UCSB Travels South for Key Big West Road Games at Riverside, Fullerton

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

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• Coming Up
Game No. 17
Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Riverside Highlanders

at UCR's SRC Arena - Riverside, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Video: BigWest.TV
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com

Game No. 18 
Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Fullerton Titans

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

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Thursday's game at UC Riverside with an overall record of 11-5 and a Big West mark of 2-1. Since dropping their conference opener on Jan. 11 to Cal Poly, the Gauchos have won two games in a row. On Jan. 16 they bounced Long Beach State by a score of 64-51 and in their last game, Jan. 18, they won 79-69 at Cal State Northridge. Santa Barbara has won five of its last six and eight of its last 10 games.

UCSB Equals 2012-13 Victory Total
In winning its 11th game of the regular season at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 18, the Gauchos have equaled their win total of last season. The injury-riddled 2012-13 campaign saw UCSB win just 11 games and lose 20. 

Bryson Earns Second Big West Player Of The Week Honor
Sophomore Michael Bryson earned his second Big West Player of the Week honor after helping UCSB to wins over Long Beach State and at Cal State Northridge. Bryson had 13 points, nine rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot against the 49ers on Jan. 16. On Jan. 18 at Northridge, he had 15 points, five boards, two steals, one assist and a block. Bryson made 6-of-8 shots in each of the games, going 12-for-16 on the week, and he also made four three-pointers in seven attempts, three of which came against the Matadors.

Williams Becomes 26th Gaucho To Score 1,000 Points
Alan Williams battled foul trouble in UCSB's game at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 18, but he did score 16 points in his 24 minutes of work. Williams entered the game against the Matadors needing just 10 points to become the 26th Gaucho to eclipse the 1,000 point mark and he did so midway through the second half. Two baskets later, he passed B.J. Bunton (1,003) and moved into 25th-place on the all-time list. Barring injury, Williams should move past several former UCSB players in the coming games. His next targets are Paul Johnson (1,032) and Doug Muse (1,050).

Possible Starters - Quick Fact 
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Had a season-low one assist in the win at Northridge but he remains the conference leader at 5.1 per game.
G 35 Taran Brown- Scored 12 points at Northridge, his highest total since he also had 12 on Dec. 19 vs. Troy.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Although he was scoreless vs. Northridge, he had a team-high eight rebounds...Scored career-high 12 vs. LBSU on 1/16.
F 15  Alan Williams - Became the 26th UCSB player to score 1,000 points in his career when he had 16 at Northridge.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Big West Player of the Week made 12-of-16 shots in two games last week, 75.0%.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Eric Childress - Tied career-high with eight field goal attempts at Northridge and had two baskets in game-deciding 13-0 second half run.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Missed the last three games with a sprained ankle and is questionable for Thursday's game at UC Riverside.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Made at least one three in all 16 games and has 189 in his career...Needs two three-pointers to move into fifth all-time.
F 31  John Green - Injury to left foot has him sideline, most likely, until late January or early February.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Played just one minute at Northridge before injuring his right shoulder...Will not play this weekend.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Had a major impact on win at Northirdge where he made all four of his shots and scored 10 points.

The Opposition
UCSB and UC Riverside have met 33 times in a series that began in 1955. The Gauchos and Highlanders split a pair of games last season with each team winning on its own floor. UCR won its home game 54-45 while Santa Barbara won at the Thunderdome, 56-46. Riverside has won its last two home games in the series. The Gauchos and Cal State Fullerton have played 76 times with UCSB holding a 41-35 edge.  Last season, each team won on its home court. The Titans won 86-79 in Fullerton and the Gauchos won 66-50 at the Thunderdome. UCSB has lost three straight games at Titan Gym, last having won in 2010 and that victory came in overtime.

The Gauchos On The Road
The Gauchos are 4-3 in true road games this season and 6-3 overall in games away from home. They have won their last three games away from the Thunderdome, defeating Western Illinois at Logan, Utah on Dec. 21, Seattle on the road on Dec. 30 and then Cal State Northridge on Jan. 18. The six wins away from home are three more than UCSB won all of last season and the four true road wins are one more.

