UCSB Travels to UC Davis for ESPN2 Match-Up Saturday

Michael Bryson (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Michael Bryson (Photo by Tony Mastres)

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• Coming Up

Game No. 27
Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Davis Aggies

at UCD's Pavilion - Davis, Calif. 
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com

Game No. 28
Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

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

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its Saturday's game at UC Davis with an overall record of 18-8 and a Big West record of 9-4. The Gauchos lost 71-60 at UC Irvine on Thursday night and now trail the Anteaters by one game for first-place in the Big West Conference. Still, Santa Barbara has won two of its last three, six of eight and 15 of its last 20 games. 

Late Surge Leads UC Irvine Past UCSB, 71-60 
Chris McNealy scored 17 points, including a key three-pointer with just over two minutes to play, to lead UC Irvine to a 71-60 win over visiting UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night. The Anteaters are now alone in first-place as they moved past the Gauchos by a game. McNealy's big shot came after UCSB made back-to-back three-pointers to whittle a seven-point lead to one. With UCI leading 61-54, Kyle Boswell made the fourth of his four three-pointers to pull the Gauchos within 61-57 with 3:25 to play in the game. After Eric Childress rebounded an Anteater miss, Michael Bryson drained a long three from the left side and the score was 61-60 with 2:26 left. Bryson's basket was the last score by UCSB. McNealy made his three-pointer from the right corner to start a 10-0 game-ending run for Irvine, which made five free throws during the stretch. The Anteaters missed five of their last eight free throws, but that was after they opened the game by making 21-of-22. They finished with a 24-6 edge at the free throw line.

Williams Ties Big West Record, Named Player Of The Week For Fifth Time
UCSB junior Alan Williams was named Big West Player of the Week on Monday for the fifth time this season, equaling the single-season record previously set by Michael Olowokandi of Pacific (1997-98) and Aaron Nixon of Long Beach State (2006-07). Williams was selected Player of the Week twice as a sophomore and he needs one more to tie for the all-time career Player of the Week record.

UCSB Remains 13th In Mid-Major Poll
After moving into the No. 10 spot in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 two weeks ago, the Gauchos remained in the No. 13 spot for the second straight week. When they did get to No. 10, it was the program's highest ranking in the poll since it was No. 6 in December of 2007. UCSB is joined in the poll by fellow Big West Conference member UC Irvine, which is ranked 22nd. Wichita State, which is ranked No. 2 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, is ranked No. 1 in the Mid-Major Top-25. 

Possible Starters - Quick Fact
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Had first double-double with 20 points, 10 assists on 2/22 vs. Fullerton...Has 50 assists and 4 turnovers in last 10 games, a span of 324 minutes.
G 35 Taran Brown- Has had 5 or more rebounds in 4 straight games...Had 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in loss at UC Irvine.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Has been scoreless in his last 2 games...Because of foul trouble, was limited to 10 minutes at UC Irvine.
F 15  Alan Williams - Equaled his season-low with 6 rebounds at UC Irvine...Tied Big West record when he was named Player of the Week for 5th time on Monday.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Has scored in double-figures in 6 of the last 7 games...Averaged 12.0 points per game over the last 7.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Eric Childress - 27 steals are tied for the 4th most by a freshman in UCSB history...Had career-high 7 rebounds in game at UC Irvine.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Played 1 minute vs. Cal State Fullerton, his first action in 5 games.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Has 209 threes and needs 9 to move into 2nd and 13 to move into 1st at UCSB...Hit 4 threes at UC Irvine.
F 31  John Green - Played in two games upon returning from foot injury and then fractured his wrist in practice and will miss the remainder of the season.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Played 15 minutes at UC Irvine, his longest stint in Big West game.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Logged 14 minutes vs. Cal State Fullerton, equaling his highest total in since he played15 on Dec. 15 at USD...Scored 3 points in each of last 2.

The Opponents
UCSB and UC Davis have played 28 times with the Gauchos holding a 23-5 lead in the series. the Gauchos defeated the Aggies on Feb. 1 in Santa Barbara, 82-67. Last year, the teams split games with each winning in the other team's arena. UCSB won in Davis, 66-59 and the Aggies won in Santa Barbara, 64-56.

The Gauchos On The Road
The Gauchos are 7-5 in true road games this season and 9-5 overall in games away from home. When they lost 71-60 at UC Irvine on Feb. 27 it ended a two-game road winning streak. Prior to the loss to the Anteaters, UCSB had won at two of the Big West's toughest road venues, Hawaii and Long Beach State. The Gauchos have won six of their last eight games away from the Thunderdome and the nine wins away from home are six more than UCSB won all of last season. 

