March 2, 2007

Gauchos Honor Departing Seniors in Home Finale on Fox Sports Net West

March 2, 2007

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The Schedule
UCB Game No. 28
Saturday, March 3, 2007 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors
at UCSB's Thunderdome

Game No. 29 Wednesday-Saturday, March 7-11, TBA
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at the Big West Tournament
at the Anaheim Convention Center

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its final regular season finale against Cal State Northridge with an overall record of 17-10 and a Big West mark of 8-5. On Thursday night, the Gauchos clinched a bye in the first round of next week's Big West Tournament with a 64-49 win over the University of the Pacific. UCSB has now won two consecutive games overall and in league play. The victory over the Tigers also ended a two-game home losing streak for the Gauchos.

UCSB Clinches First Round Bye At Big West Tournament
With their win over Pacific on Thursday night the Gauchos clinched a bye in the first round of next week's Big West Tournament. UCSB and Cal Poly remain tied for third-place in the league, one-half game behind Cal State Fullerton. Because of tiebreakers, the Gauchos cannot, even with a win on Saturday, earn the second seed in the tourney. Santa Barbara's only chance to receive anything but the fourth seed would be if they were to defeat the Matadors and Cal Poly, which swept the season series, was to lose at home to Pacific.

Harris Named All-District
Junior guard Alex Harris, the Big West's leading scorer, was selected to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 15 Second Team on Wednesday. Harris, who is averaging 20.8 points per game, is the first UCSB player to earn All-District recognition since Mark Hull was honored in 2003. He is just the second Gaucho in 14 years to be selected All-District.

March 3 Home Finale Moved To 4:00 PM For FSN West
UCSB's regular season finale against Cal State Northridge, scheduled for Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome, has been moved to 4:00 p.m. to accommodate Fox Sports Network West, which will televise the game live. As part of the league's best game available provision in its television contracts, the Big West decides on late-season games based on record and impact on the conference standings.

Harris, Powell Shoot Down Pacific, 64-49
Alex Harris scored 17 of his game-high 22 points in the second half and James Powell made all four of his three-point attempts to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 64-49 victory over visiting Pacific on Thursday night. The Gauchos clinched a first-round bye in next week's league tournament with the win. Powell made all four of his 3-point tries, including three in the first half, to help UCSB take a 29-23 lead. He finished with 14 points as the Gauchos made 10-of-19 shots from beyond the 3-point line and shot 45.1 percent overall. Harris made 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc. In his last four games, the Big West's leading scorer has made 19 three-pointers and in his last three he has hit 14-of-20, 70.0%. Powell and Harris combined to make 9-of-10 three-point shots on the night. Pacific shot only 35.2 percent and fell behind by as many as 20 points, 53-33, with 10:14 to go. Anthony Esparza rallied the Tigers to within 11 points, scoring 12 of his team-high 16 points in the final eight minutes. Wolfgang Raffety added 11 points for the Tigers while Anthony Brown had a game-high 12 rebounds. Cecil Brown added 10 points and four assists for UCSB and forward Ivan Elliott came off the bench to add eight points, making all four of his field goal attempts, and a team-high 10 rebounds in just 20 minutes.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Has averged 13.0 points and 3.5 assists in last two games.
G - Alex Harris - His 564 points this season ties him for third on UCSB's all-time list.
G - Justin Joyner - His 75 assists rank sixth all-time among Gaucho freshmen.
F - Chris Devine - Had streak of 14 straight double-digit games ended Thursday night.
F - Glenn Turner - Averaged 5.0 rebounds in the last 10 games.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - James Powell - Tied his season-high with four three-pointers vs. Pacific.
G - Paul Roemer - Has not played in either of the last two games.
G - Trevor Bing - Has not played in the last four games.
F - Ivan Elliott - Had 10 rebounds vs. Pacific and is averaging 7.3 in last 11 games. F - Tom Garlepp - Has logged just 37 minutes in 13 Big West games.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Has played in each of the last 14 games.
F - Beau Gibb - Has played in just one of the last 15 games.
F - David Massey - Played in only game and had only points on Nov. 13 at Montana State.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his ninth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team overcame a slow start to finish over the .500 mark for the fourth time in five seasons. UCSB was 15-14 overall and 6-8 in the Big West. Prior to the 2004-05 season, when an injury-ravaged Gaucho team finished below .500, Williams had guided the program to three straight winning seasons for the first time since the late 1980s. 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 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 Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 139-121 (.534) overall record and an 85-59 (.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 327-221 (.597) at four-year schools.