Gaucho-Titan Game Air On Fox Sports Prime Ticket
UCSB's game at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday will be carried live on Fox Sports Prime Ticket. The game, originally scheduled for 7:00 p.m., was moved to 7:30 p.m. to accommodate the broadcast. The broadcasters for the game will be Paul Sunderland and Michael Cage.

You Can Call Him The Dean
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. He shares the same 16-year tenure as Utah State's Stew Morrill and Rick Barnes of Texas.

Boswell Is Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Kyle Boswell is a top-30 finalist for the NCAA Senior CLASS Award. Boswell, the Gauchos' second leading scorer for each of the past two seasons, was Big West Sixth Man of the Year and Honorable Mention All-Big West last season. He is UCSB's team captain, takes part in numerous charitable efforts and possesses a 3.81 grade point average as a mechanical engineering major.  

Milestone Watch
Junior Alan Williams eclipsed 600 rebounds in the Gauchos' Dec. 30 win at Seattle, becoming just the 11th player in school history to do so. On Saturday at Cal State Northridge, he passed John Tschogl and moved into eighth all-time with 649. With 16 more boards, Williams will shoot past two more players and move into sixth all-time. With 137 blocked shots, Williams is fourth in school history and needs 18 to move past Doug Muse into third. He also needs 45 points to move from 25th to 23rd on the all-time list. Senior Kyle Boswell has made 46 three-pointers this season and now has 189 in his career. He needs just eight to move into third on UCSB's all-time list. Also, Boswell needs 146 points to surpass 1,000 in his career. 

A Magic Number
UCSB has allowed fewer than 70 points 10 times in 2013-14 and has gone 10-0 in those games. Last weekend, the Gauchos held both of their opponents under 70. On Thursday vs. Long Beach State, they allowed 51 points, the second lowest opponent total of the season. and on Saturday they limited Cal State Northridge to 69. On Dec. 30 at Seattle, UCSB allowed exactly 70 points and won. It was the only time they have won a game when allowing 70 or more, losing the other five.  

Playing The Percentages 
UCSB's had its biggest field goal differential vs. an opponent on Jan. 16 when it made 50.9% from the floor and limited Long Beach State to 29.9%, a difference of 21.0%. The 29.9% by the 49ers was the lowest opponent field goal percentage of the season. On Jan. 18, the Gauchos shot 51.9% and held Northridge to 37.0%. It was the eighth time that an opponent shot below 40.0% for the season and it was the ninth time they were over 50.0% on the offensive end. In 2012-13, UCSB shot 50.0% or better in a game just twice.

Balancing Act
The Gauchos' Jan. 18 win at Cal State Northridge was truly a balancing act. For the first time this season UCSB had five players score in double-figures. Alan Williams led the way with 16, but he was closely followed by Michael Bryson (15) and Kyle Boswell (14). In addition, Taran Brown (12) and Sam Beeler (10) reached double-digits. The Gauchos have had four players score 10 or more in a game four times this season.

Turnover Turnaround
One game after posting a season-high 19 turnovers in a win over Long Beach State, UCSB bounced back with a solid nine turnover performance at Cal State Northridge. In the game against the 49ers, the Gauchos had 12 turnovers in the first half, more than they've had in 10 games this season. UCSB has had 10 or fewer turnovers nine times in 2013-14 after turning the trick just twice during the 2012-13 campaign.

UCSB has been involved in a number of one-sided games this season and, in fact, has been on the winning side of most. The Gauchos have been involved in nine games that were decided by 10 or more points and they have a record of 8-1 in those games. The only time that Santa Barbara has lost a game by a double-digit margin was on Dec. 3 at UCLA when the Bruins recorded an 89-76 victory. UCSB has had three victory margins of 20 or more and two others of 15 or more in 2013-14, including a resounding 86-65 win at UNLV on Nov. 12. 

