December 19, 2006

UCSB Moves to No. 16 in Mid-Major Top-25, Takes Three-Game Winning Streak into Tuesday Night Contest Against Vanguard

Dec. 19, 2006

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The Schedule
Game No. 10
Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Vanguard University Lions
at UCSB's Thunderdome

Game No. 11
Friday, December 22, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at the University of San Diego Toreros
at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara will enter its Tuesday night home game against Vanguard University with a record of 7-2 and a three-game winning streak. The Gauchos opened the season with four straight wins for the first time since the 1992-93 season and since back-to-back home defeats to San Diego State and Loyola Marymount, they have defeated Portland, Fresno State and the University of San Francisco. The 7-2 record matches the best nine-game start by a UCSB team in the last five years. The 2001-02 Gauchos also opened at 7-2 and ultimately went 8-2.

On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990-AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his third year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers' and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of games, home and road. When Ford is not available for road games, Bill Mahoney, yours truly, will handle the task. Steve Wendt, the voice of the UCSB women's basketball team, will handle the play-by-play for a handful of men's games this season.

The Bob Williams Show
The Bob Williams show will be aired each Tuesday night from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on KTMS 990-AM in Santa Barbara. Coach Williams will talk about past and upcoming games, interview Gaucho players and welcome guests from the Santa Barbara sports community.

UCSB Extends Season-Opening Road Winning Streak To Five
UCSB's win at San Francisco on Sunday extended its season-opening road winning streak to five in a row. Dating back to last season's regular season finale at Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos have now won six straight true road games. The last time Santa Barbara opened a season with a 5-0 record in true road games was in 1987-88 when it began 6-0 on the road. The key phrase is true road games. In 1987-88, UCSB dropped a neutral court game in Indianapolis to Stanford. The last time a Gaucho team went 5-0 away from home to start a season was in 1988-89 when they went 4-0 in road games and 1-0 in a neutral court game. According to our records, if you include true road games and neutral court games, UCSB has never gone 6-0 away from home to begin a season. Also, the six straight true road wins ties a record set by the 1991-92 and 1992-93 Gauchos. The 1991-92 team ended the season with two straight road wins and the 1992-93 team opened the season with four in a row.

Gauchos Use Late Push To Extend Road Winning Streak At USF
Alex Harris scored 21 points, including the final four of a decisive 8-0 run late in the second half, to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 74-69 victory over University of San Francisco Sunday in the USF Memorial Gym. The win was the third one in a row for the Gauchos (7-2.) The Dons Alan Wiggins led all scorers with 24 points. UCSB's Ivan Elliott scored 13 points, Chris Devine had 12 and Cecil Brown made 11. Wiggins bucket with 4:47 left had given USF (4-7) a 63-60 lead when the Gauchos went on their clinching spurt. In the next three minutes, James Powell hit two free throws, Brown a short jumper and Harris a pair of free throws and a lay-in to put the Gauchos ahead 68-63. Wiggins cut the margin to 68-66 with a 3-point play with 39 seconds left, but UCSB maintained its margin by hitting six straight free throws - two each by Brown, Powell and Devine. The teams were tied 37-37 at halftime. UCSB had out-rebounded the Dons 19-9, but the committed 13 turnovers compared to USF's six. Hitting 14 of its 16 attempts, UCSB enjoyed a big advantage in free throw percentage. USF hit 14 free throws out of 24 attempts. Santa Barbara finished with a 38-26 advantage in rebounding and hit 53.1 percent of its field goal tries (26-for-49), compared to 44.1 percent (26-for-49) for the Dons.

