UCSB Travels to Cal Poly Before Returning Home for Five of Six

UCSB Travels to Cal Poly Before Returning Home for Five of Six

Jan. 15, 2008

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The Schedule
Game No. 18
Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal Poly Mustangs
at Cal Poly's Mott Gym
Radio: KTMS 990/1490-AM
Internet: UCSBgauchos.com

Game No. 19
Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. University of the Pacific Tigers
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTMS 990/1490-AM
Internet: UCSBgauchos.com

On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990 and 1490 AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his fourth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of games, home and road. When Ford is not available for road games, Bill Mahoney, yours truly, will handle the task. Steve Wendt, the voice of the UCSB women's basketball team, will handle the play-by-play for a handful of men's games this season.

The Bob Williams Show
The Bob Williams in Paradise show will be aired each Tuesday night from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on KTMS 990 and 1490 AM in Santa Barbara. Coach Williams will talk about past and upcoming games, interview Gaucho players and welcome guests from the Santa Barbara sports community. Bob in Paradise is broadcast live each week from The Paradise Cafe on the corner of Anacapa and Ortega in downtown Santa Barbara.

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters the week with an overall record of 13-4 and a Big West mark of 2-2. On Saturday night the Gauchos ended a brief two-game losing streak with a decisive 87-72 win at Cal State Fullerton. UCSB had lost consecutive games for the first time this season, dropping an 88-84 home decision to Cal State Northridge and a 66-63 road game at UC Irvine.

The Opposition
UCSB and Cal Poly have played 88 times in a series that began in 1938. While the Gauchos hold a sizable 58-30 edge all-time, the Mustangs have won the last three in a row and four of the last five. In 2006-07, Cal Poly won the game in San Luis Obispo by a score of 86-79, and in Santa Barbara by a 71-61 count. UCSB last won at Mott Gym on Feb. 19, 2005 by a score of 78-66. Santa Barbara and Pacific have played 95 times since the series began in 1947. The Tigers hold a 49-46 all-time advantage over the Gauchos. UCSB won both games in 2006-07, winning in Santa Barbara by a score of 64-49 and in Stockton, 70-62. The victory in Stockton ended a six-game Pacific winning streak in the series.

One More For The Road
UCSB's game at Cal Poly on Saturday night will be its third consecutive road game and its sixth in the last eight overall. Following the game against the Mustangs, the Gauchos will return home for five of six games.

UCSB Bounces Back With Key Road Win
James Powell scored 20 points and Chris Devine had 18 Saturday night to lead UCSB to an 87-72 win over Cal State Fullerton. The Gauchos, who snapped a two-game losing streak, shot a season-best 64.8 percent and handed the Titans their first conference loss of the season. UCSB also limited the Titans to just 33.9% shooting overall and 22.7% from three-point range. Justin Joyner and Alex Harris added 13 points apiece for Santa Barbara. Josh Akognon led Fullerton with 17 points but shot just 3-for-16 from the floor and made just one of his 11 three-point attempts. The Gauchos led for the final 36 minutes, taking the lead 15-10 after an 11-2 run. They led by as many as 12 in the first half, and 20 in the second. Cal State Fullerton scored 11 unanswered points over a two minute span to pull within four at 49-45 early in the second half, but Joyner hit a 3-pointer, Harris hit two free throws and the Titans would get no closer than seven the rest of the way. Fullerton stayed in the game at the free throw line. The Titans made 25-of-31 shots from the charity stripe. The Gauchos, who did not attempt a free throw in the first half, finished the game 8-of-9, but five of the attempts came in the waning seconds when they were intentionally fouled by the Titans. For Harris, his point total of 13 and his field goal attempt total of 10 were both season-lows and for Joyner, 13 points was a season-high and the second highest total of his career. Ivan Elliott, limited to 22 minutes before fouling out, led UCSB with seven rebounds, while reserve guard D.J. Posley added a game-high six assists with no turnovers. Nedim Pajevic added eight points in 16 minutes for the Gauchos before fouling out.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Justin Joyner - Scored a season-high 13 at Cal State Fullerton.
G - Alex Harris - Has 1,407 career points, needs five to move into fifth all-time.
G - James Powell - 20 points at Fullerton were second-highest total of his career.
F - Chris Devine - Hit two three-pointers in two of the last three games.
F - Ivan Elliott - Has had at least six rebounds in eight straight games.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Nick Quick - Has attempted seven shots in just 10 minutes of action.
G - Jordan Weiner - All eight of his baskets this season have been three-pointers.
G - Paul Roemer - Has made five of his last six three-point attempts.
G - D.J. Posley - Passed off for career-high six assists at Fullerton.
G - George Murphy - Has yet to play in a game.
F - Nedim Pajevic - Has had two or more assists 12 times, five in a row.
F - Sam Phippen - Has not played in the last three games.
F - Beau Gibb - His field goal against Fullerton was his first in nine games.
F - Peter Jordan - Walk-on freshman has played in two games this season.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his 10th season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team recorded an overall record of 18-11 and a Big West mark of 9-5. The 18 wins were the most regular season wins by a Gaucho team since 1991-92 and it equaled the second most wins a Williams-coached UCSB team has ever had. Williams has led Santa Barbara to winning records in five of the last six seasons, the only exception being a 2004-05 team that was ravaged by injuries. He has guided UCSB to a pair of postseason appearances. In 2002-03, the Gauchos went 18-14 overall and 14-4 in league. The 2002-03 Big West mark earned Santa Barbara its first-ever Big West regular season championship along with a trip to the postseason National Invitation Tournament. Additionally, the success earned Williams his second Big West Coach of the Year award, his first coming after an impressive 1999 campaign. In 2001-02, Williams guided UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament title ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 153-126 (.550) overall record and an 86-59 (.589) record in Big West games. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, he spent eight years at UC Davis and in those eight years, his teams recorded 20 or more wins five times and a 158-76 record. In Williams' final season, the Aggies went 31-2, won the NCAA Division II National Championship and he was named NABC Division II Coach of the Year. Including two seasons at Menlo College, Williams has a record of 342-226 (.603) at four-year schools.