Williams Stakes Claim To National Rebounding Lead
Until Thursday at UC Irvine, Alan Williams had been on a rebounding binge. He had just six boards in the game against the Anteaters, but in the previous six games, he collected 95 boards, an average of 15.8 per game to improve his season average from 10.6 per game to 12.0 per game. After Thursday's game, Williams is still averaging 11.7 per game and still leads the nation in rebounding by 0.1 per game over Jerrelle Benimon of Towson. The only other Gaucho player ever to rank among the top-five in rebounding average at the NCAA Division I level was Eric McArthur who finished third in 1990 at 13.0 per game

Williams Continues To Climb Scoring List
Alan Williams tallied 15 points in UCSB's game at UC Irvine on Thursday and now has 1,220 in his career. In the last two games, he moved from 19th to 16th on the Gauchos' all-time scoring list. His next targets are Gary Gray (1,227), Tex Walker (1,235), Conner Henry (1,236) and Richard Anderson (1,247). 

Williams Continues To Scale Rebound List Too
Alan Williams recently became the sixth UCSB player to eclipse 700 career rebounds and he hasn't stopped there. Williams had six rebounds in the Gauchos' game at UC Irvine and now has 776, the fourth most in school history. He needs 25 to move past Tex Walker and into third all-time.  

Williams Is First Gaucho With 20/20 In 24 Years
Alan Williams had 27 points and 20 rebounds in the Feb. 1 win over UC Davis and in doing so, he became the first UCSB player to have 20 or more points and 20 or more rebounds in the same game since Eric McArthur had 28 points and 21 rebounds in a Jan. 29, 1990 overtime win over Cal State Fullerton. In fact, Williams' 20/20 performance was the first in regulation by a Gaucho since McArthur had 24 points and 20 rebounds in a Dec. 9, 1989 game against Loyola Marymount. 

Harmon Has Milestone Of His Own
Zalmico Harmon had 20 points and 10 assists in the Gauchos' Feb. 22 win over Cal State Fullerton, becoming the first UCSB player to have 20 or more points and 10 or more assists in mor than 24 years. Carrick DeHart had 26 points and 11 assists in a Dec. 9, 1989 game at Loyola Marymount.

Near Perfect Harmony 
Zalmico Harmon played 25 minutes in the Gauchos' loss at UC Irvine on Thursday night and committed just one turnover. In the previous game, he logged 32 minutes in the Feb. 22 win over Cal State Fullerton and did not commit a turnover. In the game prior to that, a win over UC Riverside, he logged 35 minutes...and also didn't commit a turnover. In his last 10 games, a span of 324 minutes, Harmon has four turnovers and 50 assists, a 12.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. His recent outstanding run has improved his season ratio to 4.40-to-1, second in the nation and first in the Big West Conference. For the season, Harmon is averaging a turnover every 27.0 minutes and in the last 10 games he is committing one turnover every 81.0 minutes. Finally, he has zero turnovers in 10 games this season and one in seven others. On two occasions this year, Harmon has had 10 assists and no turnovers in a game.  

Boswell Gets Back On Track
Kyle Boswell scored 14 points in UCSB's game at UC Irvine on Thursday. The 14 points were four more than he had scored in four previous games combined. The senior also rediscovered his shooting touch from the outside as he made 4-of-9 three-point attempts, inclucing 4-of-5 in the second half. The four threes gives Boswell 66 on the season and 209 in his career. The single-season total ranks 11th in school history and he is now third all-time in career three-pointers. He needs nine to pass Mark Hull and move into second and 13 to take over the alll-time lead from James Powell.

Margin Call
On Thursday, UCSB dropped a 71-60 game to UC Irvine. A handful of intentional fouls at the end of the game pushed the margin into double-figures. The 11-point margin was the second largest by a Gaucho opponent this season. On Dec. 3, they lost 89-76 at UCLA, a 13-point spread. Through 26 games, Santa Barbara has lost by double-digit margins just twice and they've beaten opponents by 10 or more 12 times

A Magic Number
UCSB has allowed fewer than 70 points 17 times in the first 25 games of the 2013-14 season, going 17-0 in the process. The Gauchos have held nine of their last 12 opponents under the 70-point barrier and, to nobody's surprise, they've gone 9-3 in those games. 

A Turnover Turnaround
In a Feb. 15 overtime loss to Cal State Northridge, UCSB had 18 turnovers, one shy of its season-high. In the three games since, the Gauchos have had a total of 26 turnovers, nine against UC Riverside, seven vs. Cal State Fullerton and 10 at UC Irvine. The single-digit turnover performances against the Highlanders and Titans give them 11 such performances this season and they have had 10 or fewer 13 times. Last season, UCSB had 10 or fewer turnovers just three times in 31 games.