February 10, 2006

UCSB Aims for Third Straight Win, Remains on the Road to Play High-Scoring Long Beach State

Feb. 10, 2006

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The Schedule
Game No. 21
Saturday, February 11, 2006 at 5:35 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Long Beach State 49ers
at LBSU's Walter Pyramid
Radio: KTMS 990 AM

Game No. 22
Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Mustangs
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTMS 990 AM

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara Saturday's game at Long Beach State with a 9-11 overall record and a Big West mark of 2-6. The Gauchos ended a three-game losing streak on Feb. 2 with a 73-54 non-conference win over UC Davis and then on Thursday night, they followed that up with a 60-59 win at UC Irvine.

The Streak Report
The win at UC Irvine on Thursday served three purposes regarding streaks. First of all, it ended UCSB's three-game Big West Conference losing streak, a streak which began on Jan. 9 with a home loss to the Anteaters. Secondly, Thursday night's win gave the Gauchos two straight wins for just the second time this season, the first since they opened the season with home wins over San Francisco and San Diego. Finally, the victory ended a five-game Big West road losing streak that dated back to the 2004-05 season.

UCSB Will Travel To San Jose State For Bracket Buster Game
UCSB has learned that its opponent in the Feb. 18 Bracket Buster competition will be San Jose State. The Gauchos and Spartans are old-time Big West rivals but have not played each other since the 1999-2000 season. San Jose State departed the Big West Conference for the Western Athletic Conference following the 1995-96 season. The programs have played exactly 100 times in a series that began in 1939. The 100 games is the most the Gauchos have played against any opponent. The Spartans have won 52 of the meetings.

Gauchos Hang Tough In Clutch, Top UC Irvine, 60-59
Chris Devine had a game-high 18 points while Cecil Brown and Joe See added 14 and 12 respectively, to lead UCSB to a 60-59 win at first-place UC Irvine on Thursday night. The Gauchos, who led by one at half, used several clutch baskets and some tough defensive stands in the closing minutes to post their second straight win. Brown made a pair of key jumpers in the final two minutes and See made two important three-pointers in the waning minutes to spark the victory. Forward Glenn Turner scored just one basket and two points in the win, but they were two of the most vital points of the night. With just 21 seconds remaining and the Gauchos up by one, 58-57, Alex Harris missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity. Turner slid in for the rebound and bounced right back up for a lay-up to give UCSB a 60-59 lead. It was the team's final basket of the night and it was enough. The rebound was number 12 for Turner, a new career-high. After a quick basket by Aaron Fitzgerald on the other end, Michael Chambers missed another free throw for Santa Barbara. With just under 11 seconds remaining, UCI got the ball to Fitzgerald who drove into the frontcourt where he was swarmed by several Gaucho defenders. The Anteater guard was unable to pass or shoot as time ran out.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Joe See - 116 three-pointers rank eighth all-time. Needs four to move into seventh.
G - Cecil Brown - Has made at least one three-point basket in 18 consecutive games.
G - Michael Chambers - Started the last two games, the first two starts of his UCSB career.
F - Chris Devine - Has scored 10 or more points in 13 straight games.
F - Glenn Turner - Had a career-high 12 rebounds at UCI. Has 10 or more in three straight.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Josh Davis - With two steals on Thursday, he now has 101 in his career, 10th all-time.
G - Alex Harris - Has shot exactly 50.0% in the last eight games.
G - Lance Hurdle - Has 15 steals in just 136 minutes, one every 9.1 minutes of play.
G - James Powell - Freshman guard is redshirting the 2005-06 season.
G - Derek Rasp - Has scored just three points in his last seven appearances.
F - Chidi Ajufo - Has played just 11 minutes in the last 15 games.
F - Tom Garlepp - Recorded his second DNP of the season at UC Irvine.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Has just three rebounds in his last three games, 41 minutes.
F - Chris Moore - Has played just eight minutes in the last eight games.
C - David Massey - Freshman center is redshirting the 2005-06 season.

