Men's Basketball Travels To Pacific & Long Beach State In Big West Action

Jan. 24, 2000

The Schedule
Game No. 16
Thursday, January 27, 2000, 9:00 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at The University of the Pacific Tigers at UOP's Spanos Center

Game No. 17
Saturday, January 29, 2000, 7:30 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Long Beach State 49ers at LBSU's Pyramid

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters the week with a 5-10 overall record and a 1-3 mark in Big West play. After opening the league schedule with an 0-3 mark, the Gauchos defeated Nevada on Saturday, 89-65, for their first victory.

The Last Game
UC Santa Barbara easily played its best all-around game of the season on Saturday, defeating Nevada 89-65. The Gauchos made 29-of-60 field goal attempts, including 15-of-27 in the second half, 55.6%. Erick Ashe scored a career-high 27 points and added a season-high six assists in the win. Ashe also tied his career-best with six three-point baskets. Mark Hull tied his career-high with 19 points, hitting 5-of-7 shots, including all four of his three-point attempts. In addition, the Gauchos limited the Wolf Pack's high-scoring freshman, Terrance Green, to two points on 1-for-8 from the field. Green entered the game averaging 28 points per game in Big West games. He was primarily defended by senior guard Derrick Allen.

What About Bob?
Bob Williams is in his second season as head coach of the Gauchos. Last year he guided the Gauchos to a 15-13 overall record and an outstanding 12-4 mark in Big West play. After guiding the squad to the league's Western Division Championship, Williams was selected Big West Coach of the Year and National Association of Basketball Coaches District 15 Coach of the Year. After 15 games this season, Williams' Gaucho record is now 20-23 and his overall record as a college coach is 209-123. His teams have won either a league, division or National Championship in five straight season

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Derrick Allen - Averaging 7.0 rebounds per game in last three.
G - Erick Ashe - Scored a career-high 27 points in win over Nevada.
G - Larry Bell - Averaging 4.5 assists in last two games.
F - Mark Hull - Has averaged 11.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in last four games.
F - Adama Ndiaye - Foul trouble has limited him to 44 minutes in last two games.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Brandon Payton - Has had 12 points in each of the last two games.
G - B.J. Ward - Has had at least two assists in three straight and ten overall.
G - Matt Long - Freshman walkon played two minutes and scored two vs. Nevada.
G - LaRon Bryant - Has made at least one three-pointer in ten of 15 games.
F - Juliano Jordani - Had five rebounds vs. Nevada, his high for a Big West game.
F - Mike Vukovich - Has played only nine total minutes in last three games.
F - Ross Carmichael - Pulled down 14 rebounds in 31 minutes over last two games.

UCSB-Long Beach State Game Time Changed
The time has been changed for UCSB's March 2 home game against Long Beach State. The contest, originally slated for 7:00 p.m., has been moved to 5:00 p.m. to accommodate television. Fox Sports Net has added the game to its schedule.

Gauchos vs. Pacific & Long Beach State
Through the years, two of UCSB's biggest rivals have been University of the Pacific and Long Beach State. The Gauchos and UOP have met 77 times with the Tigers holding a 41-36 edge in the all-time series. Last season, UCSB won both games in the series, defeating UOP in Stockton, 58-53 in overtime and in Santa Barbara, 60-38. UCSB's win in Stockton snapped the Tigers lengthy homecourt winning streak in Big West games. At the time, the streak extended back to January of 1995. As for the series with Long Beach, that one is the longest in school history, totaling 82 games. The Gauchos and 49ers split a pair of games last season. LBSU beat UCSB in Long Beach, 63-62, on a three-pointer with two second remaining. The next week, the Gauchos won the rematch in Santa Barbara, 87-77. UCSB's victory snapped a ten game 49er streak in the series.

Shooting Woes Take Vacation In Win Over Nevada
UCSB's shooting troubles have been well documented. At least in the game notes and press releases, either way, when you are shooting below 40.0% as a tea, for the season, your shooting is definitely a problem. For one game, at least, the poor shooting took a vacation. In the win over Nevada, the Gauchos made 29-of-60 shots from the floor, 48.3%. In addition, they made 11-of-23 shots from beyond the three-point line, 47.8%. In the second half of the game, UCSB canned 15-of-27 shots, 55.6% and with the exception of a six-and-a-half minute stretch in the first half when they were 1-for-15 and scored only two points, the offense overall was outstanding. With the 1-for-15 taken out of the equation, and what coach wouldn't like to do that, they were 28-of-45, a gaudy 62.2%. The 48.3% performance for the game was UCSB's second best mark of the year. They made 50.0% on December 4 against Westmont. The Gauchos have made 40.0% or better in only six games, this year, including five times in the last seven games. While they are shooting 38.2% as a team overall, UCSB has improved slightly over the last seven games, making 160-of-394, 40.6%. Another interesting statistic is that in the last three games, the Gauchos are shooting better from beyond the three-point arc than they are from inside the arc. In the last three, UCSB has made 44-of-116 of its two-point attempts, 37.9%. Over that same three game span, the Gauchos have been successful on 24-of-57 three-point attempts, 42.1%.

