February 14, 2006

Following Weekend Road Sweep, UCSB Returns Home for Wednesday Showdown with Central Coast Rival Cal Poly

Feb. 14, 2006

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The Schedule
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

Game No. 23
Saturday, February 18, 2006 at 4:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at San Jose State Spartans
at SJSU's Student Activity Center
Radio: KTMS 990 AM

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters the week with an overall record of 10-11 and a Big West record of 3-6. The Gauchos are coming off of their most successful road trip of the season with a 60-59 win at UC Irvine on Thursday and an 81-78 victory at Long Beach State on Saturday. UCSB, which will play its final non-conference game of the year at San Jose State on Saturday, is 7-5 in non-Big West games this season.

Cecil Brown Named Big West Player Of The Week
Senior guard Cecil Brown was named Big West Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Gauchos to road wins at UC Irvine and Long Beach State last weekend. In the win at UCI, Brown had 14 points, two rebounds and two assists. More importantly, he made two key baskets in the final minute to aid the win. On Saturday at Long Beach, Brown had 23 points, the second-highest total of his career, two rebounds, two assists and a steal. He also made three three-point baskets, including one during UCSB's 11-2 game-ending rally that sealed the victory. The award is the first of Brown's career and the first of the year for any Gaucho player.

The Streak Report
UCSB's win at Long Beach State on Saturday was its third straight victory. This marks the first time this season that the Gauchos have won three games in a row. In fact, before winning at UC Irvine on Thursday, they had not won two in a row since the first two games of the 2005-06 season in mid-November. In addition, UCSB has won consecutive road games for the first time since putting-together a four-game true-road winning streak during the 2003-04 season.

UCSB Will Travel To San Jose State For Bracket Buster Game
UCSB will travel to San Jose State on Saturday as part of ESPN's Bracket Buster event. While few brackets will actually be busted in the Gaucho-Spartan game, it will be a renewal of UCSB's longest running series. The Gauchos and Spartans have played exactly 100 times in a series that dates back to the 1939 season. The last time UCSB played in a Bracket Buster game was during the 2002-03 season when it hosted Detroit and lost 75-69. On the bright side, the Gauchos return game the following season was a 57-51 season-opening win at Hawai'i.

Gauchos Use 11-2 Game-Ending Rally To Edge Long Beach State, 81-78
In its four previous trips to Long Beach State, UCSB went 0-4, losing the games by a combined six points. In addition, three of the four defeats came at the buzzer. So when the 49ers missed two three-point attempts in the final four seconds, either of which would have sent the game into overtime tied at 81, the Gauchos were likely as stunned as they were happy. As it was, UCSB outscored Long Beach 11-2 in the final three minutes to win its third straight game, 81-78. Cecil Brown finished with a team-high 23 points, including a critical three-point basket and free throw in the final 1:30. The game-ending rally also included a three-pointer by Joe See, two free throws by Alex Harris and a pair by Michael Chambers. Chambers, who finished with nine points, all in the second half, made his two free throws with just 10 seconds remaining to extend a one-point lead to three. Chris Devine had his second double-double of the season for UCSB with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Harris added 13 points, making all eight of his free throws. Long Beach's Jibril Hodges led all scorers with 24 points. The win by the Gauchos gives them a regular season sweep of the 49ers for the first time since 1993-94.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Joe See - 118 three-pointers ranks eighth all-time. Needs two to move into seventh.
G - Cecil Brown - Scored 23 points at Long Beach State, his second-highest total ever.
G - Michael Chambers - Has started the last three games and UCSB is 3-0 in those games.
F - Chris Devine - Had second double-double of the season with 14 points, 11 boards at LBSU.
F - Glenn Turner - Has nine blocked shots in the last three games.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Josh Davis - Had five rebounds, three assists and two steals in win at Long Beach State.
G - Alex Harris - Has shot exactly 50.0% in the last nine 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 16 games.
F - Tom Garlepp - Had two rebounds in four minutes at Long Beach State.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Nine points at LBSU were the most he has scored in seven games.
F - Chris Moore - Has played just eight minutes in the last nine games.
C - David Massey - Freshman center is redshirting the 2005-06 season.

The Opponents
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. UCSB and San Jose State 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 are the most the Gauchos have played against any opponent. The Spartans have won 52 of the meetings, including the last game on Nov. 24, 1999, by a score of 62-41.

