Men's Basketball Looks To Extend Winning Streak, Hosts Pacific Saturday At 7:00 P.M.

Jan. 17, 2003

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Universit of the Pacific Tigers
UC Santa Barbara hosts the University of the Pacific on Saturday night in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos are one-half game behind Pacific, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton in the Big West standings.

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's game against the University of the Pacific with an overall record of 6-9 and a Big West mark of 3-2. The Gauchos are a half game behind the Big West-leaders, Pacific, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. Since losing five in a row just prior to the start of Big West play, the Gauchos have won three out of five, thus the 3-2 record.

Home, Sweet Home
UCSB has not played many home games this season, but with the exception of their come-from-ahead loss to Cal State Fullerton, they have enjoyed their time at the Thunderdome, posting a 4-1 record. The Gauchos played one of their best games of the season at home on Thursday night, pounding Cal State Northridge by a score of 77-59. In addition to Cal State Northridge, UCSB has beaten USC, San Francisco and UC Riverside at home this season. In the last two seasons combined, the Gauchos have gone 14-3 in home games.

UCSB Builds Big Lead, Coasts To Win
In Thursday night's win over Cal State Northridge, UCSB fell behind by a score of 8-4 with 16:32 remaining in the first half. Over the next 21 minutes, including the first five minutes of the second half, the Gauchos outscored the Matadors 52-19 to take a commanding 56-27 advantage. Northridge closed to within 13-points with five minutes to go, but never got closer. Mark Hull scored 16 points and Branduinn Fullove added 15 to lead five players in double-figures. The Gauchos shot 54.8% for the game and limited the Matadors to 35.7%.

The Gauchos And Tigers
The UCSB-Pacific series dates back to 1947 and the Tigers hold a narrow 43-41 advantage. Last season, the schools split a pair of games with each team winning on its home floor. UOP won 73-70 in Stockton and UCSB won 70-57 in Santa Barbara. Since Bob Williams came to Santa Barbara as head coach in 1998, the Gauchos have won seven of the nine games played.

The Williams File
Bob Williams is in his fifth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to a 20-11 overall record and an 11-7 mark in Big West Conference play. It was the school's first 20-win season since 1992. Most importantly, however, Williams led UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. In his first four-plus seasons in Santa Barbara, Williams' teams have posted a 68-61 overall record and a 45-26 record in Big West games. In 1998-99, his first year, the Gauchos went 15-13 overall and 12-4 in the Big West, winning the league's Western Division championship. That year, they closed the campaign by going 15-5 and Williams was selected Big West Coach of the Year. 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 and in 1997-98, Williams' final season, they went 31-2, won the NCAA Division II National. Including two seasons at Menlo College, Williams has a record of 257-162 at four-year schools.

LBSU Home Game Moved To 5:00 P.M.
UCSB's February 27 home game against Long Beach State, originally scheduled for 5:30 p.m., has been moved to 5:00 p.m. to accommodate television. The Gaucho-49er game will be aired as part of the Big West's Fox Sports Net 2 package in the Southern California area.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - Had best game vs. CSUN, 11 points, 7 assists, 3 rebs.
G - Branduinn Fullove - Made 9-of-9 from FT line in win over CSUN.
G - Nick Jones - Scored season-low 5 points on Thursday.
F - Casey Cook - Has hit 11-of-14 from field in last 3 games, 78.6%.
F - Mark Hull - In last 7 games, he has hit 24-of-47 three-pointers, 51.1%.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - B.J. Ward - Scoreless in his last 6 games, 24 total minutes.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Has averaged 13.8 minutes in last 5 games.
G - Cecil Brown - 11 points vs. CSUN was his 3rd double-figure game.
G - Josh Davis - Since career-high 14 vs. CSUF, has had 6 in last four.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Played season-low 7 minutes vs. CSUN.
F - Scott Rainey - Scored first career points at Utah State.
F - Derek Wheeler - Made a free throw vs. CSUN, his first points.

Was That Really A 77 On The Scoreboard?
Since scoring more than 80 points in two of the first three games this season, UCSB has had its offensive struggles. Since scoring 70 in a November 30 win over USF, the Gauchos had been below the 70-point mark in ten straight games, averaging just 61.1 points over that span. In Thursday night's win over Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos scored 77 points, their highest mark since they scored a season-high 84 points against Centenary in the third game of the season on November 24. UCSB is now averaging 66.0 points per game.