The Opponents
The Gauchos and 49ers have played 98 times in a series that dates back to 1952. Long Beach holds a narrow 50-48 edge over Santa Barbara. In the first meeting between the schools this year, on Jan. 7, the Gauchos posted a 77-74 win. Last year, the teams split their regular season games, with the 49ers winning in Long Beach (58-57) and the Gauchos winning in Santa Barbara (54-47). UCSB also defeated Long Beach in the opening round of the Big West Tournament, 55-49. UCSB and Cal Poly have played 84 times through the years. The Gauchos hold a decisive 57-27 advantage but the Mustangs won the first meeting between the schools this season. On Jan. 21, Cal Poly posted a 74-62 win in San Luis Obispo. Prior to the Jan. 21 game, UCSB had won four in a row The Gauchos have won 14 of the last 17 in the series including both games last season. In 2004-05, Santa Barbara won on its home floor, 76-56, and in San Luis Obispo, 78-66.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB's win at UC Davis on Jan. 15 ended a nine-game road losing streak that dated back to the final two road games of the 2004-05 season. On Thursday, the Gauchos won their second road game of the season, equaling last year's total, with a 60-59 win at first-place UC Irvine. UCSB is now 2-8 in true road games this season. UCSB was 2-13 in true road games last season and 1-1 in neutral site games. After opening the 2004-05 regular season with an overtime win at San Diego State, UCSB ran-off 11 straight losses away from home. The 11 consecutive road losses was the longest streak since the final two games of the 1995-96 season and the first 10 of the 1996-97 season. Including the first 10 road games this season and the final road game of the 2003-04 season, UCSB has lost 22 of its last 26 on the road.

Eight Is Enough...Barely
UCSB used just eight players in its 60-59 win over UC Irvine on Thursday night. It was the first time this season that the Gauchos used as few as eight players. Their previous low was nine.

Going With The Percentages
Although UCSB made just 44.7% of its shots in Thursday night's win at UC Irvine, the Gauchos are a significantly better shooting team this season than last. UCSB made 55.7% of its shots in its Feb. 2 win over UC Davis. It was the team's second best field goal percentage of the season. The Gauchos hit a season-high 59.0% in their win at UC Davis on Jan. 15. Santa Barbara has made 50.0% or better seven times in 20 games this season and six times in the last 11. Last year, in 29 games, UCSB made 50.0% or better once. Finally, the Gauchos have made 45.0% or better 10 times this season after having done so just four times in 2005-06.

Above Boards
Not all is gloomy for UCSB. The Gaucho rebounding has started to emerge as a positive. On the year, UCSB is now outrebounding its opponents by a +0.6 margin. While that statistic is not likely to send anyone scattering for the record books, it is a huge improvement over last season and a major step from where the team was earlier this year. The Gauchos have outrebounded seven straight opponents, their longest streak of the last two years. Prior to the current seven-game stretch in which they have had 37 more rebounds than their opponents (+5.3 per game), they had produced 25 fewer boards than the opponents, an average of nearly 2.0 per game.

A Sign Of Things To Come
At halftime in Thursday night's win at UC Irvine, the Gauchos led the Anteaters by the narrowest of margins, 29-28. UCSB held on to win the game by the same one-point margin, 60-59. The win gave the Gauchos a 9-11 overall record, including a perfect 7-0 mark when they are leading at halftime.

The Sub-40 Barometer
I could go on for eternity about what UCSB's record is when they do such-and-such. Well, maybe not eternity, but I really could go on for a while. Anyway, there are two specific game-to-game statistical measures that really do represent absolute statistical trends. The first is also the most obvious. When the Gauchos outscore an opponent they have gone undefeated at 8-0. The second, while not occurring as often, has been as dependable. When UCSB holds its opponent below the 40.0% mark from the field it has a record of 6-0. The Gauchos limited UC Davis to 37.0% in their win last week. UCSB is 2-11 when its opponents make better than 40.0% of their field goal attempts.

Block Party
After going without a block in their Jan. 28 game against Pacific, the Gauchos responded with their most prolific shot-blocking effort since last season. UCSB swatted nine UC Davis shots, equaling the fifth-highest total in school history. Leading the block parade was junior forward Glenn Turner who rejected five shots, one off of his school-record total of six.