The Gauchos At Home
The Gauchos are 7-3 at home this season. After winning their first six Thunderdome games, UCSB dropped consecutive games to UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge and Pacific. In their last home affair, the Gauchos ended the three-game losing streak with a decisive 73-54 win over UC Davis. This season, UCSB has also won home games against Long Beach State, Portland, Sonoma State, Pepperdine, San Francisco and San Diego. In 2004-05, Santa Barbara went 8-4 at the Thunderdome, including 2-1 in non-conference games and 6-3 in league games. In three seasons prior to last year, Santa Barbara posted home records of 10-2 and the Gauchos have never won fewer than eight home games in a season under Bob Williams. Including its wins this season, UCSB is 72-29 at home since Bob Williams arrived for the 1998-99 season.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 3-8 on the road this season, but has won three out of four and two straight since starting the year with seven straight road losses. 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. After a loss at Cal Poly on Jan. 21, the Gauchos won consecutive road games at UC Irvine and Long Beach State and thus they will take a two-game road winning streak into their game at San Jose State. It marks the first time since the 2003-04 season that UCSB has won consecutive road games. UCSB was 2-13 in true road games last season and 1-1 in neutral site games.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his eighth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team struggled with injuries and finished 11-18 overall and 7-11 in the Big West Conference. It marked the first time that a Williams-coached UCSB team finished below the .500 mark in league play. During the 2004-05 season, however, Williams became the fifth UCSB coach to record 100 wins. Prior to last season, he had guided the Gauchos to three straight winning seasons, the first time the program accomplished the feat since 1987-88 through 1989-90. In 2002-03, Williams' 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 postseason trip to the 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 Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 117-108 (.520) overall record and a 76-53 (.581) 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 306-208 (.595) at four-year schools. He recorded his 300th career coaching victory on Dec. 20, 2005, against Sonoma State.

Mr. February
Bob Williams' Gaucho teams have been particularly successful in the month of February. UCSB enters this week's games with a perfect 3-0 record in February and in his career, Williams has recorded a solid 37-18 record in February games. Last year, although they finished the year with an overall record of 11-18, the injury-riddled Gauchos were a respectable 3-4 in the second month of the year.

Playing The Percentages
Although UCSB made just 43.6% of its shots on the recently completed road trip to UC Irvine and Long Beach State, 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 21 games this season and six times in the last 12. Last year, in 29 games, UCSB made 50.0% or better just once. Finally, the Gauchos have made 45.0% or better 10 times this season after having done so just four times in 2004-05.

Free At Last
For much of the season, free throws had been anything but for UCSB. In fact, they had been quite costly. Through 21 games, the Gauchos are shooting just 66.5% from the free throw line, but in nine Big West games, they have made 73.2%. In the last six games overall, UCSB has hit 66-of-87, 75.8%. In their last five Big West games, the Gauchos have gone 58-of-72 from the line, 80.6%. In the two road wins at UC Irvine and Long Beach State, Santa Barbara made 33-of-41 free throws, 80.5%.

Rebound Streak Comes To An End
While UCSB did extend its season-long winning streak to three games on Saturday, one streak did come to an end. The Gauchos were outrebounded at Long Beach State, 40-34, ending a run of seven straight games in which UCSB had outrebounded its opponent. On the year, Santa Barbara is now outrebounding its opponents by a +0.2 margin. In nine league games, however, the margin is even better at +2.2. The Gauchos have now outrebounded 10 of their last 13 opponents and 12 of 21 this season.

A Sign Of Things To Come
Through 21 games this season one thing is for certain. If UCSB can enter the locker room at halftime with a lead, they are going to win. They haven't been likely to win, they have won. The Gauchos are a perfect 8-0 this season when leading at the half. In last weekend's games at UC Irvine and Long Beach State, the Gauchos led at half by one and five points respectively.

Marginal Wins
UCSB has won its last two games by a combined total of four points. The one-point win at UC Irvine and three-point win at Long Beach State come on the heels of five straight games decided by 12 or more points. The Gauchos would just as soon play some close games. UCSB has posted a 5-3 record in games decided by five or fewer points and a 6-3 record in games decided by fewer than 10 points. On the other hand, the Gauchos are 4-8 in games decided by double-figure margins. On Dec. 28, Santa Barbara had its largest margin of victory, a 23-pointer over Portland. UCSB's largest margin of defeat is 17 points, which has happened twice, on Nov. 25 at North Carolina and Dec. 3 at Loyola Marymount.