The Gauchos On The Road
The Gauchos are 4-3 in true road games this season. They won their last road game, 87-72 at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 12. In addition, they have victories at Eastern Washington, Ball State and Loyola Marymount. The trio of road defeats have come at North Carolina, Stanford and UC Irvine. UCSB has also gone a perfect 2-0 in neutral court games with wins over Northwestern State and Harvard at the Basketball Travelers Classic in Palo Alto, Calif. In 2006-07, the Gauchos recorded an all-time best 10-4 record on the road. Dating to the 2005-06 season, UCSB has gone 18-8 in its last 26 true road games.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB had its nine-game home winning streak ended on Jan. 5 by Cal State Northridge, 88-84. With wins over Long Beach State, Utah Valley, Pepperdine, UNLV, Montana State, San Francisco and Cal Poly Pomona, the Gauchos opened the year with a perfect 7-0 Thunderdome record, extending a two-season home victory streak to nine in a row. The nine game home winning streak was the longest the program has experienced since it won 15 in a row bridging the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons.

Eight-Game Streak Was Longest In A Long Time
UCSB's eight-game winning streak, which was ended at North Carolina on Dec. 22, was the longest that a Gaucho team has put together since Bob Williams became head coach in 1998-99. It was also the longest winning streak since the 1988-89 team opened the year by winning 11 consecutive games and it equaled the second longest streak in school history. Santa Barbara also won eight games in a row in 1971-72, 1960-61 and 1940-41.

A Real Defensive Rebound
In three games prior to the win at Cal State Fullerton, UCSB had its troubles defensively. In games against Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine, the latter two of which were losses, the Gauchos allowed their opponents to make 80 out of 164 field goal attempts overall, 48.8%, and 28-of-57 from three-point range, 49.1%. UCSB turned it back around on Saturday, holding the Titans to a mere 21-of-62 overall, 33.9%, and 5-of-22 from three-point territory, 22.7%. Fullerton entered the game as the league's top three-point shooting team at 43.3%. It marked the seventh time this season at the Gauchos held an opponent under 40.0% from the field and it was the second lowest field goal percentage by an opponent this season. On Dec. 29, Eastern Washington made just 19-of-59 shots, 32.2%.

Plenty Of Turnover
UCSB opponents are averaging 19.5 per game in 2007-08, an increase of 6.1 per game over the 13.4 per game they forced in 2006-07. Last year, a Gaucho opponent had 20 or more turnovers just once, 21 by Pepperdine in a double overtime game. In 2007-08, UCSB has forced 20 or more turnovers eight times in 17 games and no opponent has had fewer than 16. The highest total by an opponent this season was the 28 that Northwestern State committed in the season opener on Nov. 9. On the other side of the court, the story is not quite as cheery. The Gauchos have committed 272 turnovers of their own, 16.0 per game, a jump of more than two per game from last year. Santa Barbara has had 15 or more in 11 games this year, including two of the last three.