The Opponents
The Gauchos and Cal State Northridge have played 33 times in a series that began in 1960. The teams split a pair of games last season with each winning on the other's home court. UCSB continued that trend in the first meeting this season. On Jan. 25, the Gauchos recorded a 67-57 win in Northride. The victory gives Santa Barbara an all-time series record of 25-8.

On The Road Again
UCSB is 10-4 in road games this season. In their last road game, the final one of the season, the Gauchos defeated UC Riverside, 68-67. The victory over the Highlanders gave Santa Barbara a new school record for true road wins in a single season. The 10 wins are one more than the previous record of nine set during the 1963-64 season when the school still competed at the NCAA College Division level. In addition to Saturday's win at Riverside, the Gauchos have logged road wins at Montana State, UNLV, Pepperdine, Portland, San Francisco, UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge and Pacific this season. They began the year with five straight true road wins for the first time since the 1987-88 campaign. The five straight road wins to open the year extended the Gauchos' road streak over two seasons to six in a row, tying a school record also set during the 1987-88 season. On Dec. 22, UCSB had its school record-tying six game road winning streak ended at the University of San Diego, 81-63 and then on Jan. 4, Long Beach State handed the Gauchos their second consecutive road loss, 101-65. UCSB bounced-back and won four consecutive road games before a Valentine's Day loss at Cal Poly. Finally, dating back to the 2005-06 season when they won four of their last five true road games, the Gauchos have gone 14-5 on the road in their last 19 games.

The Gauchos At Home
The Thunderdome has not been as kind to UCSB this season. The Gauchos are 7-6 at home in 2006-07 and on Thursday night they snapped a two-game home losing streak with a 64-49 win over Pacific. Since winning four straight home games, including its first two Big West games on Dec. 28 and Dec. 30 against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton respectively, Santa Barbara has lost four of its last six home appearances. Before winning on Thursday, UCSB had lost two straight one-point games at home, to Long Beach State and Eastern Washington. Overall, their six home losses this season have come by a combined 23 points, 3.8 per game. On Jan. 20, Cal Poly beat Santa Barbara by 10, but the other five losses came by a combined 13 points, 2.6 points per defeat. UCSB went 9-4 in home games during the 2005-06 season. Since Bob Williams became head coach prior to the 1998-99 season, the Gauchos have gone 80-34 in home contests. The six losses this season are the most home defeats by a Williams-led Santa Barbara team.

Gauchos Surpass 2005-06 Win Totals
With its victory over Pacific on Thursday night, UCSB now has 17 wins overall and it has surpassed its win total of the 2005-06 season. The Gauchos went 15-14 last season. In addition, the win over the Tigers was the team's eighth Big West win, two more than it recorded in 2005-06. The eight league wins are the most that Santa Barbara has recorded since it went 10-8 in the 10-team Big West in 2003-04.

Three-Point Bizarro World
That's a Seinfeld reference in the headline. Anyway, on Thursday night UCSB made 10 three-point baskets and limited Pacific to three, the fewest by any opponent this season. It was just the second time in the last nine games and the eighth time this season that the Gauchos have made more three-pointers than their opponents. UCSB was 10-for-19 from beyond the arc on Thursday night, 52.6%. It was the sixth time this season that the Gauchos have made 50.0% or better from three-point range. For the year, the Gauchos have taken 456 three-point shots, making 37.7%, while their opponents have attempted 626, making 32.7%. UCSB opponents are attempting 6.2 more three-pointers per game. Santa Barbara has attempted more threes than its opponent just five times this season, including Thursday.