Turning Over A New Leaf
In four games prior to Saturday's win at Long Beach State, UCSB committed an average of 18 turnovers. Against the 49ers, who harass opponents into an average of nearly 18 turnovers per game, the Gauchos had only nine turnovers, including just two in the second half. On the other hand, UCSB forced Long Beach into 17 turnovers, 13 in the first half. It was the most turnovers by a Gaucho opponent in eight games and the third most by an opponent all season. It was also the ninth time that UCSB has coughed-up fewer turnovers than its opponent. The Gauchos are 8-1 when that happens.

Distribution Committee
While no player on UCSB's roster is averaging more than 2.3 assists per game, five players are averaging 1.6 or more. The Gauchos have gone with a bit of a tag-team approach at point guard this season, particularly in recent games. Joe See, who has had 15 assists in the last four games, leads the way with 49, 2.3 per game. Alex Harris, who was the primary point guard early in the year, has 44, 2.1 per game, Cecil Brown has 43 in 20 games, 2.1 per game, Josh Davis has 39 in 18 games, 2.2 per game and Chris Devine has 33, 1.6 per outing.

Help, Cecil! Help!
On Monday, Cecil Brown was named Big West Player of the Week after leading UCSB to road wins at UC Irvine and Long Beach State. In the two games, Brown made 13-of-28 shots overall, 46.4%, 5-of-12 from three-point range, 41.7%, and averaged 18.5 points. In addition, he hit several pivotal shots down the stretch in each game. Brown continues to lead the Gauchos in scoring at 13.8 points per game. He is second on the team in Big West scoring at 15.0 per outing. His 23-point effort at UC Irvine was the second-highest scoring output of his career. He had 28 points on Dec. 7 against Pepperdine, the most points scored by a UCSB player since the 2002-03 season. Brown has scored 10 or more points 18 of his last 19 games. He went 16 straight in double-figures at one point, the longest streak by a Gaucho since 1998-99. Brown also leads the team with 37 three-point baskets and has had at least one three-pointer in 19 straight games. He has made two or more three-point baskets in four of the last five games and 11 times this season. The 37 three-pointers by Brown are 13 more than his previous career-high of 24 set in 2003-04. He has also become a key playmaker for the Gauchos and his 43 assists rank third on the team. He has had two or more assists in 11 of his last 12 games. Finally, Brown has started to heat-up from the free throw line. Seven games ago, he was shooting 58.6% from the line, since then, he has made 17 of 18, 94.4%, to improve his percentage for the season to 72.3%. Before missing a free throw at Long Beach State on Saturday, Brown had made 16 in a row.

Devine Intervention
Sophomore forward Chris Devine continues to shine for UCSB. A case could easily have been made for him as Big West Player of the Week last weekend as well. In the games at UC Irvine and Long Beach State, Devine averaged 16.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. He also had a pair of blocked shots at Irvine and two assists at Long Beach. On Saturday against the 49ers, Devine tied his career-high with 11 rebounds and recorded his second double-double of the season, adding 14 points. He is second on the team in scoring at 12.7 points per game and he leads the team in Big West games at 15.4 per outing. Devine has scored 10 or more points 17 times this season, including the last 14 in a row. He tallied a career-high 21 points, to go with 11 rebounds, on Jan. 2 at UC Riverside. In the last 14 games, Devine has scored 208 points, 14.9 per game, and has made 83-of-134 from the field, 62.0%. On the year, he has made 59.8% which is the top figure in the Big West Conference and among the top-20 in the nation. He has made at least half of his shots in 17 of 21 games and has made 60.0% or better 14 times. Devine is among the top-three on the team in minutes played (first), rebounding (first), steals (tied for first), field goal percentage (first), scoring (second), free throw percentage (third) and blocked shots (third). He is also the only UCSB player to have started all 21 games.

