Gauchos Play Troy in Basketball Travelers Classic Thursday

Zalmico Harmon (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Zalmico Harmon (Photo by Tony Mastres)

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• This Week
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 7:00 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:

• 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 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. As a special holiday treat, Bill Mahoney, UCSB's Assistant Athletics Director for Communications, will handle the color duties for the tournament in Utah.

• 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 the Basketball Travelers Classic at Logan, Utah with a two-game winning streak and overall record of 5-3. On Sunday, the Gauchos overcame foul trouble to post a 72-61 win at the University of San Diego. On Dec. 6, they defeated Cal 72-65. UCSB has won three of its last four with the only loss coming at nationally-ranked UCLA on Dec. 3. The current two-game winning streak is the team's second of the season.

Bryson Named Big West Player Of The Week
Sophomore Michael Bryson was named Big West Player of the Week after scoring 21 points in the Gauchos' 72-61 win at the University of San Diego. Bryson made 5-of-7 shots from three-point range and added four rebounds, two assists, one block and a steal. He scored 11 of his points in the first half as UCSB played without foul-plagued Alan Williams for the final 17:09.

Gauchos Overcome Fouls To Win At San Diego, 72-61
A 17-1 run late in the second half proved decisive as UCSB overcame severe foul trouble on its way to a 72-61 win at the University of San Diego on Sunday afternoon. Trailing 47-46 with 9:06 to play in the game, the Gauchos began their decisive run. Sam Beeler made 1-of-2 free throws and Kyle Boswell drilled a long three-pointer with 8:29 left, giving UCSB a 50-47 edge. USD's Simi Famemisin made 1-of-2 from the line to temporarily stem the momentum. The key word being 'temporarily'. Michael Bryson, who finished with a game-high 21 points for UCSB, scored on a reverse lay-up off a perfect feed from Alan Williams. Williams then made a lay-up and a running hook shot to push the lead to 56-48 with 6:05 left. Zalmico Harmon went around a screen by Williams and drained a floater from the baseline with 4:33 to play giving the Gauchos their first double-digit lead of the game, 58-48. A driving lay-up by Eric Childress and a free throw made the score 61-48 with 3:43 left, and then a free throw apiece by Williams and Childress gave UCSB a 63-48 lead with 2:23 remaining. A three-pointer by Johnny Dee with 2:14 to play ended the run, but the game had been decided. Santa Barbara played the last 17:09 of the first half without Williams, its leading scorer and rebounder, who went to the bench with a pair of fouls. Bryson finished the game 5-of-7 from three-point range and 8-of-12 overall. Boswell was 3-for-5 from outside the arc and had 12 points and Harmon had 11 points and five assists. Despite playing just 23 minutes, Williams had 11 points and seven rebounds. As a team, the Gauchos made 53.5% of their shots overall and 45.0% of their three-pointers.

Rank And File
UCSB ranks among the top-20 nationally in a handful of statistical categories and it has some players who rank as well. As a team, the Gauchos are now shooting 51.0% overall, a figure that ranks eighth. They average 17.8 assists per contest, 11th nationally, they are 18th in three-point field goal percentage at 41.6% and 20th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.49-to-1. Individually, Alan Williams is fourth in scoring with an average of 24.2 points per game and 14th in rebounding at 10.3 per game. Zalmico Harmon is fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.30-to-1, and Michael Bryson is 19th in three-point field goal percentage at 48.8%.

The Opposition
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 2-2 in road games this season. The Gauchos won their first road game of the year on Nov. 12 at UNLV, 88-65 before losing consecutive games at Pac-12 schools, Colorado and UCLA. On Sunday at San Diego, they ended the two-game road skid with a 72-61 win. Last season, UCSB didn't win its second road game until Jan. 12. 

Possible Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Averaging 10.2 points and 6.7 assists in the last four.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Has made 12-of-19 three-point attempts in last four games, 63.2%. 
G 35 Taran Brown- Foul trouble led to his first non-scoring game at USD.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Season-high 7 points at San Diego, including first career 3-pointer.
F 15  Alan Williams - Played season-low 23 minutes at USD with 11 points, 7 rebounds.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Eric Childress - Logged career-high 33 minutes vs. USD and hit 7-of-9 free throws.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Had first career blocked shot in win over San Diego.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Now has 165 career threes and ranks 8th all-time at UCSB.
F 31  John Green - Injury to left foot has him sideline, most likely, until early January.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Has been scoreless in his last three games. 
G 43  Duke DaRé - Has played 7 minutes in 3 games.
F 44  Sam Beeler - 15 minutes vs. USD equals playing time in previous 2 games.

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 253. 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 51.0% of its shots through eight games, eighth in the nation. Twice the Gauchos have made 55.0% or better in a game and they enter the Basketball Traveler's Classic with a streak of five consecutive games at 50.0% or better, the first time they've accomplished that since late in the 2001-02 season. Overall, they have been over 50.0% six times and had a sixth game when they shot 48.0%. During the current five-game streak Santa Barbara has made 136 out of 259 field goal attempts, 52.5%. 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 Other Side Of The Shooting Coin
Not only are the Gauchos shooting the ball well this season, they are doing a solid job on the other end of the court. UCSB's eight opponents are shooting 40.9% from the field this season. UCLA, which made 52.8%, is the only team to hit 50.0% or better in a game, every other opponent has been at 44.0% or below and three have been under 40.0%. In the last two games – wins over Cal and San Diego – Santa Barbara's opponents made a mere 46-of-121 from the field, 38.0%.