Protecting The Ball
In recent games, Santa Barbara has done a better job of protecting the basketball. On Thursday, the Gauchos had 11 turnovers against Pacific and in the last four games, they have averaged 11.2 per game. On the year, they average 13.9 per contest. Also, in each of the last five games, UCSB has had a positive ratio of assists to turnovers. In the last five, the Gauchos have had 72 assists and only 57 turnovers. Through 27 games, UCSB has almost balanced its assist to turnover book with 375 assists and 376 turnovers.

That 70's Show
Make no mistake, UCSB wants low-scoring games. When the Gauchos have been able to limit their opponents to fewer than 70 points, they have gone 14-2. When the opponents score more than 70 points they have gone 3-8. The only two opponents who were held to fewer than 70 points and still won were Long Beach State (68-67) and Loyola Marymount (58-55). On Thursday night, UCSB held Pacific to 49 points and it was the third time this season that an opponent has scored fewer than 50 points in a game, the first time in Big West play.

Playing The Percentages
UCSB is now shooting 47.4% overall for the season. Gaucho opponents have made 41.5%. On Thursday night, Santa Barbara hit 45.1% and limited Pacific to 35.2%. It was the 18th time that UCSB has made 45.0% or better in a game this season. They have made 50.0% or better 11 times, four more than last season and in the last two games they have hit 49-of-96 shots, 51.1%. As for the opposition, Thursday night marked the 20th time that they have made fewer than 45.0% in a game this season and the 10th time that they have shot below the 40.0% mark. In the last two games, Gaucho opponents have made 43-of-111 shots, 38.7%.

Close Calls
Three of UCSB's last six games have been decided by one point and the Gauchos have gone 1-2 in those games. On Feb. 10, Santa Barbara dropped a heartbreaking 68-67 game to Long Beach State. One week later on Feb. 17, the Gauchos lost 71-70 to Eastern Washington. A week ago, on Feb. 24 at UC Riverside, UCSB showed that it had learned its lessons well with a 68-67 win over the Highlanders.

Junior Partners
Juniors Alex Harris and Chris Devine have proven to be one of the best one-two scoring punches in UCSB history. Currently, the duo ranks third all-time on the Gauchos' one-two punch list. Harris and Devine combined for 954 points in the first 27 games, an average of 35.3 per game, slightly higher than the 34.9 per game that Lucius Davis and Idris Jones combined for in 1991-92. In UCSB's November 21 double-overtime victory over Pepperdine, Harris and Devine each eclipsed the 25-point mark, the first Santa Barbara pair to do so since Mike Doyle tallied 31 and Brian Shaw added 26 in a Feb. 25, 1988 game at Long Beach State. Three times this season the duo has scored 20 or more in the same game. The last time that happened was in 1990-91 when Davis and Gary Gray also did it three times.

Top One-Two Punches

#   Players                 Season       Points
1.  L. Davis/I. Jones       1991-92      1,014
2.  C. DeHart/M. Doyle      1988-89        957
3.  A. Harris/C. Devine     2006-07        954
4.  C. DeHart/E. McArthur   1989-90        929
5.  L. Davis/G. Gray        1990-91        928

Active Scoring Leaders

Player          Points   Games   Avg.
Alex Harris     1,022     85     12.0
Cecil Brown       949    109	  8.7
Chris Devine      745     56     13.3  

Double Dipping
Led by Alex Harris and Chris Devine, seven different UCSB players have scored in double-figures this season. Harris has scored 10 or more points in 26 of 27 games and Devine has done so 24 times. James Powell has done so in 11, including five of the last seven, after doing so just once in the previous 13 games. Here is a list of all Gaucho players and the number of times they have hit double-digits this season.