Original Joe
Joe See had one of his worst shooting nights of the season at Long Beach State, but when it mattered most he was 1-for-1. See went 2-of-10 from the field on Saturday night, but he was 1-for-9 before hitting a long three-pointer that gave UCSB the lead for good in the closing minute of the game. Both of See's baskets against the 49ers were three-pointers. He also had four assists on the night. See, who has started the last 13 games, is now averaging 7.8 points per game, fourth on the team, and has taken over the team-lead in assists at 2.3 per game. He also had 12 points in the win at UC Irvine, including a key three-point basket late. He scored a season-high 17 points in the team's opener against San Francisco, making a season-best five three-point baskets in the process. See has now made 31 three-pointers on the year and 118 in his career. He needs just two more to move into seventh on the school's all-time list. As a starter in the last 13 games, he has averaged 9.8 points, 3.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. In the 13 starts, See has made 40-of-78 shots from the field overall, 51.3%, and 21-of-46 from three-point range, 45.7%.

A Turning Point
Junior forward Glenn Turner has started the last four games for UCSB and despite struggling through a foul-plagued 28 minutes at Long Beach State on Saturday, seems to be emerging as a force in the pivot. While he had just four points, three rebounds and five fouls against the 49ers, he did block two shots. In three games prior to Saturday, Turner 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 had turned that trick since Cameron Goettsche did so in December of 2004. He is now averaging 5.2 boards per game, second on the team. In Big West games, he is averaging a team-best 6.3 per game. On Feb. 2, in a 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 leads the team in blocked shots with 25 and now has 74 in his career, sixth all-time. He needs just three to move into fifth on the list. Turner has blocked two or more shots in each of the last three games and nine times in 18 appearances this season. While he made just 3-of-10 shots in the two road wins, he is still shooting 59.3% on the season.

The Harris Poll
Sophomore guard Alex Harris scored 13 points in UCSB's win at Long Beach State on Saturday. Included in the 13 points was a perfect 8-for-8 performance from the free throw line. In fact, it was a pair of Harris free throws that started the 11-2 rally that ended the game for the Gauchos. Harris is third on the team in scoring at 8.2 per game, fourth in rebounding at 3.9 per game and third in assists at 2.1 per game. His 23 three-point baskets also ranks third on the team. On Feb. 2 against 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 38.0% for the year, he has made 21-of-42 shots from the field, 50.0%, and has averaged 9.4 points in the last nine games. He has also picked things up at the free throw line. Although he is shooting 69.7% from the stripe, he has made 17-of-20 over the last six games, 85.0%. Finally, Harris had his first career double-double, a 14-point, 10-rebound performance on Nov. 21 against San Diego.

Chambers' Music
Senior guard Michael Chambers played 55 minutes in UCSB's first 16 games. In the last five games, Chambers has played 99 minutes, including 65 in the last three, the first three starts of his career. In Saturday's win at Long Beach, Chambers scored nine points, his second highest total of the season, all in the second half. His final two points were also the most important. With 10 seconds to go in the game, Chambers was fouled intentionally and calmly made a pair of free throws to extend UCSB's lead from one to three points. He had a season-high 11 points on in his first start on Feb. 2 against UC Davis. Going beyond his recent resurgence, in his last nine appearances, Chambers is 17-of-28 overall, 60.7%, and 7-of-15 from three-point range, 46.7%. Finally, while he is averaging 4.1 points on the season, Chambers has chipped-in 6.3 per game in the last six and 7.7 as a starter.

Just Joshing
Senior guard Josh Davis did a little of everything in UCSB's wins at UC Irvine and Long Beach State. At Irvine, he scored six points, had two steals and a team-high three assists and at Long Beach, he scored just two points, but had five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Davis' defense also forced the 49ers into a five-second violation late in the second half, a turnover that led to the go-ahead three-point basket by Joe See. His stifling defense also prevented Anteater guard Aaron Fitzgerald from getting either a shot or pass in the final seconds of that one-point win. Davis is now averaging 4.0 points, 2.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. He is second on the team in assist average and the last two games mark the first time this season that Davis has had three or more in consecutive games. His two steals on Thursday gave him 101 in his career. He is the 10th Gaucho to hit the 100-steal mark. He now has 103, ninth in school history and needs three to move into eighth.

Cam I Am
Senior forward Cameron Goettsche has come off the bench in the last four games. On Saturday at Long Beach State, he had one of his best offensive games of the season, as he made 4-of-5 shots from the field and finished with nine points, his highest total in seven games. Goettsche had scored a total of just eight points in the previous three games, a total of 41 minutes. Goettsche, who scored a career-high 21 points on Dec. 20 against Sonoma State, is averaging 6.7 points per game and 4.1 rebounds. He is third on the team in rebounding. He has also blocked 22 shots and now has 60 in his career, seventh all-time at UCSB.