The Other Williams
Junior forward Alan Williams leads the Big West Conference in scoring at 22.8 points per game and rebounding at 11.0 per game. He is second in blocked shots at 2.4 per contest. Williams' scoring average ranks him fifth in the nation while his rebounding averaged is sixth. In the Gauchos' game at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 18, he had 16 points, six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. In the game, he became the 26th UCSB player to score 1,000 points and now ranks 25th with 1,006. Williams was limited to 24 minutes against the Matadors because of foul trouble and his streak of three straight double-doubles came to an end. On the season, he has seven double-doubles. To start Big West play, he had 33 points and 15 rebounds vs. Cal Poly and then 12 points and 15 boards vs. Long Beach State. The 33 points that Williams scored against Cal Poly were the second most he has scored in his career. On Nov. 29 he set a career-high and tied the school record for points in a game when he poured in 39 against South Dakota State. Williams tied a record also held by Orlando Johnson (currently with the Indiana Pacers) and Scott Fisher (currently an assistant coach at Hawaii). in that same game, he tied Greg Somogyi's school record with eight blocked shots. The game against the Mustangs also marked the second time in his career that he had at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in a game. Last season, he had 32 points and 16 rebounds in a win at Cal State Northridge and in doing so, he became the first Gaucho since 1990 to produce such a game. A three-time Big West Player of the Week this season, Williams has scored 20 or more points in 10 of his 14 games. He is the only Gaucho player to score in double-figures in every game he has played this year. In addition to his three Big West Player of the Week awards this season, he earned the honor twice last year when he was also a First Team All-Big West selection. 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 record for a UCSB player in a season-opener. He followed that game up with a 21 point, nine rebound, three blocked shot performance against UNLV and Khem Birch, the 2013 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He has eclipsed the 600 rebound barrier and with 649 needs just 16 to move into sixth-place all-time. When he gets 51 more boards, he will become just the sixth player in school history to score 1,000 or more points and grab 700 or more rebounds. Williams 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 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 and averaged 9.6 points per game over that span. Boswell has come off the bench in the last 11 games, averaging 13.0 per game. Overall, he is averaging 11.9 points per game. In the win at Cal State Northridge, Boswell had 14 points and a career-high eight assists. He also set season-highs in free throws with nine and free throw attempts with 10. He made one three-point basket in the game against the Matadors is now shooting 46.0% from outside the arc. In the 10 games in which he has come off the bench, he has hit 34-of-70, 48.6%. On Dec 30 at Seattle, Boswell scored 19 points on 7-of-9 from the field overall and a blazing 5-of-6 from three-point range. In December he was named to the Basketball Travelers Classic All-Tournament team as the Gauchos won two out of three games. In the second game of the tourney, he tied career-highs with 27 points and seven three-point baskets in an overtime loss to Utah State. Boswell has 189 career three-point baskets, sixth all-time. He needs just eight to move into third and his career percentage of 43.3%  ranks second in UCSB history. Also, he is the only Gaucho to make at least one three in all 16 games and he's made two or more 12 times, three or more seven times and five or more four times. Finally, in addition to his three-point marksmanship, Boswell is second on the team in assists at 3.4 per game and he's had four or more 10 times, including five of the last eight games. Also, his assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.06-to-1 is second in the Big West and 15th in the nation. 

The Life Of Bryson
Michael Bryson was named Big West Player of the Week for the second time this season after averaging 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in wins over Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge. Bryson went 12-of-16 from the field in the two games and he was 4-of-7 from three-point territory. He is now averaging 10.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game and seems to have bounced back from a four-game slump that he suffered through after missing the Dec. 20 game at Utah State with a sore back. Bryson is second on the team with 29 three-pointers and he is shooting 42.0% from outside the arc. The three he made at Cal State Northridge were the most he has hit since he made five at San Diego on Dec. 15. He has scored in double-figures nine times in his 15 games and he's made at least one three-pointer in 14 of the 15. Bryson had a season-high 21 in the Dec. 15 win at San Diego when he was 5-for-8 from three-point range and added four rebounds. The five threes were a season-high and for his efforts, the sophomore from Sacramento was named Big West Player of the Week. 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 seven three-pointers tied the UCSB freshman record. 