Free? My Foot!
For much of the season, free throws have been anything but for UCSB. In fact, they have been quite costly. Through 20 games, the Gauchos are shooting just 65.6% from line. Things are, however, looking up in that area. On Thursday, Santa Barbara made 13-of-16, 81.3%. In their last five games overall, the Gauchos have gone 46-of-62, 74.2%, and in their last four Big West games, they have made 38-of-47, 80.9%.

Make Mine Cherry, Please
Bob Williams doesn't eat much junk food, but undoubtedly he would prefer any kind of turnover to the ones the Gauchos produce. While a cherry turnover, for example, may be a guilty pleasure, a UCSB turnover is all guilt, no pleasure. On Thursday, the Gauchos had 14 turnovers for the second straight game, more importantly, however, they had just three in the nail-biting second half. Interestingly, of UCSB's 14 turnovers on Thursday, eight were either charging calls or illegal picks. Since recording their two highest turnover totals of the season in losses to Cal State Northridge (25) and Pacific (19), the Gauchos have had a total of 28 turnovers in the last two games.

Three-Point Economy
UCSB has attempted just 37 three-pointers in its last three games, 12.3 per game. It is the lowest output of three-point attempts over a three-game span that the Gauchos have had in the last two seasons. They have had 12 three-point attempts twice in the last three, their second-lowest output for a game this year. In the last three contests, UCSB has made the most of its three-point attempts going 18-of-37, 48.6%.

Help, Cecil! Help!
Senior guard Cecil Brown rebounded from his second-lowest scoring output of the season, five points on Feb. 2 against UC Davis, with 14 points in Thursday night's win at UC Irvine. Not only did Brown tally 14 points, he made two of the biggest shots of the game, a pair of acrobatic two-pointers in the final two minutes, the second of which gave UCSB a one-point lead with 44 seconds remaining. Brown has now scored 10 or more points in 17 of his last 18 appearances. He remains the team's scoring leader at 13.3 points per game. He scored a career-high 28 points in a Dec. 7 in a win over Pepperdine. It was the most points scored by a UCSB player since Mark Hull also went for 28 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament at San Diego State in 2003. Brown also continues to lead the team with 34 three-point baskets and has had at least one three-pointer in 18 straight games. The 34 three-pointers by Brown are 10 more than his previous career-high of 24 set in 2003-04. Brown also enters Saturday's game having made 11 straight free throws over six games. He has improved on the season to 70.0%, but prior to the current streak, he was making just 58.6%.

Devine Is Fine
Sophomore forward Chris Devine has become, arguably, the Gauchos most dependable offensive player. He enters Saturday's game averaging 12.7 points per game, second on the team, and he has scored 10 or more points in 13 straight games, the longest current Gaucho streak. A native of Eagle River, Alaska, Devine is the only player to start all 20 games for UCSB this season. His 18-point effort in Thursday's win over UC Irvine were the most points he has scored in a game since he tallied 20 on Jan. 7 against Long Beach State. In the last 13 games, Devine has scored 194 points, 14.9 per game, and he has made 77-of-122 from the field, 63.1%. On the year, he has made 60.5%, the top figure in the Big West Conference. Prior to Thursday's game when he was 6-of-9, Devine was shooting 60.1%, a figure that ranked him 16th in the NCAA. He has tallied 20 or more points a team-leading two times this year, including a career-high 21 on Jan. 2 at UC Riverside. In the game against the Highlanders, Devine also had a career-high 11 rebounds, the first double-double of his career. He has made at least half of his shots in 16 of 20 games and has made 60.0% or better 14 times, including five of the last eight games. Devine is also second on the team in rebounds at 5.3 per game. After averaging 3.2 per game over a four-game span, he has averaged 6.5 per game in the last two. With a pair of steals on Thursday night, Devine has also moved into a tie for the team-lead in that category.

See-Saw
After scoring just 15 points in three previous games, senior guard Joe See had 12 in Thursday's win at UC Irvine. The 12 points equaled See's highest total in the last nine games. A starter for the last 12 games, he has taken over the team-lead in assists with 45. In the two games prior to Thursday, See had passed-off for a season-high five assists. In all, he has had five assists three times this year. As a starter in the last 12 games, he has averaged 9.8 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. In the 12 starts, See has made 38-of-68 shots from the field overall, 55.9%, and 19-of-41 from three-point range, 46.3%. On the year, See has improved his overall field goal percentage to 49.0% and his three-point percentage to 44.6%. He had a season-high five three-pointers and scored a season-best 17 points in the opener against San Francisco. The Martinez, Calif., native has scored in double-figures 10 times this season, including five of the last eight and eight times in his 12 starts. Finally, with his 29 three-point buckets this year, See now has 116 as a Gaucho, eighth all-time.