Playing The Percentages
It was no accident that the Gauchos scored 77 points on Thursday night. Despite making just 5-of-17 shots from three-point range, 29.4%, UCSB shot 54.8% from the field, its second-highest percentage of the season and the first time it had made 50.0% or better in 12 games. Most impressively, for a team that has, at times, lived and died by the three-pointer, the Gauchos hit 18-of-25 shots from two-point territory, a season-best 72.0%. On the year, UCSB is now shooting 46.6% from the field overall and 39.2% from three-point range. On the other side of the coin, the Gauchos limited the Matadors to just 35.7% shooting, a major improvement over the 51.9% that Utah State shot in the previous game. UCSB has now held six of the last 12 opponents below 40.0% shooting and on the year the opposition is shooting 41.8% from the field, a major improvement from early in the season. Through the first three games this year, the Gaucho opponents had made 73-of-144 shots, 50.7%, and since then they have made just 239-of-602, 39.7%.

Was That Really A 77 On The Scoreboard?
Since scoring more than 80 points in two of the first three games this season, UCSB has had its offensive struggles. Since scoring 70 in a November 30 win over USF, the Gauchos had been below the 70-point mark in ten straight games, averaging just 61.1 points over that span. In Thursday night's win over Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos scored 77 points, their highest mark since they scored a season-high 84 points against Centenary in the third game of the season on November 24. UCSB is now averaging 66.0 points per game.

Gauchos Enjoy Free Throw Parade
The Gauchos 35 free throw attempts on Thursday was a season high and a far cry from the school-record two attempted on December 10 at Cal. In fact, the 58 that UCSB has attempted in the last two games is the exact same total that the team attempted in consecutive December games against Pepperdine, Cal, BYU, Nebraska and Bucknell. The 26 made free throws on Thursday were the most the Gauchos have made this season, topping the previous high of 21 made against Centenary on November 24.

Player Updates

Mark Hull
Senior forward Mark Hull has taken over the team-lead in scoring at 15.1 points per game. Hull had not led the team in scoring average since the first game of the year when he tallied 23 points, but he reclaimed the lead with 16 points on Thursday against Cal State Northridge. Hull has been outstanding lately, scoring in double-figures in each of the last seven games and averaging 18.2 points per game over the last six. In each of the six games, he has scored at least 15 points and he has scored 20 or more three times. Hull is shooting 50.6% overall and 46.2% from three-point range, but in the last seven games he has made 44-of-79 shots overall, 55.7%, and 24-of-47 shots from three-point range, 51.1%. Hull has made at least one three-point basket in 14 of 15 games, two or more 12 times, including each of the last seven games. He has actually made three or more three-pointers 11 times and s season-high five twice, once each against Cal State Fullerton and Bucknell. Hull enters the game against Pacific with 1,376 career points, the fifth-highest total in school history. He needs 24 points to become the fourth UCSB player to hit the 1,400 plateau. With a trio of three-point baskets on Thursday against Cal State Northridge, Hull now has 189 for his career and needs just two to move into second-place all-time and eight to become the school's all-time leader. While he has had just five total rebounds in the last two games, Hull is second on the team at 5.0 per game. He has had seven or more rebounds seven times, including a season-high nine in a win over USC. In that same win over the Trojans, he tied his career-high with six assists. Finally, Hull has played 527 total minutes this season, an average of 35.1 per game and 102 more than the next closest Gaucho. He has started all 15 games this season, giving him 102 consecutive starts, a streak that spans his entire career. He has never missed a game and is the only player to lead the team in minutes played in each of his first three seasons. Barring injury, it should be four years in a row.

Branduinn Fullove
Junior guard Branduinn Fullove scored 15 points in Thursday's win over Cal State Northridge, his highest total since returning from a two game absence because of a groin strain. Fullove, who is averaging 15.0 points per game, made all nine of his free throw attempts on Thursday, but in the last two games, against Northridge and Utah State, he has not shot the ball well. Against the Matadors, he was just 3-for-9 from the field and 0-for-5 from three-point range and in the last two games combined, he has gone 6-of-21 from overall from the floor, 28.6%, and 0-for-10 from three-point range. In fact, in the three games since his return from injury, Fullove has made just one three-pointer in 14 attempts, 7.1%, dropping his season percentage to 39.3%, below the 40.0% mark for the first time this year. Fullove has 110 career three-point baskets, ranking sixth on UCSB's career list. He has made a season-high four three-point baskets three times, including 4-for-4 in a win over USC. He had a season-high 23 points against the Trojans. Fullove has scored in double-figures ten times in his 13 games this year. He is averaging just 2.9 rebounds per game, down from his average of 4.2 per game last year. He did tie his season-high with seven rebounds in Thursday's win over Cal State Northridge. Fullove enters the game against Pacific with a career total of 922 points and he needs 78 points to become the 19th player to hit the 1,000 point mark.