Player          GP   10+
Alex Harris     27   26
Chris Devine    27   24
James Powell    27   12
Cecil Brown     22   12
Ivan Elliott    27    7
Justin Joyner   26    5
Tom Garlepp     19    1

Double-Double Dipping
The Gauchos have produced six statistical double-doubles this season. Chris Devine has five of them and Ivan Elliott has the the other. Devine now has nine in his career, seven of which have come on the road.

Player          Opponent       Stats
Chris Devine    at Pepperdine  28p, 13r
Chris Devine    at USF         12p, 10r
Chris Devine    Vanguard       22p, 11r
Chris Devine    at UC Irvine   15p, 11r
Chris Devine    at UC Davis    19p, 10r
Ivan Elliott    UC Riverside   12p, 10r

The Harris Poll
Junior guard Alex Harris continues to lead the Big West Conference in scoring at 20.9 points per game. After reclaimed the scoring lead with a 27-point performance on Feb. 17 against Eastern Washington, he solidified his hold in the last three games. On Feb. 22 at Cal State Fullerton he scored a career-high 35 points. Harris made 12-of-28 shots overall and 5-of-7 from three-point range in the game against the Titans. On Feb. 24 at UC Riverside, he scored 25 more on 9-of-13 shooting overall and 5-of-8 from three-point range, and on Thursday night against Pacific, he had 22 more points. In the last four games, Harris has averaged 27.2 points per game while making 35-of-69 shots overall, 50.7%, and 19-of-30 from three-point range, 63.3%. In fact, while Harris has equaled his career-high with five three-pointers in three of the last four games, in the last three he has made 14-of-20, 70.0%. Harris has scored 22 or more in each of the last four games. He opened the year by scoring 20 or more in seven straight, but at no point did he score 25 or more in three straight, which he had done in the three games prior to scoring 22 against Pacific. With his 22 points on Thursday, the junior from Alameda, Calif., has now scored 1,022 career points. He became the 21st UCSB player to break the 1,000 point barrier and has moved into 20th on the all-time list. Harris has scored in double-figures 26 times in 27 games and he has been at or over the 20 point mark 16 times, the most by a Gaucho player since the 1997-98 season. He scored 20 or more points in each of the first seven games this season, the longest streak of 20 or more points by a UCSB player since 1996-97 and the longest ever to open a season. Harris' career-high 35 points at Cal State Fullerton were the most scored by a Gaucho since Raymond Tutt tallied 37 on Feb. 21, 1997. If you cast your gaze upward a bit, you will notice that he is also scaling a variety of UCSB's single-season statistical lists. He now has 564 points, tied for third all-time. Harris needs one point to move past York Gross and into third all alone. Moving any higher than third is going to be a tough task. Lucius Davis is second with 644 points. Harris' run of 19 three-pointers in four games has also moved him to sixth on that list with 67. He also has 116 career three-point baskets, eighth all-time. He has made five three-pointers in three of the last four games and four times this season. Harris has also made four four times and three five times. He has made at least one three-pointer in 25 of 27 games and two or more 17 times. Also, after struggling from the free throw line last weekend, he was 8-of-17, he was back to his usual self on Thursday night as he made all six of his attempts. Harris is also third on the team in rebounding at 4.9 per game. He had five in the win over Pacific and has now had five or more in five of the last six games. Finally, Harris has been Santa Barbara's workhorse this season. He is averaging 35.1 minutes per game and has played 30 or more in 25 of 27, including the last 16. He logged a career-high 48 minutes (out of 50) in a double-overtime win over Pepperdine on Nov. 21.

