FACTS & STATS: Site: Thunderdome (6,000) -- Santa Barbara, California. Television: Fox Sports. Home Record: Cal Poly 5-1, UCSB 4-2. Away Record: Cal Poly 2-7, UCSB 2-8. Neutral Record: Cal Poly 0-0, UCSB 0-0. Conference Record: Cal Poly 3-2, UCSB 2-3. Series Record: UC Santa Barbara leads, 61-31.
GAME NOTES: The Cal Poly Mustangs try to avoid their first three-game slide of the season as they challenge the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in Big West Conference action at the Thunderdome.
The Mustangs have been out of action since last weekend when they suffered a lopsided 77-66 loss at Pacific. The defeat was the second in a row for the squad after they opened league play with three straight wins.
As for the Gauchos, they too have been enjoying a break in the action since last Saturday when they defeated UC Davis on the road, 66-59. The win snapped a two-game slide for UCSB, but was just the second in the last seven contests overall.
UCSB has won five straight in the series with the Mustangs and now owns a 61-31 advantage in the relationship.
The Mustangs didn't have a single starter score in double figures during their meeting with Pacific last Saturday and no one on the squad made more than three field goals. Drake U'u came off the bench to tally 13 points for a squad that shot just 37.0 percent from the floor and 7-of-21 beyond the arc. U'u's efforts were somewhat unexpected, seeing as how he is averaging just 4.9 ppg and by the same token Chris Eversley (15.4 ppg) and Dylan Royer (10.5 ppg) were a bit disappointing. Then again, this is a team that is scoring a mere 65.1 ppg at the moment. Defensively, the squad is holding opponents to 65.7 ppg which means that on the average, Cal Poly is generally in the mix against most foes.
Against UC Davis, the Gauchos led almost the entire way even as they shot just 6-of-25 behind the 3-point line. The top performer for the Gauchos was clearly Alan Williams who registered a double-double consisting of 28 points and 11 rebounds, both game highs, while adding four blocked shots as well. T.J. Taylor accounted for another 10 points and six assists for the visitors as well. One of only a handful of players in the nation averaging a double- double, Williams is putting up 18.1 ppg and pulling down 10.3 rpg, not to mention logging 38 rejections, but at the same time he is limiting his minutes due to constant foul trouble. Kyle Boswell and Taran Brown chip in with 12.3 ppg each, but still the group is being outscored by five points per outing.
With Williams in the paint, the Gauchos have a definite advantage over most programs in the Big West and that should be the case on Saturday for the home team as well.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Santa Barbara 72, Cal Poly 63
01/19 10:39:11 ET
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