Gauchos Move To No. 16 In Mid-Major Top-25
Two weeks ago, the Gauchos entered The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll for the first time since early in the 2003-04 season. UCSB was ranked 25th in the poll dated Dec. 4. Last week, the Gauchos jumped six spots to 19th and this week, in the poll dated Dec. 18, they have moved up to 16th nationally.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - James Powell - His 16 three-pointers rank 10th on UCSB's all-time freshman list.
G - Alex Harris - His top nine career scoring efforts have come in season's first nine games.
G - Justin Joyner - Suffering from stomach virus, came off bench at USF and played 17 minutes.
F - Chris Devine - Had second double-double of the season in win at USF.
F - Ivan Elliott - Made all six of his field goal attempts at USF. Had 13 points and eight boards.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Made his first start at USF and scored season-high 11 points.
G - Paul Roemer - Has played in just one of the last five games.
G - Trevor Bing - Has not made a field goal in any of the last four games.
F - Tom Garlepp - Hit 9-of-17 overall and 3-of-4 from three-point range in last three games.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Tied career-high with six points vs. Fresno State.
F - Beau Gibb - Scored his only basket of the year against Loyola Marymount.
F - David Massey - Scored his only points and had his only rebound at Montana State.
F - Sam Phippen - Freshman forward will redshirt the 2006-07 season.

The Infirmary - Notes
F - Glenn Turner - Recovering from hernia surgery. Could return after Christmas.

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 130-113 (.535) overall record and a 79-55 (.590) 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 318-213 (.599) at four-year schools.

Turner Remains Sidelined As UCSB Returns To Action
In UCSB's game at San Francisco on Sunday, the team's first after a 10-day layoff for final exams, senior forward Glenn Turner remained sidelined. Turner has yet to play in a game this season after undergoing surgery to repair a hernia on Nov. 9, but he has started taking part in most practice drills and the target for his return has been set as Dec. 28, the Big West opener against UC Riverside.

The Opponents
The meeting between the Gauchos and Vanguard University will be the first. UCSB and the University of San Diego have played 18 times in a series that dates back to 1964. The Gauchos hold a 13-5 edge in the all-time series, including a 67-65 win in Santa Barbara last season. The last time the teams played in San Diego, December of 2004, the Toreros recorded a 71-63 win. UCSB has not won at USD since December 6, 1995, when it won 76-73.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB is 2-2 at home in 2006-07. The Gauchos defeated San Jose State on Nov. 10 and after losing consecutive games to San Diego State and Loyola Marymount, they defeated Fresno State on Dec. 6. UCSB went 9-4 in home games during the 2005-06 season and it was a perfect 6-0 in non-conference home games last season. Since Bob Williams became head coach in 1998-99, Santa Barbara has gone 75-31 in home games overall and 31-12 in non-conference home games. Since the 2000-01 season, UCSB has gone 23-6 in non-conference games at the Thunderdome.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 5-0 in road games this season. The Gauchos opened the road portion of their schedule with an 88-56 win at Montana State on Nov. 13. On Nov. 17, they won at UNLV, 79-76 and on Nov. 21 they won at Pepperdine, 89-80 in double overtime. On Dec. 2, they won at Portland, 75-67 and then on Dec. 17, they won at San Francisco, 74-69. This marks the first 5-0 start in true road games since the 1987-88 campaign when the team jumped out of the gates with the same 5-0 road record. UCSB posted a 5-9 record in true road games in 2005-06 and a 6-10 mark in all non-home games. While the 5-9 doesn't seem like much, it includes an 0-7 start and a 5-2 finish. The Gauchos opened the 2005-06 season with seven straight road losses, extending a two-season streak to nine straight road defeats. However, since the end of that streak, UCSB has gone 9-2 on the road.

Marginalizing The Opposition
Through nine games, UCSB is outscoring its opposition by an average of 9.5 points per game, the second-best figure among Big West Conference schools. In its seven wins, the Gauchos have outscored opponents by 93 points, 13.3 points per game. Their two biggest margins of victory have been 32 points (Nov. 13 at Montana State) and 28 points (Dec. 6 vs. Fresno State). Their narrowest margin has been three points (Nov. 17 at UNLV). In its two losses UCSB was outscored by a total of seven points. They dropped a four-point decision on Nov. 25 against San Diego State and a three-point game to Loyola Marymount on Nov. 29. In their five road games, the Gauchos are outscoring opponents by 11.4 points per game and in four home games they are outscoring opponents by 7.2 points per contest.

