UC Santa Barbara (4-7) at Cal State Fullerton (6-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 29, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Titan Gym (4,000) -- Fullerton, California.
Television: ESPNU. Home Record: UCSB 3-1, Fullerton 3-1. Away Record: UCSB
1-6, Fullerton 1-4. Neutral Record: UCSB 0-0, Fullerton 2-0. Conference
Record: UCSB 0-0, Fullerton 0-0. Series Record: UC Santa Barbara leads, 40-34.
GAME NOTES: Seeking just their second true road win of the 2012-13 campaign,
the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara saddle up against the Cal State Fullerton
Titans in the Big West Conference opener for both programs on Saturday night.
UCSB, which is 1-6 in away games, with its lone victory coming in overtime
against Santa Clara (83-80) to kick off the month of December, is riding a
two-game slide at the moment following a 56-40 setback versus Wyoming in
Laramie eight days ago. For the Gauchos the loss, the second time in less than
a month the team had tallied just 40 points against the Cowboys, was the third
in the last four games overall.
As for the Titans, considered the team to beat in the Big West this season,
they are currently enjoying a three-game win streak and are now one game over
.500 because of the recent run of quality play. One of the top scoring teams
in the country, Fullerton has tallied a combined 180 points in the last two
games, thanks in part to an 87-65 victory over Hope International last
According to UCSB records, the team owns a 40-34 advantage in the all-time
series with Fullerton, which dates back to 1977, although the teams both won
on their home floors last season to earn a split.
Going up a tough defensive-minded program like Wyoming for the second time
already, the Gauchos knew they'd have a tough time breaking through against
the Cowboys and that's exactly how the meeting played out. Alan Williams tried
to give the visitors some hope with his 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Kyle
Boswell accounted for 13 points off the bench, but the problem was that
outside of Williams the starters were a non-factor as they combined to shoot
only 4-of-18 from the floor, the team finishing at a disappointing 34.9
percent overall. Scoring in double figures in all but one game so far this
season, Williams (16.3 ppg) gives the Gauchos their best shot at victory even
though they are scoring just 64.3 ppg. Taran Brown (12.7 ppg) and Boswell
(11.8 ppg) bring some scoring punch as well, but not every time out.
Leading four players in double figures, Jared Brandon scored a career-high 20
points as he shot a near-perfect 10-of-11 from the floor in the win over Hope
International. D.J. Seeley added 19 points and eight boards, followed by Kwame
Vaughn with 18 points, eight boards and six assists, while Alex Harris tacked
on 11 points for a team that shot 54.4 percent from the floor and held a 39-29
rebounding edge. Seeley, the team's leading scorer in conference play last
season, is off to a strong start overall this year with his 18.8 ppg, adding
4.2 rpg and team highs with 45 assists and 27 steals. Vaughn checks in with
another 18.3 ppg and like Seeley is someone who can do a little bit of
everything from clearing rebounding (5.1 rpg) to handing out assists (42) in
his 11 starts thus far.
UCSB has been awful on the road so far this season and unless something
drastic happens, the trend should continue this weekend with the Titans
opening conference play on a positive note.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 69, UC Santa Barbara 63
12/29 10:43:26 ET
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