San Diego vs. UC Santa Barbara
Game time: 2:00 p.m.
Team Records: USD – 8-3 – UCSB – 4-3
Leading Scorers: USD – Dee 17.8 – UCSB – Williams 26.8
Leading Rebounders: USD – Kramer 6.8 – UCSB – Williams 11.0
Leading Distributors: USD – Anderson 6.1 – UCSB – Harmon 5.4
UC Santa Barbara
The San Diego Toreros have played two extremely tough Mountain West opponents in New Mexico and San Diego State the past two games. Even though the Toreros dropped both confidence, their confidence is sky high after narrowly losing to the two fringe top 25 teams. San Diego will look to take some of that confidence into its matchup against UC Santa Barbara.
AP Poll: NR
Coaches Poll: NR
The Gauchos are a team that could potentially surprise some people against the Toreros today. UC Santa Barbara has taken part in a rigorous schedule where it has some marquee wins. After a blowout victory over division II opponent Hawaii Pacific, the Gauchos did the same to UNLV, crushing the Rebels by 21 points. Single-digit losses against Utah State and Colorado came next. Sandwiched in between two quality wins versus California and South Dakota State, UCSB lost to UCLA.
The Gauchos have a stud forward in Alan Williams who is averaging 26.8 points and 11.0 rebounds this season. The offense runs directly through him on a multitude of the Gauchos possessions. The junior center did not play in two games this season due to back spasms, but he has been back for the Gauchos last 3 games and will be available tonight barring any flare ups.
After Williams, UC Santa Barbara possesses a trio of players averaging just over 10 points a game. Michael Bryson (11.6), Taran Brown (11.1) and Kyle Boswell (10.9) are the three main contributors behind Alan Williams for scoring.
Keys to the Game
Stopping Williams will be a tough task for the Toreros, and likely one they will not be able to achieve. Instead, San Diego needs to rely on its backcourt of Johnny Dee and Christopher Anderson in order to neutralize his scoring.
The Gauchos play at a very slow pace (65.4 possession per game) but can put up a great deal of points due to their efficiency. The Toreros, one of the best defensive teams in the conference, will need to get a string of stops in order to have any chance of defeating this Big West opponent.
USD builds off their stellar play at New Mexico and San Diego State and picks up a big win against the Gauchos. Toreros win 87-76.