Taran It Up
Taran Brown had his best offensive game in a month in the win at Cal State Northridge. Against the Matadors, he made 4-of-8 shots overall and 2-of-5 from three-point range en route to 12 points, his highest total since he had 12 against Troy on Dec. 19. In the last two games Brown has made 6-of-12 shots, 50.0%, after going a stretch of five games when he made just 5-of-23, 21.7%. Brown is averaging 7.4 points per game overall, fourth on the team, and his 4.5 rebounds per game rank second. His 20 three-point baskets rank third behind Kyle Boswell and Michael Bryson. At one point this season, Brown had a run of four straight games in double-figures and he's had six overall this season. Over the four in a row, which included games at Colorado and UCLA, and at home against Cal and South Dakota State, he averaged 14.5 points and made 23-of-40 shots, 57.5%. In the Nov. 21 game at Colorado, he scored a career-high 23 and made a career-high seven three-point baskets (in 10 attempts). Last season, Brown set a UCSB freshman record for three-point baskets with 58.

Junior Zalmico Harmon continues to lead the Big West in assists at 5.1 per game and he is second in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.15-to-1. In fact, Harmon ranks 13th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio. In UCSB's win at Cal State Northridge, he had a season-low one assist, but he did score six points. In the Jan. 16 win over Long Beach State, he had nine assists, one shy of his season-high, as well four rebounds, which equaled a season-high, and seven points. Harmon has had five or more assists eight times this season, including seven times in the last 10 games and he's had at least four in 13 of 16 games and 11 of the last 12. He had a season-high 10, to go along with nine points, in the Gauchos' Dec. 6 win over Cal. Harmon is averaging 7.1 points per game. He had a season-high 14 on Nov. 29 vs. South Dakota State and 13 on Dec. 30 at Seattle. Overall he has scored 10 or more four times. For the season, Harmon has a mere 26 turnovers in 485 minutes, an average of one turnover every 18.7 minutes. In the 11 wins, he has 62 assists and 14 turnovers, an 4.43-to-1 ratio.

Freshman Eric Childress is averaging 5.1 points, 3.1 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. He had six points, three rebounds and two assists in the win at Cal State Northridge and he scored a pair of baskets in the decisive 13-0 second half run that put the Gauchos ahead for good. Childress tied his career-high with six assists in UCSB's Jan. 4 win over The Master's College. He also had six assists at Colorado and vs. South Dakota State. On Dec. 30 at Seattle, Childress didn't make a field goal but tied his career-high with 10 points on 10-of-12 from the free throw line. He also scored 10 at Colorado. In the last nine games Childress is averaging 7.0 points. With 45 assists and 22 turnovers, Childress has a 1.9-to-1 assist to turnover ratio, but in the last seven games he has 22 assists and just seven turnovers, 3.14-to-1. Finally, with 21 steals on the season, he needs just five more to move into the school's freshman top-10.

Something's Brewing
Sophomore Mitch Brewe was scoreless in his 23 minutes at Cal State Northridge, but he collected a team-high eight rebounds and played a major role in the win. On Jan. 16 vs. Long Beach State, Brewe had a career-high 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting overall and a perfect 2-for-2 from three-point range. He is now averaging 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Brewe has made 5-of-7 shots from outside the three-point arc this season, 71.4%. On Jan. 4 vs. The Master's College he finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, his first career double-double. In the last five games, Brewe is averaging 5.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. The 10 rebounds he had against The Masters was a career-high.

Sam He Is
Sam Beeler had one of the best games of his career in the win at Cal State Northridge. With Alan Williams battling foul trouble, Beeler stepped in and played 14 minjutes, hit all four of his field goal attempts, scored 10 points and had three rebounds. For good measure, he also blocked a shots. Beeler is averaging 3.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. The 10 points he scored against the Matadors were four short of his season-high of 14 that he recorded on Nov. 16 vs. Utah State. It was his third career double-figure scoring game. Beeler had five or more rebounds in each of the first three games this season, including a career-high seven on Nov. 12 at UNLV, but after collecting 17 boards in his first three games, Beeler had 12 in an 11-game span. In the last two games, he's had seven in 23 total minutes. Finally, as a freshman, he hit just 11-of-32 from the line, 34.4%, but this season he is 18-of-28, 64.3%.

We Want Moore! We Want Moore! 
Shawn Moore left the game at Cal State Northridge just one minute into his appearance with a shoulder injury. His status for this week is up in the air. Moore is averaging 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per game off the bench. He started the first five games of the regular season but has come off the bench in the last 11. He scored a season-high six at UNLV and Colorado.