Nick Jones
Junior guard Nick Jones scored a season-low five points in Thursday's win over Cal State Northridge. Jones attempted just five shots, his season-low. In the last seven games, he has averaged 10.0 points per game and shot just 41.4% from the field overall and 38.1% from three-point range. After eight games this season, Jones was leading the Gauchos in scoring at 15.8 points per game. Despite his recent struggles, he is still averaging 13.1 points and a team-leading 5.7 rebounds per game. Jones has scored 20 points in each of the season's first two games, his season-high. He also ranks second on the team in three-point baskets with 26 and he has had at least one in 13 of 15 games. He made a season-best 4-of-5 against Cal State Fullerton and Jacksonville State. His 82 career three-point baskets rank him tenth on UCSB's career list. Jones has either led or tied for the team-lead in rebounds eight times this season. He is also the only UCSB player to record a double-figure rebounding game. Jones posted a double-double, going for 16 points and ten rebounds on November 30 against USF. He has had five or more rebounds nine times this season. In three games since playing a season-high 39 minutes on January 4 against Cal State Fullerton, he has averaged 26.0 minutes per game.

Jacoby Atako
Junior guard had his best game of the year in Thursday's win over Cal State Northridge, making all three of his field goal attempts, 5-of-6 shots from the free throw line, scoring a season-high 11 points, passing off for seven assists, pulling down three rebounds and producing one steal. The seven assists were Atako's second-highest total this season and the most he has had since a November 24 win over Centenary. The 11-point effort was not only a season-high, it ranks as his third best scoring output ever and it was his second double-digit scoring game of the year. The perfect 3-for-3 from the field equaled Atako's best performance this season. With seven assists, he now has a career total of 260, eighth all-time at UCSB.

Casey Cook
Sophomore forward Casey Cook had his best all-around game in Thursday's win over Cal State Northridge. He scored 14 points, equaling the second-highest total of his career, and he had seven rebounds, one short of his season-high. Cook played a season-high 28 minutes against the Matadors and made 5-of-6 shots from the field. With his 14 points, Cook has now scored in double-figures in two of the last three games, both UCSB victories. He is now averaging 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. In his last five games he has averaged 7.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 66.7% from the field. In fact, in the last three games Cook has made 11-of-14 shots from the field, 78.6%.

Cecil Brown
Freshman guard Cecil Brown scored 11 points and had a pair of rebounds on Thursday against Cal State Northridge. The double-figure scoring effort was Brown's third of the season. He had a career-high 13 in 15 minutes at Pepperdine on December 7, and he had 12 in ten minutes on November 22 against Weber State. The 4-for-7 shooting effort he had against the Matadors was his best since he drained 4-of-5 shots from the field in the opener against Weber State. Brown is now averaging 5.3 points per game overall and 5.8 in Big West play. After attempting just four shots over 27 minutes in the previous two games, Brown attempted seven in 16 minutes against Northridge.

Josh Davis
Since scoring a career-high 14 points and making all five of his field goal attempts in January 2 against UC Riverside, freshman guard Josh Davis has scored a total of six points in four games, making just 2-of-14 shots from the field. He has had three or more rebounds in three straight games and he did have a career-high three steals in a January 9 win at Idaho. Davis is averaging 3.2 points per game and 1.9 rebounds per outing.

Chrismen Oliver
Sophomore guard Chrismen Oliver played eight minutes and went without an assist or a point against Cal State Northridge. It was the first time in five league games that he failed to score or failed to collect an assist. Oliver, who has become the team's primary back-up at the point, is averaging 1.6 points and 1.7 assists per game. He had career-highs of eight points and five assists on December 10 at Cal and he equaled his career-high five assists against UCR.

Bryan Whitehead
Junior forward Bryan Whitehead played a season-low seven minutes in Thursday's win over Cal State Northridge and as a result, he went without a rebound for the first time this year. Whitehead scored three points against the Matadors and is now averaging 2.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He has actually scored eight points in 23 combined minutes in the last two games after scoring a total of nine points in 109 minutes in the six prior games. When he went without a rebound against the Matadors, it snapped a streak of 14 straight games with at least two.

B.J. Ward
Senior guard B.J. Ward has played in all 15 games this season, but while he has played 112 minutes on the season, he has played just 24 in the last six games, going scoreless over that span. Ward has attempted just three field goals in his last six games and just 14 in his 15 games this year.