UC Santa Barbara (5-9) at Pacific (7-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 10, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Spanos Center (6,150) -- Stockton, California.
Television: None. Home Record: UCSB 4-2, Pacific 4-2. Away Record: UCSB 1-7,
Pacific 1-4. Neutral Record: UCSB 0-0, Pacific 2-1. Conference Record: UCSB
1-2, Pacific 1-1. Series Record: Series is tied, 53-53.
GAME NOTES: The Pacific Tigers open up a brief two-game homestand on Thursday
night, as they welcome the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara to the Spanos Center
for a Big West Conference bout.
UCSB's season has been largely a struggle. Following back-to-back wins in mid-
November, it has slid into a prolonged slump, having lost seven of its last
After winning their league opener at home over UC Irvine, the Gauchos fell
behind by double-digits at intermission against Long Beach State last Saturday
and never recovered, suffering a 77-70 defeat. Even though they allowed LBSU
to hit greater than 54 percent of its total shots, the Gauchos had a solid
night shooting themselves, making 46.2 percent of their field goal attempts,
including 9-of-21 from 3-point range. Alan Williams led the way with 16 points
and eight rebounds, but he was also a detriment with six turnovers. Michael
Bryson scored 15 points, Kyle Boswell added 14, Taran Brown netted 11, and
T.J. Taylor tallied eight points to go with nine assists in the setback.
Pacific has been inconsistent on its way to a 7-7 record, but it is currently
on the upswing, having won two of its last three. It has also been solid at
the Spanos Center this season, posting wins in four of six matchups.
The Tigers hit the road last week and came away with their first conference
win of the season by defeating UC Davis, 74-64, overcoming a halftime deficit
to do so. They put together one of their best shooting performances of the
season in the victory, draining 52.1 percent from the field, and while they
were just 65.5 percent at the foul line, they attempted 29 free throws. Sama
Taku was the catalyst with 20 points and a career-high eight rebounds, while
Travis Fulton (13 points) and Ross Rivera (12 points) were also impressive.
After 106 meetings, the series between these two programs is deadlocked at
53-53. The Gauchos have won the last four meetings.
On the season, UCSB is one of just four Big West teams with a negative scoring
margin (minus-4.9), putting up just 66.4 ppg while allowing 71.3 ppg. Williams
is one of the league's most improved players. After averaging fewer than seven
points per game a year ago, he ranks sixth in the league in scoring with 17.1
ppg, and he is first in rebounding with 10.1 ppg, all while shooting greater
than 50 percent from the floor. Brown (13.5 ppg) and Boswell (12.5 ppg) are
both potent from long range, combining to hit just under six 3-pointers per
game at a 40 percent clip.
Pacific has actually been a strong shooting team, ranking second in the
conference with a .473 field goal percentage, but that has only resulted in a
modest 68.1 ppg. Although McCloud is the only player to score in double-digits
on a nightly basis with 11.8 ppg, the Tigers rely on a deep rotation of
players, with nine guys averaging at least four points per contest. McCloud
also hands out a team-high 3.6 apg, while Taku's modest 4.1 rpg is tops on the
UCSB's inconsistencies have not resulted in very good play on the road, as it
has lost seven of eight away from Santa Barbara. Pacific has been far from
spectacular, but it should do enough in this matchup to move to 2-1 in
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pacific 70, UC Santa Barbara 63
01/10 10:36:58 ET
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