Field Goal Percentage, Part I
In a Dec. 2 win at Portland, the Gauchos allowed the Pilots to make 50.0% of their shots. It was the first time this season that a team had made half of its shots against UCSB. In its next game, Santa Barbara made up for any deficiencies by holding Fresno State to a dismal 17-of-60 from the field, 28.3%. The Bulldogs were bad overall, and even worse from three-point range. They made 5-of-27 from beyond the three-point arc, 18.5%. In the second half of the game, FSU missed all 15 of its three-point attempts. On Sunday at San Francisco, the Gauchos limited the Dons to 44.1% shooting, including 18.8% from three-point range. UCSB has held seven of nine opponents to 44.1% or below and five of nine to 40.0% or less. Three opponents, Montana State and Pepperdine, in addition to Fresno State, have shot below the 35.0% plateau. Overall, Gaucho opponents are shooting 39.7% from the field, the top mark in the Big West Conference.

Field Goal Percentage, Part II
UCSB's defense has been pretty good in general this season, but in the last two games is has been particularly good on the perimeter. The Gauchos last two opponents, Fresno State and San Francisco, have combined to go 8-of-43 from three-point range, 18.6%. In fact, in the second half of the last two games, Fresno State and San Francisco went a combined 0-for-23 from three-point range, 0.00%. Through nine games, UCSB's opponents have made 28.5% of their three-point shots, the best mark in the Big West.

Field Goal Percentage, Part III
After making just 53.1% of its shots in the win at San Francisco, UCSB is now shooting 48.1% overall, the top figure in the Big West Conference. In fact, since opening the year with a 39.4% performance against San Jose State, Santa Barbara is shooting a solid 49.4% in its last eight games. Breaking down the shooting even more, UCSB has been much better on the road than at home. In home games against San Jose State, San Diego State, Loyola Marymount and Fresno State, the Gauchos have made 93-of-224 shots, 41.5%. In those four games, they have shot better than 40.0% just one time. They made 50.9% against SDSU. On the other hand, in five road games, UCSB has gone 144-of-269, 53.5%, and it has shot below 50.0% just once. The lowest road mark for the Gauchos this season was the 49.2% that they shot at Pepperdine.

Junior Partners
In UCSB's November 21 double-overtime victory over Pepperdine, two Gaucho players eclipsed the 25-point mark. Junior forward Chris Devine poured in a career-high 28 points, while junior guard Alex Harris had a career-best 27. Prior to Nov. 21, the last time a Santa Barbara duo achieved the feat was at Long Beach State on Feb. 25, 1988, when sophomore forward Mike Doyle scored 31 points and senior guard Brian Shaw scored 26. Three times this season Harris and Devine have scored 20 or more points in the same game, the first time a UCSB duo has pulled that off since 1990-91 when Gary Gray and Lucius Davis did it three times. Finally, through nine games the Harris-Devine tandem has combined for 351 of the Gauchos' 677 points, 51.8%. They are combining for 39.0 points per game and if they can remain anywhere near that figure, they would easily become the highest scoring duo in school history. Previously, the highest combined average for two players was in 1991-92 when Lucius Davis and Idris Jones combined to score 1,014 points in 29 games, an average of just a tick under 35.0 points per game.

Freebies
UCSB made 14-of-16 free throws in Sunday's win at San Francisco, 87.5%. The team was a perfect 8-for-8 in the closing minutes to clinch the win. The Gauchos have made 73.1% or better in eight of nine games this year and 87.5% or better three times. UCSB leads the Big West at 77.5% from the line.

Random Notes
UCSB has won games in four different states for the first time since the 1989-90 season...The Gauchos are a perfect 3-0 against recent former Big West opponents Fresno State, UNLV and San Jose State...With its double-overtime win over Pepperdine on Nov. 21, UCSB has now won four straight overtime games dating back to the 2003-04 season...The Gauchos have recorded wins over teams from four different conferences this season. They have beaten schools from the Mountain West Conference, the Western Athletic Conference, the West Coast Conference and the Big Sky Conference...UCSB has two Big West Conference Players of the Week this year, the same total it has had in the last two seasons combined...The Gauchos have scored 40 or more points in six halves this season while opponents have done so twice.