Passing Fancy 
UCSB is averaging 17.8 assists per game, second in the Big West Conference and 11th 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 6.7 assists in his last four 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 freshman Eric Childress is averaging 3.3 per game. Finally, the team's assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.49-to-1 ranks first in the Big West and 20th nationally.

The Honorable Alan Williams
Junior forward Alan Williams got into foul trouble in UCSB's game at San Diego on Dec. 15 and sat the final 17:09 of the first half. He was scoreless and without a rebound in his stint of 2:51. Williams did, however, play all 20 minutes in the second half, finishing with season-lows of 11 points and seven rebounds. He made 5-of-7 field goals and the seven shots were also a season-low. Williams, who is already a two-time Big West Player of the Week this season, is averaging 24.2 points per game, fourth in the nation and first in the Big West. He is also at 10.3 rebounds per game, 14th nationally. Williams has scored 97 points in the last four games, 74 of them in the second halves, an average of 18.5 per half and 76.3% of his total points. In the Gauchos' first-ever win over Cal on Dec. 6, he 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 five of the six 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). Williams scored 26 of the 39 points in the second half. 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 15 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 557 and in the win over Cal he surpassed the 800 point mark and now has 832. Also, with his 15 blocked shots Williams has 120 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 30.0. 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 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. On Sunday at San Diego, Boswell had 12 points and four assists. While he is enters the Basketball Travelers Invitational averaging 11.0 points and 4.1 assists per game, he is scoring 13.3 per game in the last three. He made a trio of three-pointers in the Gauchos' last game and continues to lead the team in that category with 22. Boswell has made at least one in all eight games and two or more six times. 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 165 career three-pointers which ranks eighth in school history.  Also, he ranks second all-time in career percentage at 43.0%.  

The Life Of Bryson
Michael Bryson bounced back after scoring season-low five points in the Gauchos win over Cal by going for a season-high 21 in Sunday's win over San Diego. He was 5-for-8 from three-point range and added four rebounds. The five threes were a season-high. For his efforts, the sophomore from Sacramento was named Big West Player of the Week. Bryson enters the week second on the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game and third in rebounding at 4.0 per contest. He leads the team and is 19th nationally in three-point field goal percentage at 48.8%. He has made 20-of-41 threes overall, but in the last four games he has hit 12-of-19, 63.2%. He is one of two Gauchos to make at least one three-pointer in all eight games and he's made two or more six times. On Dec. 3 at UCLA, Bryson collected the first double-double of his career with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He also set a career-high with five assists against the Bruins. Last year, in the season finale against Pacific at the Big West Tournament, Bryson made seven three-point baskets and scored 29 points. The scoring total was a new record for a freshman and the eight three-pointers tied the UCSB freshman record. 

Taran It Up
Taran Brown got in first half foul trouble on Sunday at San Diego and never seemed to full rebound. He played 18 minutes and was scoreless with one rebound. The sub-bar game against the Toreros came after Brown had scored 10 or more in four straight games, averaging 14.5 over that span. In the Dec. 6 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 9.8 points per game, fourth on the team, and 5.5 rebounds per contest, second on the team. He has had five or more rebounds six times in eight games. Also, after attempting a total of just 11 field goals in the first three games of the year, he has launched 44 in the last five. Brown is third on the team with 14 three-point baskets through eight games. Last season, he set a UCSB freshman record with 57 three-pointers. Brown is also second on the team with eight blocked shots, four of which came against Cal.

Junior Zalmico Harmon had 11 points and five rebounds in the win at San Diego. One game earlier, he had nine points and a career-high 10 assists in UCSB's win over Cal. Harmon leads the Gauchos and Big West in assists per game at 5.4 to go along with 8.0 points. In the last four games, he has averaged 10.7 points and 6.7 assists while shooting 56.0% 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. For the season, Harmon has a mere 10 turnovers in 239 minutes and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.3-to-1, the best on the team and in the Big West and the fourth best mark in the nation.

Freshman Eric Childress played a career-high 33 minutes in the win at San Diego. He had nine points, seven of which came on his nine free throw attempts, while adding two steals and two assists. Childress was bouncing back from the first mini-slump of his career. In three games prior to Sunday, he was scoreless and missed all three of his field goal attempts. Still, he is averaging 4.6 points, 3.3 assists and a team-high 1.5 steals per game. Prior to the Dec. 3 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 has played his two best games of the season in UCSB's last two games, both wins. On Dec. 6 vs. Cal, he finished with six points and a season-high 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. On Sunday at San Diego, he had six points, two rebounds and a steal in 12 minutes. He made 3-of-4 field goal attempts, including his first career three-pointer. Brewe returned 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 three.

Sam He Is
Sam Beeler had one point, three rebounds and two blocked shots in 15 minutes vs. San Diego. In the win over Cal, he had four points and three boards. 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 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. 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 13-of-20, 65.0%.

We Want Moore! We Want Moore! 
Senior Shawn Moore played a season-low two minutes in the win at San Diego. He was scoreless. Moore was also scoreless in four minutes vs. Cal. He has played just 14 total minutes in the last three games after playing 10 or more in the first five games of the season. Moore is averaging 2.5 points  and 2.0 rebounds per contest. In four games prior to the Dec. 3 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.

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.