UC Santa Barbara (4-5) at California (6-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 18, 11 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Haas Pavilion (11,877) -- Berkeley, California.
Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: UCSB 3-1, California 2-2. Away
Record: UCSB 1-4, California 1-1. Neutral Record: UCSB 0-0, California 3-1.
Conference Record: UCSB 0-0, California 0-0. Series Record: California leads,
GAMES NOTES: After losing their third straight game, the California Golden
Bears will try to right the ship on Tuesday night when they host the UC Santa
Barbara Gauchos in a Golden State showdown at Haas Pavilion.
Its not as if things have been going particularly well for UC Santa Barbara
either. The Gauchos have lost three of their last five games with one of those
victories coming against NAIA foe San Diego Christian. The Gauchos are sitting
at a mediocre 4-5 this season which includes a dismal 1-4 mark against teams
on the road. The Gauchos will have to improve in away games quickly as their
next two games also come on the road beginning against Wyoming on Friday.
The Golden Bears fell 74-64 to Creighton at home in its last time out and have
now lost three straight decisions. Those three losses came against some
serious competition with the other setbacks on the road against Wisconsin and
against another nationally ranked team in UNLV. Other than the recent losses
California has been just fine with a 6-3 overall record. However two of the
losses came on the Golden Bears' home floor where they are 2-2. This is the
third game of a five-game homestand for California that continues against
Prairie View A&M on Saturday.
This isn't much of a rivalry considering that California has won all nine of
the previous meetings between these squads. That includes a 70-50 rout at Haas
Pavilion last season.
In the win over San Diego Christian, the Gauchos let it rain from beyond the
arc as they hit 13-of-32 shots from beyond the arc. UC Santa Barbara shot at a
48.3 percent clip overall and had 10 more field goals than San Diego Christian
which hit on only 37.3 percent of its field goal attempts. UC Santa Barbara
also outscored San Diego Christian by an 18-6 margin in second chance points
and had a 44-28 edge on the boards. Alan Williams scored 24 points and brought
in 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the campaign.
In the offensively prolific Big West conference, UC Santa Barbara has been
near the middle of the pack. The Gauchos are scoring a respectable 67.6 points
per game while connecting on 42.7 percent of their shots from the floor.
However those marks each rank seventh in the league. On the other end the
Gauchos are lit up for 71.1 points per game on 43.7 percent shooting. Thanks
in large part to Williams (17.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg) the Gauchos hold a slight edge
on the boards (+1.4). Williams has been outstanding this season. He is the
fifth leading scorer in the Big West and the conference second-most productive
rebounder. Taran Brown (13.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is another strong scorer and
rebounder but after those two no other player is bringing in more than 4.1
rebounds a contest. Scoring options beyond Williams and Brown are also limited
with Kyle Boswell (11.7 ppg) the only other player scoring more than six
points per game.
California just didn't have enough offense to pull off an upset over
Creighton. The Golden Bears made just 34.6 percent of their field goal
attempts and were just 3-of-17 from beyond the arc. In fact, the Bluejays had
more points from 3-point range (15) in the second half than California did in
the entire game. A 16-7 deficit in points from the free throw line didn't
help. California did have the edge in rebounds (53-38) however. Justin Cobbs
led the way with 18 points, while David Kravish and Tyrone Wallace each
totaled double digit rebounds.
The Golden Bears are also near the middle of their own conference in offensive
production ranking seventh in the Pac-12 in scoring (71.4 ppg) and eighth in
field goal percentage (.460). When California is on the defensive end the
Golden Bears are allowing 67.1 point per game while limiting teams to just
40.6 percent shooting. CAlifornia is the third best rebounding team in the
PAc-12 (39.9 pg). That mark is also one of the 40 best nationally. There is
really no secret to who the Golden Bears rely on the most. Allen Crabbe (21.0
ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Justin Cobbs (17.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.0 apg) are one of the
best backcourt tandems in the country. Each has the ability to erupt on
offense while filling the stat sheet across the board on a nightly basis.
Crabbe has scored more than 20 points in six games this season and shoots well
from anywhere on the floor. Cobbs takes fewer shots from beyond the arc and is
the better ball handler and distributor. There isn't much scoring depth beyond
those two with Richard Solomon (8.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) the only other player
scoring more than seven points per game.
While identifying that Cobbs and Crabbe are the most vital pieces for
California, stopping the pair is an entirely different matter. California has
banged heads with some tough competition of late and will use that experience
to run past the Gauchos in this matchup.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 79, UC Santa Barbara 63
12/18 10:32:58 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.