Too Many Second Chances
It's no secret that UCSB is not a great rebounding team. Gaucho opponents are winning the battle of the boards by an average of 3.0 per game. In recent games, the opposition has done a good portion of its rebounding on the offensive end. Three consecutive opponents have registered double-figures in offensive rebounds, averaging 14 per game over that span. On Saturday, Cal State Fullerton had 18 offensive rebounds, the second highest total by an opponent this season. In fact, five of the last six opponents have had 10 or more offensive rebounds and they have averaged 16.8 per game during that period.

The Return Of The Three
UCSB rediscovered its three-point shot in thet last two games. After a stretch of three games in which they made just 14-of-49 from beyond the arc, 28.6%, the Gauchos hit 10-of-21 in the loss at UC Irvine and 9-of-15 in the win at Cal State Fullerton. In the two games, they combined to make 19-of-36, 52.8%.

Passing Fancy
In the win at Cal State Fullerton, UCSB had 21 assists. It marked the second time in the last four games and the third time this season at the Gauchos have had 20 or more assists. In the Big West opener against Long Beach State, UCSB had a season-high 23 assists. Against the Titans, Santa Barbara was paced by reserve guard D.J. Posley who had six assists and no turnover in 18 minutes. In all, seven different players had two or more assists in the game. The Gauchos are now averaging 15.4 assists per game on the season, but that figure has increased to 18.7 per game in four Big West Conference games.

UCSB has had three Big West Players of the Week this season. Senior Alex Harris has earned the award twice (Nov. 25 and Dec. 10) and sophomore guard James Powell has won it once (Dec. 3). Harris has been named Player of the Week four times in the last two seasons.

Take Me To Your Leaders
While only three players (Alex Harris, James Powell and Chris Devine) have led the Gauchos in scoring this season, the same has not held true for the other statistical categories. UCSB has had eight players lead or tie for the team-lead in steals, six lead or tie for the team-lead in rebounding, five lead or tie for the lead in assists, and six have done so in blocked shots.

That `70s Show
While UCSB has allowed 70 or more points in a game just four times this season, the Gauchos have scored 70 or more 11 times, going 9-2 in those games. UCSB has actually scored 74 or more 10 times this season, including five times in the first six games and five of the last seven. The Gauchos are averaging 72.9 points per game, slightly more than the 71.2 points per game they averaged last year. Their highest scoring effort this year was a 92 point explosion in the opener against Northwestern State, and their lowest scoring effort was a 48 point output on Nov. 11 at Stanford. The 87 points scored at Cal State Fullerton were the second highest total of the campaign. Overall, UCSB has been over 80 four times.

The Harris Poll
Senior guard Alex Harris continues to lead the Big West in scoring at 21.1 points per game. His scoring average is at its lowest point of the season after he averaged 14.0 points per game in road games at UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. In Saturday's game at Fullerton, Harris scored a season-low 13 points in 36 minutes. He attempted just 10 shots against the Titans, also a season-low. Harris did score 11 of his 13 points during a decisive second half run to help propel UCSB to the road win. With his 13 points, he became just the sixth Gaucho player to top the 1,400 point mark for his career. Harris now has 1,407 career points, sixth all-time. He needs just five to move past Branduinn Fullove into the fifth spot, 14 to move past Lucius Davis into fourth, and 29 to move past Doug Rex and into third-place. Harris has scored 20 or more nine times this season and 25 or more five times. He has either led or tied for the team-lead in scoring in 13 of his 16 appearances this year. In addition to scoring, he also paces the Gauchos in three-point shooting. While he made just 1-of-4 from beyond the arc on Saturday night, he is still shooting 51.3% from beyond the arc. In the last nine games, he has gone 24-of-39, 61.5%. Harris has drained at lest one three-point basket in 15 of his 16 games this season, two or more 13 times, and three or more six times. He made a career-best six threes, in eight attempts, on Dec. 7 against Utah Valley. Harris has now made 160 three-pointers in 384 career attempts, 41.7%, the third most makes and the second highest percentage in school history. He went for a season-high 29 points on Nov. 24 against Montana State, recording career-highs for free throws, 15, and free throw attempts, 18. On the season, Harris has gone to the free throw line 109 times, an average of 6.8 times per game, but in the last four games he has taken just 14 free throws, 3.5 per game, and he has attempted five or fewer in five of the last six games. Harris is averaging 3.8 rebounds per game, third on the team, and he has had four or more in five of the last seven games. He had a season-high eight rebounds on Nov. 24 against Montana State, and he has had seven twice, on Nov. 27 against UNLV and Nov. 10 against Harvard. Also, of his 27 assists on the year, 19 have come in the last seven games. Harris was a Preseason All-Big West and Mid-Major All-America selection.

