UC Santa Barbara (8-15) at Cal Poly (11-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mott Gym (3,032) -- San Luis Obispo, California. Television: None. Home Record: UCSB 6-5, Cal Poly 9-1. Away Record: UCSB 2-10, Cal Poly 2-10. Neutral Record: UCSB 0-0, Cal Poly 0-0. Conference Record: UCSB 4-8, Cal Poly 7-5. Series Record: UCSB leads, 69-31.
GAMES NOTES: On Saturday night the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos and the Cal Poly Mustangs collide in a Big West Conference bout at Mott Gym.
After a promising start to the season, UC Santa Barbara has really been struggling since conference play began. The Gauchos have lost seven of their last 10 games, all in league action and have fallen to 8-15 overall and 4-8 against the Big West. The Gauchos did manage to collect a win last time out with a 66-53 victory over Pacific that ended a five-game losing streak. Next up UC Santa Barbara travels to face UC Riverside.
This is the final test of a three-game homestand for Cal Poly which took victories against Pacific (67-62) and UC Davis (68-53) in the first two tilts. The Mustangs are an even 11-11 overall, and 7-5 ledger against Big West foes. However thanks to an impressive 9-1 mark at Mott Gym the Mustangs do own a significant homecourt advantage. Cal Poly will take on Cal State Fullerton in its next outing.
With wins in the last six meetings and 11 of the last 12, UC Santa Barbara has extended its all-time series lead against Cal Poly to 69-31.
UC Santa Barbara put together one of its better efforts on both ends of the floor against Pacific. The Gauchos shot an even 50 percent from the field and knocked down 10 shots from 3-point range while holding the Tigers to just 17 field goals on 30.4 percent shooting.
In terms of offensive efficiency, UC Santa Barbara is near the bottom of the Big West. The Gauchos are ranked eighth in the conference in both points (66.1 pg) and field-goal percentage (.426), while right in the middle in assists (15 apg, fifth). On defense the Gauchos are allowing nearly 70 points per game on 43.7 percent shooting. The Gauchos are lucky enough to have one of the better frontcourt performers in the conference on the roster in Alan Williams (17.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg), who leads the league in rebounds and is among the top five scorers. Kyle Boswell (13.0 ppg) and Taran Brown (12.2 ppg) provide additional scoring depth.
After dominating in the first half against UC Davis, Cal Poly went into cruise control in the second period in the 15-point victory. The Mustangs shot 53.6 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes and knocked down 7-of-14 shots from 3-point range.
Dylan Royer (9.4 ppg) had an uncharacteristically strong performance in the win as he dropped in a game-high 20 points. Royer had failed to score in double figures in the previous seven games. Normally Chris Eversley (15.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg), who is the only player averaging in double figures for the Mustangs, leads the offensive charge, while Brian Bennett (9.9 ppg) shoots 55.2 percent from the floor as the second option. Cal Poly is worse than UC Santa Barbara in terms of offensive production, ranking second to last in the conference in points (65.9 pg) and dead last in field-goal percentage (.420).
Homecourt advantage is not something that can be taken lightly, especially considering the Mustangs have been nearly untouchable at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal Poly 68, UC Santa Barbara 62
02/16 10:31:04 ET