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine is second on the team in scoring at 14.4 points per game and he leads the team in rebounding at 6.6 per game. On Thursday night, however, he was held to six points by Pacific. It marked just the third time in 27 games that Devine was held below 10 points in a game and it ended a streak of 14 straight double-figure scoring efforts. A week ago, at UC Riverside, he narrowly missed his sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and nine rebounds. Additionally, Devine tied his season-high with five assists in the victory. He leads the team with five double-doubles this season and now has nine for his career. Of his double-doubles this year, four have come on the road and seven of nine in his two-year career have come away from the Thunderdome. This season, when Devine has produced a double-double, UCSB has gone 5-0. He had 28 points and 13 rebounds on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine, helping the Gauchos to a double-overtime win. The 28 points were a career-high. He has scored 20 or more five times this season, but he has not done so since he went for 25 in a Dec. 30 home win over Cal State Fullerton. While Devine is averaging 6.6 rebounds per game, he has had five or more 19 times, including four of the last five. In the last five, he has averaged 7.0 caroms per game. In addition to points, he has had career-highs this season in steals (five vs. San Jose State on Nov. 13) and assists (five at San Francisco on Dec. 17 and at UC Riverside on Feb. 24). While he is still shooting 53.3% from the field, Devine has struggled with his shot lately. In the last four games, he has made 17-of-44, 38.6%. On the other hand, he is shooting 73.1% from the free throw line overall, but he has drained 17-of-20, 85.0%, in the last five game. Finally, Devine is one of two Gauchos to have started all 27 games this season and he is the only player to start all 56 over the past two seasons.

Help Cecil! Help!
Senior guard Cecil Brown has bounced back from two subpar offensive games with consecutive double-figure scoring games. On Thursday night against Pacific, he made just 4-of-13 shots, but he had 10 points. A week ago at UC Riverside was outstanding as he made 7-of-10 shots overall, including the game-winning fallaway jumper with less than nine seconds left, and finished with 16 points. Brown's outstanding effort against the Highlanders came on the heels of consecutive poor offensive games. In two games prior to Riverside, he scored just six total points and made just 2-of-16 shots from the field, both three-pointers. Still, despite those two games, Brown has been in double-figures in five of the last seven games and he has averaged 12.3 per game over that span. On the year, he has been in double-figures 12 times in 22 games and since scoring a total of 10 points in his first three appearances, Brown has averaged 10.1 points per game. In fact, in his 13 league games, he has averaged 11.3 points per game. He scored a season-high 23 in a Feb. 8 home win over UC Irvine. Brown has also become one of the Gauchos' most important playmakers. He is averaging 3.1 assists per game overall, but he has had two or more in 13 straight games, the longest current streak of any UCSB player. He has averaged 4.0 assists in his last 13 games. Finally, while he needs 51 points to hit the 1,000 point mark, Brown has scaled the career list for three-pointers. With 115 in his career, he ranks ninth on the all-time list, one behind Harris.

Justin Joins In
Freshman guard Justin Joyner returned to the Gaucho lineup last week after missing one game with a pulled hamstring. In his three games back, Joyner has struggled, particularly on the offensive end. In the last two games, he has missed all six of his field goal attempts, including four three-point attempts, and gone scoreless. Joyner did have seven points on Feb. 22 at Cal State Fullerton, but he has averaged 2.3 per game in his three games back. He has had four assists in the last two games and now has 75 on the year, the most on the team and a figure that ranks sixth on UCSB's all-time freshman list. If Joyner could pass off for nine more assists this season, he would move into second on the all-time list. On Dec. 30, in a win over Cal State Fullerton, he had a career-high 10 assists, the most by a Gaucho since the 1998-99 season. He has had four or more assists nine times. Joyner is averaging 5.0 points per game and has scored 10 or more four times, including three straight late in January and early in February. He tallied a career-high 15 points in a Jan. 25 win at Cal State Northridge and despite his two-game slump, in his last nine games, Joyner has averaged 7.0 points per game. He has become a legitimate three-point threat as well. On the year, he has made 17 three-point baskets, 11 of which have come in his last 11 appearances. His 17 threes are the 11th most by a freshman in school history. While Joyner is shooting 37.0% overall and 27.0% from three-point territory, he has shot 34.0% from beyond the arc since missing his first 13. Finally, he has become a defensive stalwart for the Gauchos. There is more to it than steals, but he has a team-leading 31 steals in his 26 games, 1.2 per game. He has had a career-high three steals five times this season and he has had two or more 11 times, including six of the last 11 games. In his last 11, Joyner has produced 18 steals, including three in four games. His 31 steals rank second on the all-time freshman list.