Taking On A Leadership Role
In terms of Big West statistics, the Gauchos rank highly as a team in 2006-07. Here is a look at the numbers:

Category                  Stat         Rank
Scoring Offense           75.2 ppg     3rd
Scoring Defense           65.7 ppg     1st
Scoring Margin            +9.5 ppg     2nd
Field Goal %              48.1%        1st
Field Goal % Defense      39.7%        1st
Free Throw Percentage     77.5%        1st
3-pt. FG %                37.4%        2nd
3-pt. FG Made             6.44 pg      6th
3-pt. FG % Defense        28.5%        1st
Rebounding Margin         +0.1 rpg     6th
Blocked Shots             3.67 bpg     2nd
Assists                   15.3 apg     3rd
Assist/Turnover Ratio     0.97         1st
Turnover Margin           -0.78 pg     5th
Steals                    6.78 spg     5th

The Harris Poll
Junior guard Alex Harris continues to lead UCSB and the Big West Conference in scoring at 22.4 points per game. In the Gauchos most recent game, a 74-69 win at San Francisco, Harris scored 21 points, marking the eighth time in nine games that he has scored 20 or more points. The only exception to his run of 20-point games was an 18-point performance on Dec. 6 against Fresno State. The first nine games this season represent the top nine scoring performances of Harris' career. He started the season with seven straight 20-point games, the first Gaucho ever to open the season with such a run. In fact, Harris became the first Gaucho since the 1996-97 season to score 20 or more in seven straight games. In the game against San Francisco, Harris made 7-of-11 shots overall including 3-of-3 from three-point range. He is now shooting 53.7% on the season and 52.7% from beyond the three-point line. In the last three games he has made 10-for-14 from three-point range, 71.4%. Harris had six rebounds at USF after having a season-high eight rebounds on Dec. 6 against Fresno State. He has had five or more in four straight games, five times in his last six games and he is now averaging 5.0 rebounds per game overall. He scored a career-high 27 points in a Nov. 21 win at Pepperdine and this season he has also recorded single-game career-highs in assists (six on Nov. 25 against San Diego State), three-point baskets (five on Nov. 10 against San Jose State), steals (five on Nov. 13 at Montana State), free throws made (nine on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine), field goals made (nine on Dec. 2 in Portland) and minutes played (48 on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine). Harris earned his first Big West Player of the Week honor after scoring 25 points in the Gauchos season-opening come-from-behind win over San Jose State.

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine is second on the team and third in the Big West in scoring at 16.6 points per game. In Sunday's game at San Francisco, Devine had his second double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds. It was the six double-double of his career. Despite struggling with his shooting (4-for-10), he did have a season-high five assists, one more than he had produced in the previous four games combined. He has been in double-figures in eight of nine games and in three games since scoring a season-low five points on Nov. 29 against Loyola Marymount, Devine has averaged 17.0 per game. He scored a career-high 28 points in a Nov. 21 double-overtime win at Pepperdine, a game in which he also had a season-high 13 rebounds. He has scored 20 or more three times this season. Devine leads UCSB in rebounding at 7.7 per game. He has had five or more rebounds in all nine games. He is also tops on the team and second in the Big West in field goal percentage at 54.5%. Since going 7-of-16 in the first game of the season, he has gone 53-of-94, 56.4%. In addition to rebounding, Devine paces the team with 12 steals, including a career-high five on Nov. 10 against San Jose State. He was named Big West Player of the Week after leading the Gauchos to road wins at Montana State and UNLV. A Second Team All-Big West choice last season, Devine was selected to the league's preseason all-conference team this year.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oye, Oye, Oye!
Sophomore forward Tom Garlepp has come off the bench in each of the last two games after starting the first seven this season. In the last two, he has played 15 and 13 minutes respectively, his two lowest totals of the year. Garlepp is averaging 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, but in the last three games, he has averaged 8.0 points and 4.7 rebounds. In a Dec. 2 win at Portland, Garlepp scored a season-high 11 points and played a career-high 31 minutes. Also, while he is shooting just 37.5% overall, he has made 9-of-17 shots, 52.9%, in the last three games. He has made four three-point baskets this year, including one in each of the last three games, a period over which he is 3-for-4. Garlepp leads the Gauchos and is third in the Big West at 1.1 blocked shots per game. He has 10 this season and he has had a career-high three twice, once on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine and also on Nov. 29 against Loyola Marymount. He has also set career-highs this season in assists (five on Nov. 13 at Montana State), rebounds (eight on Nov. 10 vs. San Jose State) and steals (two on Nov. 10 vs. San Jose State).

