 11 field goals in the first three games of the year, he has launched 40 in the last four. Brown is third on the team with 14 three-point baskets through seven games and he leads the team in three-point percentage at 45.2%. Last season, he set a UCSB freshman record with 57 three-pointers. In the last four games he has made 11-of-23 threes, 47.8%.

Junior Zalmico Harmon had nine points and a career-high 10 assists in UCSB's win over Cal. Even more impressively, he had just one turnover. Harmon leads the Gauchos and Big West in assists per game at 5.4 to go along with 7.6 points. In the last three games, he has averaged 10.7 points and 7.3 assists while shooting 52.3% overall and 55.6% (5-for-9) from three-point range. In UCSB's Nov. 29 game against South Dakota State, Harmon scored a career-high 14 points and added eight assists. Again, he had no turnovers. In fact, in the last two home games, both wins, he has 18 assists and just one turnover. For the season, Harmon has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.2-to-1, the best on the team and in the Big West and the 11th best mark in the nation.

Freshman Eric Childress is in his first mini-slump as a Gaucho. He is scoreless over the last three games, missing his only three field goal attempts. In the game against Cal, he played a season-low six minutes and didn't have an assist. Also, playing in front of friends, family and former high school and club teammates, Childress battled nerves in the Dec. 3 game at UCLA and it showed. He finished with six turnovers, equaling his season total entering the game. Still, he is averaging 4.0 points, 3.4 assists and a team-high 1.4 steals per game. Prior to the game at UCLA, he had five or more assists in three straight games. In UCSB's Nov. 21 game at Colorado, Childress scored a career-high 10 points and also had six assists.  

Something's Brewing
Sophomore Mitch Brewe played his best game of the season in UCSB's win over Cal. He finished with season-highs of six points and six rebounds, three on the offensive end, in a season-high 28 minutes. In addition, Brewe had a momentum-changing block when he stuffed Richard Solomon on a dunk attempt with just over seven minutes to play. The dunk would have given the Golden Bears the lead, but instead UCSB went on a 12-2 run to put the game away. Brewe return to action at Colorado on Nov. 21. He missed the first three regular season games after spraining his left knee in an exhibition game. After coming off the bench in his first two appearances, he has started the last two.

Sam He Is
Sam Beeler had four points and three rebounds in nine minutes vs. Cal. On Nov. 16, in the absence of Alan Williams who missed the game with back spasms, Beeler scored 14 points and had five rebounds. It was one point short of his caeer-high. Overall, he is enters the week averaging 4.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Through three games this season, he was averaging 5.7 rebounds, but in the last four games he's had only the three he had against Cal. Beeler had a career-high seven rebounds on Nov. 12 at UNLV. An area of major improvement this season has been Beeler's performance at the free throw line. As a freshman, he hit just 11-of-32 from the line, 34.4%, but this season he is 12-of-17, 70.6%.

We Want Moore! We Want Moore! 
Senior Shawn Moore played a season-low four minutes in the win over Cal. He was scoreless. Moore was also scoreless in eight minutes at UCLA on Dec. 3, ending a streak of four straight solid games. Moore is averaging 2.7 points  and 2.1 rebounds per contest. In four games prior to the game against the Bruins, he averaged 5.0 points per game, making 10-of-14 field goal attempts, 71.4%. He had a career-high six points on Nov. 12 at UNLV and again on Nov. 21 at Colorado. Moore started the first four games, not the last two.

Green Sidelined With Foot Injury
John Green scored eight points and had a pair of rebounds in his season debut against Hawaii-Pacific on Nov. 8. It was Green's first regular season game in nearly two years. However, on Tuesday, Nov. 12, just a few hours before UCSB was to tip-off at UNLV, It was learned that Green had suffered a setback. An x-ray, taken Nov. 7, showed a very small fracture of a bone in his left foot, sidelining him, most likely, until January.