Defense Does Its Part
While UCSB has had its difficulties on offense this season, they have been consistently good on the other side of the court. Defensively, the Gauchos are limiting opponents to 38.9% shooting from the field, the best mark in the Big West. They have held their last 11 opponents to 42.0% or below and on eight occasions this season, opposing teams have hit 39.3% or below. In addition, three opponents, Stanford (26.3%), BYU (29.6%) and St. Mary's (29.6%) have shot below 30.0%. Only one opponent, USC (51.4%), has mustered better than 50.0% against them and only three opponents (including USC) have made better than 43.0% of their shots. Over the last 11 games, the opposition has made only 243-of-650 shots, 37.4%. Finally, UCSB has been particularly stingy at home this season. In eight home contests, UCSB opponents have made a mere 161-of-465 shots from the field, 34.6%. On the road, after allowing its first three opponents (USC, USF and San Jose State) to make 82-of-164 (50.0%), the Gauchos have tightened up. In their last four road games (San Diego State, Loyola Marymount, North Texas and New Mexico State), they have limited opponents to 97-of-245, 39.6%.

Hand Me The Windex
There were a number of reasons for UCSB's easy win over Nevada on Saturday. Obviously the improved shooting and the defense played a part, but it was also rebounding, one of the team's greatest attributes this season. They outrebounded the Wolf Pack by a 45-30 margin. On the season, UCSB is now outrebounding its opponents by a margin of 4.3 per game. In Thursday's loss to Utah State, the Gauchos outrebounded the Aggies, the best rebounding team in the Big West, 40-32. UCSB has won or tied the rebounding battle in 11 of the last 12 games. The Gauchos were outrebounded in each of the first three games of the season, an average margin of 6.3 per game, but in the last 12 games, UCSB has outrebounded opponents by 7.0 boards per game.

Here's The Point
The 89 points that the Gauchos scored in Saturday's win over Nevada were the most scored by the team this season. Not only were they the most scored, the total was 16 points higher than the previous high of 73 points that UCSB scored in games against Westmont, USC and Loyola Marymount. When they scored 57 points in last week's loss to Utah State, it was the fifth time this year that the Gauchos had failed to score at least 60 points in a game. They have actually been below the 50 point mark three times this season and they have scored fewer than 70 ten times. On the year UCSB is averaging 63.9 points per game, and that figure went nearly two points after the victory over Nevada. In addition, the 24-point margin was the biggest since UCSB defeated San Francisco State 92-50 on December 6, 1997. It was their biggest margin in a Big West game since they beat the Wolf Pack 93-60 during the 1992-93 season.

On The Other Hand
UCSB opponents are also having a devil of a time scoring. They are averaging 66.6 points per game and have scored over 80 once (94 by USC), fewer than 70 11 times and fewer than 60 three times.

The Three-Point Story
The 11 three-point baskets that the Gauchos made against Nevada were the most made by a UCSB team since they made 11 in a loss at St. Mary's on December 1, 1996. Through 15 games this season, the Gauchos have drained 91 three-point baskets, an average of 6.1 per game. Last season, UCSB made a total of 124 in 28 games, an average of only 4.4 per game. While Santa Barbara is averaging 1.7 more successful three-pointers per game this season, its percentage has dipped. In 1998-99, the Gauchos made 32.0% of their three-point attempts and this year, they are succeeding on 31.5% of their attempts. Actually, since a dismal start to the season (9.7% in the first two games and 16.9% in the first three games), UCSB has been a bit better. In the last 12 games, the Gauchos have made 81-of-230 of their three-point attempts, a solid 35.2%. As mentioned elsewhere in this release, UCSB has made 24-of-57 shots from beyond the three-point arc in the last three games, an impressive 42.1%.

That's Ashe, As In Cash
Guard Erick Ashe scored a career-high 27 points in Saturday's win over Nevada. In doing so, the senior from Los Angeles connected on six three-pointers in 11 attempts, tying his career-best for three-pointers. Ashe's 27-point effort was the latest installment in his reemergence this season. Through eight games, he was averaging 9.5 points per game, he had been in double-figures only three times, he was shooting 22.3% from the field overall and 21.1% from beyond the three-point arc. In the last seven games, Ashe is averaging 16.4 points per game and he has shot 42.2% from the field overall and 43.7% from three-point range. In the last seven games, he has scored in double-figures six times. On the year, Ashe has improved to 12.7 points per game overall, 31.8% from the field and 31.4% from three-point range. In four Big West games, he has been even better. He is chipping in 16.2 points per Big West game, shooting 40.0% overall and a sizzling 48.3% (14-of-29) from three-point territory. Three times this season Ashe has made 50.0% or better from the field and all three of those instances have come in the last six games. In fact, he has made 40.0% or better five times this year and all five have come in the last seven contests. Finally, Ashe has made at least one three-point bucket in 14 straight games and he has hit two or more in the last six.