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Freshman guard James Powell is third on the Gauchos and 11th in the Big West in scoring at 12.8 points per game. His 12.8 scoring average would have nearly led last year's team. Powell has struggled in his last two games, scoring a total of 12 points (6.0 per game) and making just 2-of-11 shots, but in Sunday's win at USF, he had nine points, including seven in the decisive final five minutes. Prior to scoring just three points in the Gauchos' Dec. 6 win over Fresno State, Powell had scored in double-figures in six consecutive games. While he struggled with his shooting in the last two games, he helped set the table for the rest of the team with 10 assists, including a career-high six against Fresno State. In fact, Powell has averaged 5.0 assists per game in the last three games and now leads the team with 30, 3.3 per game. In the last three games, he has 15 assists and just four turnovers. He also ranks second to Alex Harris with 16 three-point baskets, a figure that already ranks him 10th on UCSB's all-time single-season list for freshmen. Powell has made at least one three-pointer in eight of nine games and two or more five times. He was 4-for-5 from beyond the three-point arc on Dec. 2 at Portland. Overall, he is shooting 45.0%, but since going 3-for-9 in the season-opener against San Jose State, he has gone 33-of-71, 46.5%. Finally, since making 3-of-11 from three-point territory in the first two games of the season, Powell has made 13-of-34, 38.2%.

Help Cecil! Help!
With freshman Justin Joyner ailing from a stomach virus in UCSB's win at USF, senior Cecil Brown was called on to make his first start of the season. Brown responded, particularly down the stretch, to finish with a season-high 11 points and three assists. He also played a season-high 31 minutes and attempted a season-high 10 shots. In four games since returning from a stress fracture in his right foot, Brown has averaged 5.3 point, 1.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Since going 1-for-5 from the field in his first two games back, he has made 7-of-14 shots, 50.0%. Also, in the win at USF, Brown made his first three-point basket of the year.

Justin Joins In
Freshman guard Justin Joyner, struggling with a stomach virus, was not expected to play in UCSB's win at San Francisco on Sunday. When the team bus departed the hotel, he was left behind to remain in bed. He would be picked-up by the bus on the way to the airport later that day. Joyner, however, coaxed Gaucho assistant coach Mark Amaral, who left the hotel after the team in his own car, to take him along. At a minimum he wanted to watch the game. After speaking his high school coach, Frank Allocco, upon entering the gym at USF, however, Joyner couldn't stand it. He changed into his uniform and joined the lay-up line. He would be available in case of an emergency. As it turns out, Joyner did not start, but he played 17 minutes before fouling out. He had just three points, on a three-pointer in the first half, but he was a factor in helping UCSB break the Dons' trap and on the defensive end. He is now averaging 4.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He is shooting 33.3% overall and 18.2% from three-point range, but since starting his season by going 5-for-19 overall and 0-for-10 from three-point range, Joyner has gone 7-for-17 overall, 41.2%, and 4-for-12 from three-point range, 33.3%.

Ivan The Pretty Good
Junior forward Ivan Elliott proved author Thomas Wolfe wrong, you can go home again. Playing just around the corner from Wallenberg High School, where he played as a high school player, Elliott had arguably his best game as a Gaucho. He finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, one blocked shot, one assist and one steal in the team's win at San Francisco. He drilled all six of his field goal attempts, including the first three-pointer of his career. Making his second consecutive start, Elliott was a key contributor in the win. The 13 points was one shy of his career-high, set on Nov. 13 at Montana State. He is now averaging 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, but in the last two games, his two starts, Elliott has averaged 9.5 points and 7.0 rebounds. He had a high of 10 rebounds on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine and he also had a high of three blocked shots against the Waves. Elliiott has had two or more blocks three times this season.

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