Bryson, Green Pace Gauchos to 91-45 Blowout Over Master's College

Michael Bryson (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Michael Bryson (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara used a 19-0 run early in the first half to blow open a tie game en route to a 91-45 win over The Master's College Saturday afternoon. 

Michael Bryson, who finished with 20 points, scored eight points during the run, including a pair of three-pointers and a slam dunk tip-in. Bryson, who struggled from three-point range on the Gauchos' road trip to Kansas and Florida-Gulf Coast, was 5-for-8 in the win over the Mustangs. 

"I always work really hard in practice and tonight I came out with a really good rhythm," Bryson said. "It felt good to get it going." 

UCSB (1-2) shot 52.3% in the game overall and 45.5% from three-point range. The Gauchos hit 10-of-22 attempts from outside the arc after going 9-for-43 in the first two games of the year.

"I know this is a team that can really shoot the ball," said head coach Bob Williams. "We missed a lot of open looks in the two games on the road, but tonight we started making shots and sometimes that's contagious."

The Gauchos led 47-22 at half and opened the second half on a 17-1 run to expand the advantage to 64-23 on a jumper by Zalmico Harmon with 14:22 left. The 46-point margin that the game ended on was the largest.

"We have a lot of weapons on this team," Williams said. "When one guy isn't making shots, most of the time, someone else will. This is also a team that shares the ball and it was good to see that part of our game payoff tonight."

UCSB had a season-high 20 assists, led my DaJuan Smith with seven. Smith was starting in place of freshman Gabe Vincent who was sat out while nursing a blister on the bottom of his foot.

John Green followed-up his career-high 17-point performance at Florida-Gulf Coast with another stellar effort, finishing with 14 points and a career-high seven rebounds. Alan Williams had 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, four steals and a pair of blocked shots while Mitch Brewe added 11 points and six rebounds for the Gauchos. 

"I am feeling better and better with each game and practice," Green said. "All the time I've missed because of injuries, I've watched the game from the bench and tried to learn. Now, I can put those things into practice."

Green played just three games during his first three seasons in Santa Barbara as he suffered from several foot injuries and then, last season, a broken wrist. 

"What we're seeing now is just the tip of the iceberg," Coach Williams. "John is a good player right now and, knock wood, if he can stay healthy, we're going to see an even better player later in the year." 

The Master's College was led by Russell Byrd, a transfer from Michigan State, who scored 20 points.

UCSB hits the road for Thanksgiving weekend, traveling to Anchorage, Alaska for the Great Alaska Shootout. The Gauchos will open the tournament on Thanksgiving night with a 9:00 p.m. (PST) game against Washington State.