The Truth, The Hull Truth And Nothing But The Truth
Swingman Mark Hull has started to assert himself in several ways for the Gauchos. The freshman from Glendale matched his career-high with 19 points in Saturday's win over Nevada. In the process, Hull went 4-of-4 from three-point range. The four three-pointers were a career-best. On the year, Hull now ranks among the team leaders in several categories. He is second in scoring (9.5 points per game), second in rebounding (5.1 per game), first in three-point field goal percentage (36.1%), fourth in three-pointers made (13), second in free throw percentage (79.5%) and first in minutes played (422). In Big West play, he has started to show the same signs that he showed during the first six games of the season when he was the team's leading scorer. In four Big West contests, Hull has averaged 11.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while shooting 41.2% overall, 46.2% from three-point range and 80.0% from the free throw line. In three of his last four games, Hull has had seven or more rebounds and twice he has had his season-best of eight. With at least 12 games remaining in the season, his 142 points ranks Hull 11th on UCSB's freshman top-ten list for scoring. If he could maintain his 9.5 per game average, that would rank him fifth on the list and his 5.1 rebounds per game would rank him second. In fact, Hull's 76 rebounds on the season are only two away from the tenth spot.

Payton Place
Just when it seems that you can count him out, guard Brandon Payton has had back-to-back solid performances. For the first time this year, the junior guard has scored in double-figures in two consecutive games. After going for 12 points in the loss to Utah State, he bounced back with another 12-point game against Nevada. In the last two games, Payton has scored 24 points in only 30 minutes of action and he has only one turnover. On the year, he has scored in double-figures five times and he is averaging 6.5 points per game while shooting 35.9% from the field. After a particularly slow start, Payton has shot 41.5% over the last nine games, averaging 8.0 points per game over that span.

Foul Trouble Derails Ndiaye
While it is not as though junior forward Adama Ndiaye has screeched to a halt in the last two games, he has not had the same success he experienced in previous games. The primary reason for Ndiaye's slowdown has been foul trouble. Ndiaye committed four fouls in each of the team's last two games. In the loss to Utah State, he played only 21 minutes and had two points and six rebounds. In the win over Nevada, he played only 23 minutes, scoring seven points, pulling down six boards and blocking three shots. Ndiaye still leads the Gauchos in rebounds (7.7 per game), blocked shots (19) and he paces the regulars in field goal percentage (48.0%). He has chipped in three double-doubles on the season, he has been in double-figures in rebounds on four occasions and he has scored ten or more points six times. Despite his last two games, Ndiaye has played 30 or more minutes six times.

For Whom Bell Toils
Anyone who doesn't think that Larry Bell makes a difference to Gaucho fortunes is off their rocker. Bell made his first start of the season on Saturday and the Gauchos had their most resounding victory in quite a spell. Last year, Bell's insertion into the starting lineup was one of several reasons that UCSB turned things around and won the Big West's Western Division. Dating back to last season, Bell has started 15 games in a Gaucho uniform and in those 15, UCSB has gone 11-4. In addition, he has started 14 games against Big West opponents and in those 14, which include a pair of league tournament games, the Gauchos have gone 11-3. In the last two games, Bell has averaged 5.0 points, 4.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. In his last four, he has made 11-of-19 shots from the field, 57.9%. In only six games, Bell is already third on the team in steals with 12. He had a career-high five steals on January 13 at North Texas. In that one, all five of Bell's steals came in the final 18 minutes of play.

Their Better Half
There is no question at all that my wife is my better half. None. As for the Gauchos, there is little question that the second half is their better half. In the last four games, the Gauchos have been outscored in three first halves. When they outscored Nevada 38-29 in the first half on Saturday, it snapped a streak of three straight halftime deficits. In the last four games, including the win over Nevada, UCSB has been outscored by a combined total of 143 to 112, an average of 7.7 points per half. On the other hand, they have outscored their opponents in each of the last four second halves, a combined total of 162 to 133, 7.3 points per half. The 51 points that UCSB scored in the second half on Saturday were more than they had scored in any previous single half and, in fact, the 51 points were more than they had scored in entire games against Stanford, San Jose State and BYU.

Carmichael Corner
Forward Ross Carmichael, a junior transfer from Texas Tech, has started to make his mark for UCSB. In his first five games this year, Carmichael played a total of 43 minutes, pulled down 13 rebounds, had one assist and blocked one shot. In the last two games, he has played 31 minutes, grabbed 14 rebounds, passed off for four assists and blocked three shots. His eight rebounds against Utah State were one fewer than his personal best, set while at Texas Tech against New Mexico.

Parting Shots
Ashe's six assists vs. Nevada were a season-high... Three Gauchos (Ashe, LaRon Bryant and Juliano Jordani) have made more three-pointers than two-pointers...Ten different Gauchos have started in games this season... On the year, UCSB is averaging 17.1 turnovers per game. In five of the last six games, however, they have had 14 or less and in the last three they have averaged only 12.7 per game... Point guard Derrick Allen is third on the team in rebounding at 4.8 per game and on four occasions this year he has had eight or more. Twice he has had ten.