A Turning Point
Junior forward Glenn Turner has started the last three games for UCSB and seems to be emerging as a force in the pivot. In the last three, Turner has averaged 7.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, making 10-of-15 shots, 66.7%. In Thursday night's win over UC Irvine, Turner made just one basket and scored two points, but they were the final two points of the game on a rebound and follow of a missed free throw with 20 seconds remaining. The rebound was his career-high 12th of the game. It was the third game in a row in which Turner checked-in with double-figures in rebounds, a career-first and the first time any UCSB player has turned that trick since Cameron Goettsche did so in December of 2004. He is now averaging 5.4 boards per game, tops on the team. In last week's win over UC Davis, Turner posted the first double-double of his career with 12 points and 10 rebounds. In addition, Turner blocked five shots, the most by a UCSB player this season and one off of his school-record of six. He blocked two more shots on Thursday and has taken over the team-lead in that category with 23. He has 72 in his career, sixth all-time. Turner has had five or more rebounds in six straight games and has had 18 offensive rebounds in the last five games, a total of 111 minutes. On the year, Turner is shooting 62.3% from the field but in the last seven games he has made 21-of-29, 72.4%, and in the last 10 games he has drilled 27-of-38, 71.1%.

The Harris Poll
Sophomore guard Alex Harris scored three points in Thursday's win over UC Irvine. He made the only three-point attempt that he launched. Harris was limited to 16 minutes of play. He had three turnovers, all on charging calls. Still, Harris is third on the team in scoring at 8.0 per game, fourth in rebounding at 4.0 per game and second in assists at 2.2 per game. His 22 three-point baskets also ranks third on the team. In last week's win over UC Davis, he made all five of his field goal attempts, including his only three-pointer, and scored 15 points in 20 minutes. The 15 points he scored against UC Davis was his highest total since he tallied a career-high 17 points on Jan. 7 against Long Beach State. While he is shooting 37.6% for the year, he has made 19-of-38 shots from the field, 50.0%, and has averaged exactly 9.0 points in the last eight games. Finally, Harris' first career double-double, a 14-point, 10-rebound performance on Nov. 21 against San Diego, was the first by a Gaucho guard since the 2002-03 season.

Chambers' Music
Senior guard Michael Chambers played 55 minutes in UCSB's first 16 games. In the last four games, Chambers has played 79 minutes, including 45 in the last two, the first two starts of his career. After going for a season-high 11 points last week against UC Davis, Chambers had three, all from the free throw line, at UC Irvine. Still, he helped contribute to an outstanding defensive effort in the Gaucho backcourt. In his last eight appearances, Chambers is 14-of-25 overall, 56.0%, and 6-of-12 from three-point range, 50.0%. The 25 minutes that he logged against UC Davis is his season-high and the second most he has played in his Gaucho career. While he is averaging 3.8 points on the season, Chambers has chipped-in 6.0 per game in the last five.

Just Joshing
Senior guard Josh Davis scored six points, had two steals and a team-high three assists in Thursday's win over UC Irvine. The six points were the most Davis scored since he also had six on Jan. 9 againt UCI. In his 23 minutes, he was also a pivotal factor defensively. It was his stifling defense that prevented Anteater guard Aaron Fitzgerald from getting either a shot or pass in the final seconds. Davis is now averaging 4.1 points per game. His two steals on Thursday give him 101 in his career. He is the 10th Gaucho to hit the 100-steal mark.

Cam I Am
Senior forward Cameron Goettsche has come off the bench in the last three games. In the last three, Goettsche has averaged just 2.7 points and 1.0 rebound per game. After playing a season-low six minutes on Feb. 2 against UC Davis, he played 15 against, his third lowest total of the year. He also went without a rebound for the first time this season. Goettsche continues to rank third on the team in boards at 4.3 per game and he has had five or more 12 times this year.

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