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine rebounded from one of his toughest outings of the seasons with one of his best on Saturday night at Cal State Fullerton. In the first game of the recent trip to Orange County, Devine, suffering from strep throat, attempted just four shots and scored seven points in a three-point defeat at UC Irvine. On Saturday, against the Titans, he had 18 points, six rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals to help the Gauchos win on the road. Devine is now averaging 13.7 points per game, second on the team, and he has had three of his five highest scoring efforts on the season in the last four games. On Jan. 5, he scored a season-high 24 against Cal State Northridge, and on Jan. 3, he had 17 against Long Beach State. With his 18 points at Fullerton, Devine has now tallied a career total of 982 points. If, and when, he scores 18 more, he will become the 22nd UCSB player to achieve the 1,000 point mark. Devine is also second on the team in rebounding at 5.6 per game. He has had six or more in four of the last five games, and since compiling just three total rebounds in the first two games of the year, he has had 86 in 14 games, 6.2 per game. He had a season-high nine on Dec. 1 at Loyola Marymount. In the win at Fullerton, Devine made 7-of-13 shots and he is now shooting 53.1% overall. He has made 50.0% or better in five straight games and six times in the last seven. Including a season-best 9-for-10 performance on Dec. 19 at Ball State, the Eagle River, Alaska native has made 38 out of 64 shots in the last seven games, 59.4%. Devine has made eight three-pointers on the season, the same number he made in 58 games the previous two seasons, and he has hit a pair in two of the last three games. A Preseason All-Big West selection, he had a season-high four assists on Dec. 7 against Utah Valley and two or more nine times this season, including four of the last five games. Devine has also claimed the team-lead in steals with a recent surge. He had two in each of the games last weekend and now has 25 on the season, 24 of which have come in his last 13 games.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Sophomore guard James Powell scored 20 points, the second most in his career, in Saturday's win at Cal State Fullerton. He is now averaging 11.2 points per game, third on the team. In the win over the Titans, Powell bounced-back from a five-point, 2-for-8 performance at UC Irvine. He hit 8-of-11 shots overall, including 2-of-4 from three-point range, en route to his 20 points. The Pomona, Calif., native has now scored 10 or more points 10 times this season, all in the last 14 games. Interestingly, six of his seven single-digit games have been away from home. He scored a career-high 24 on Nov. 15 against Cal Poly Pomona, and since he averaged just 5.7 points per game through the first three games, he has averaged 12.4 points per game. Powell is second on the team in three-point baskets with 31. He has made 39.7% from beyond the arc, but since opening the year by making 2-of-12, he has gone 29-for-66, 43.9%. He made a career-high five three-point baskets in a Nov. 27 win over UNLV, including the game-winner with less than a second to play. All five of his three-pointers in that game came in the second half. Powell is averaging 2.1 assists per game and has had two or more nine times. He tied a career-high with six on Jan. 5 against Cal State Northridge. He is also averaging 3.2 rebounds per outing, and has had four or more six times, including a career-high six on Jan. 3 against Long Beach State.

Justin Joins In
Sophomore guard Justin Joyner had his best offensive performance of the season in the win over Cal State Fullerton. Joyner scored a season-high 13 points, making 5-of-6 shots overall and a career-best 3-for-3 from three-point territory. He also had four rebounds and four assists against the Titans. While he improved his scoring average to a season-high 3.9 points per game, Joyner's primary charge is to direct the offense and he has been very good in that respect. He leads UCSB in assists at 4.0 per game and his assist to turnover ratio of 2.12-to-1.00 is among the best in the Big West Conference. Joyner has had more turnovers than assists in a game just once this season, and in his last 10 games, he has had 44 assists and just 16 turnovers. He has had four or more assists in four straight games and 12 times this season. The Gauchos are 10-2 when he has four or more assists. Joyner had a season-high seven assists on Dec. 7 against Utah Valley. Offensively, the Antioch, Calif., native has seen a recent rise in his scoring and field goal percentage. In the last four games, he has averaged 6.5 points per game while making 11-of-17 shot from the field, 64.7%. Overall, Joyner is now shooting 37.3%, a figure which is at its highest point since the second game of the season.

