UC Santa Barbara (2-1) at Colorado (4-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 21, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coors Events Center (11,064) -- Boulder, Colorado. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: UCSB 1-1, Colorado 4-0. Away Record: UCSB 1-0, Colorado 0-1. Neutral Record: UCSB 0-0, Colorado 0-0. Conference Record: UCSB 0-0, Colorado 0-0. Series Record: UCSB leads, 4-2.
GAMES NOTES: A long homestand continues on Thursday for the Colorado Buffaloes, as they take on the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in a non-league battle at the Coors Events Center.
The Gauchos will attempt to bounce back from their first loss of the season. In a home game last Saturday the Gauchos went up against Utah State but were sent away with a 71-64 setback at the Thunderdome. The loss ended a brief two- game win streak for the Gauchos, who had earned an impressive road victory over UNLV (86-65) in their previous outing.
Following a loss to No. 20 Baylor in the season opener, the Buffaloes have gotten back on track with a four-game win streak. Colorado easily dispatched Jackson State (94-70) and Arkansas State (93-70) in back-to-back triumphs on Saturday and Monday, respectively.
This is the first meeting between these teams since Colorado secured a 76-55 victory during the 1996-97 season. That ended a three-game win streak for the Gauchos, who have a 4-2 record all-time against Colorado.
UCSB coughed the ball up eight times in the first half and also allowed Utah State to shoot at a 46.4 percent rate to dig itself into a 10-point deficit at intermission. In the second half the Gauchos managed to hit 50 percent of their field goal attempts but their comeback attempt fell short.
Even though they were tripped up a bit against Utah State, the Gauchos have been playing well on both ends of the floor. They are scoring a healthy 75.3 points per game while connecting on 48.4 percent of their shots from the field. UCSB has also been locked in on defense with teams scoring just 62 points per game on 37.4 percent shooting against them. The offense has been carried from the backcourt, especially with star forward Alan Williams (24.0 ppg, 13.0 rpg) out the last two games with back spasms. Williams is listed as questionable for Thursday's game, which means Kyle Boswell (13.3 ppg, 4.0 apg) and Michael Bryson (12.3 ppg) will once again be called on to handle the bulk of the scoring load. The duo combined for 26 points and seven assists against the Aggies.
Against Arkansas State the Buffaloes absolutely dominated on the interior. Colorado had a 42-30 edge on the boards and twice as many points in the paint (40-20). The Buffaloes also had sizable advantages in points off turnovers (19-4) and second-chance points (14-6).
The Buffaloes have scored at least 90 points in three of their five games this year and are averaging 80.2 points per game, netting 47.2 percent of their attempts from the field. Defensively, Colorado is letting up 67 points per game. Josh Scott (14.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg) scored a team-high 20 points in the win over Arkansas State to push himself further ahead on the scoring list for the Buffaloes. Scott isn't just a scorer though as he is also the team's leader in rebounds, while connecting on 60.5 percent of his attempts from the floor. Spencer Dinwiddie (12.4 ppg, 3.4 apg) and Askian Booker (3.0 apg) handle the ball most times down the floor. The Buffaloes are also dealing with an injury, as Xavier Johnson (11.0 ppg) has missed consecutive games, though he is expected to play on Thursday.
If Johnson is back on the floor for the Buffaloes they will be that much more difficult for a UCSB squad that is shorthanded up front without Williams.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 82, UC Santa Barbara 68
11/21 10:35:47 ET