Ivan The Good
Junior forward Ivan Elliott has had two of his best games of the season in UCSB's last two. On Thursday night, Elliott made all four of his field goal attempts and finished with eight points, 10 rebounds, a blocked shot and an assist. On Feb. 24 at UC Riverside he made 4-of-5 shots and both of his free throw attempts to finish with 10 points. He also had eight rebounds. In the last two games, Elliott has gone 8-of-9 from the field, 88.9%, while averaging 9.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. On the year, he is now averaging 6.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. With 10 points against at Riverside, he has now scored 10 or more seven times this season. Elliott also improved his field goal percentage to a team-leading 57.0%. He scored his career-high of 14 points on Nov. 13 at Montana State. With 10 rebounds against Pacific on Thursday, Elliott has had at least seven in each of the last four games and at least five in six straight. In fact, since collecting a total of eight rebounds in the first three games of the year, he has averaged 6.5 per game and in the last 11 games he has averaged 7.3 per game. Elliott has had 10 or more rebounds five times this season, tied with Chris Devine for the most games with 10 or more. Elliott had a career-high 12 rebounds on Feb. 1 at UC Davis. On Dec. 28 against UC Riverside, he registered the first double-double of his career with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He is the only Gaucho, besides Devine, to have a double-double this season. Elliott came off the bench for the first seven games this season then the started 17 in a row before returning to a reserve role in the last three games. After playing more than 20 minutes twice in the first seven games, he has played 20 or more in 18 of the last 20.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
James Powell had his best offensive game in quite some time on Thursday night. Powell made all four of his three-point attempts and tallied 14 points, the most he has scored in a game since he went for 17 on Dec. 2 at Portland. After a tough stretch of games at mid-season, Powell has started to reassert himself for the Gauchos. He has scored 10 or more points in five of the last seven games after doing so just once over a 13 game span. In the last seven, he has averaged 9.4 points per game. Overall, he is shooting 41.3% from the field and 35.4% from three-point range, but in the last nine games he has made 29-of-58 shots overall, 50.0%, and 14-of-29 from beyond the three-point arc, 48.3%. Powell has tallied 10 points or more 12 times this season. He scored a season-high 18 points on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine. He also had a pair of 17-point games, one coming in a Nov. 17 win at UNLV, and, as mentioned above, the other in Dec. 2 win at Portland. In addition to ranking third on the team in scoring Powell is third in assists at 2.3 per game and second to fellow freshman Justin Joyner in steals with 26. He also leads the team in free throw percentage at 83.1% and since he was shooting 75.6% in early-January, he has made 18 in a row to improve to his current 83.1% mark. Powell has also moved-up on several UCSB freshman statistical lists. He is currently in the top-10 in 11 categories, including points with 240, scoring average at 8.9, three-pointers with 35, assists with 62 and steals with 26.

As The World Turners
Senior forward Glenn Turner has been in the starting lineup in each of the last three games. He had two points and six rebounds in the Thursday night win over Pacific. He also played 26 minutes, equaling his season-high and the same total he played last Saturday at UC Riverside. Turner made one of his two field goal attempts against Pacific and is now shooting 63.9% from the field. Also, with his six boards against the Tigers, he has had three or more in seven straight games and nine times in the past 11 games. Turner is averaging 3.9 rebounds per game, but in the last 10 he is averaging 5.0 per game. On Feb. 17, against Eastern Washington, he scored seven points, had eight rebounds and a pair of blocked shots, also in 26 minutes. He has averaged 21.0 minutes per game in the last seven games, a significant increase over his season average of 15.4 per game. Finally, despite missing nine games, he has taken over the team-lead with 22 blocked shots. Turner now has 103 blocked shots in his career. He is the fourth UCSB player to hit the 100 blocked shot mark.