Ivan The Good
Senior forward Ivan Elliott continues to be one of UCSB's most consistent players. Although he fouled out in 22 minutes in the win at Cal State Fullerton, he still led the Gauchos in rebounds with seven, had a pair of assists, and scored six points. Elliott is fourth on the team in scoring at 9.4 points per game, but he has averaged 10.2 per game over the last eight games, scoring 10 or more six times over that span. In all, he has scored in double-figures nine times this season. Elliott poured in a career-best 17 points in the season opener against Northwestern State, making 8-of-10 shots in the process. Through 17 games, he is making a team-best 54.2% from the field. He has been at or over 50.0% in five straight games and 10 times in the last 11. In fact, Elliott has made at least 60.0% of his shots in four straight and seven of the last nine, hitting 36-of-60 in those nine games, 59.0%. The senior from San Francisco has become a viable three-point threat as well. He has made 17-of-32 from outside the arc on the season, 53.1%, and in the last nine, he has gone 9-for-15, 60.0%. Although he did not attempt a three-pointer against Fullerton, he did make both of his attempts at UC Irvine. Elliott's improvement on the perimeter is significant. In 2006-07, he made five three-pointers and shot 38.5% from the outside. He also continues to pace UCSB in rebounding at 6.1 per game, a figure that is at its highest point all year. He has had six or more rebounds in eight consecutive games. He had a season-high nine rebounds on Jan. 29 at Eastern Washington, and he followed that up with back-to-back games of eight to open Big West play. In the last eight games he has averaged 7.0 rebounds per game. Finally, Elliott leads the Gauchos in blocked shots with 21. He had a career-high three blocks on Nov. 10 against Harvard and he has had at least one in four straight games. In fact, in three of the last four games he has had two blocked shots.

A Piece Of The Pajevic (Pronounced Pie-uh-vich)
Senior forward Nedim Pajevic fouled out in only 16 minutes in thet win at Cal State Fullerton. Before he fouled out, however, he had one of his best offensive showings in several games. Pajevic made 4-of-5 shots from the field against the Titans and scored eight points, his second highest total in 12 games. He is now averaging 6.4 points per game, fifth on the team and tops among Gaucho reserves. The eight points were the most he had scored since he tallied 12, equaling his second highest total of the season, on Dec. 22 at North Carolina. Pajevic scored a season-high 16 on Nov. 10 against Harvard. He has scored 10 points or more six times in 17 games, but he did so in five of the first six games and just once since. By making four of his five field goal attempts on Saturday, he has bumped his field goal percentage back over the 50.0% mark at 50.6%. He is tied for third on the team in rebounding at 3.8 per game and he had a high of 10 on Nov. 20 against San Francisco. In fact, Pajevic had a double-double against the Dons, the only one by a UCSB player this season. Finally, the native of Sarajevo has proven to be one of the better passers on the team and he is tied for second on the team in assists at 2.1 per game. Pajevic has had two or more assists in five straight games and 12 times this year. He had a season-high five assists on Nov. 15 against Cal Pomona and then he had four on Jan. 3 against Long Beach State.

Roemer Charges
Sophomore guard Paul Roemer had arguably the best back-to-back games of his career. On Thursday, in the defeat at UC Irvine, Roemer helped shoot the Gauchos back into the game by making the first four three-point shots he took. He finished 4-for-5 from three-point territory, 4-for-6 overall, and scored a career-high 12 points. In the win at Cal State Fullerton, he made the only field goal he attempted, also a three-pointer, and a pair of free throws, to finish with five points. Roemer has now made 11-of-29 shots from three-point range this season, 37.9%, but he has hit 5 out of his last six attempts, 83.3%. He enters the week averaging 3.1 points per game. He is also averaging 1.4 assists per game, but he is at 2.0 per outing in the last four games. Finally, in 2006-07, Roemer played 132 minutes in 16 games. This year, Roemer has been a valuable reserve and has already logged 265 minutes in 15, an average of 15.6 per game. He has played at least eight minutes in every game and 15 or more in 10 of 17 games.

Strike A Posley
Junior guard D.J. Posley scored two points in the win at Cal State Fullerton, yet he had probably the best game of his UCSB career. Posley had a career-high six assists and no turnovers in 18 minutes. He also had a pair of rebounds and a steal. In Thursday's game at UC Irvine, Posley made his only three-point attempt and totaled six points. For the season, he is now averaging 3.2 points, 1.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.9 rebounds per game. His six assists against the Titans equaled the total he accumulated in the previous five games combined. Posley is shooting 36.7% from the field, but since beginning the season by making just one of his first 12 field goal attempts, he has made 21-of-48, 43.7%. He also made one out of six three-point attempts to start the year but has made 4-of-9 since, 44.4%.