UC Santa Barbara (2-4) at Santa Clara (5-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Leavey Center (4,700) -- Santa Clara, California. Television: None. Home Record: UCSB 2-1, SCU 4-1. Away Record: UCSB 0-3, SCU 1-0. Neutral Record: UCSB 0-0, SCU 0-0. Conference Record: UCSB 0-0, SCU 0-0. Series Record: Santa Clara leads, 15-11.
GAME NOTES: Winless on the road in three tries this season, the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara give it another got on Saturday night, as they take on the Santa Clara Broncos in non-conference action at the Leavey Center.
UCSB's last road game was a week ago when it was thumped by Boise State at Taco Bell Arena, 72-56, but more recently the team took the floor at home and was also beaten rather soundly by another member of the Mountain West Conference as Wyoming put down a 68-40 decision at the Thunderdome.
As for the Broncos, they began the 2012-13 campaign with a bang, winning five straight games out of the gate. However, the run was bound to end at some point and it did just that on Wednesday when the team was taken to overtime and defeated by Utah State at home, 80-78. The 5-0 start for the Broncos was their best since the 1968-69 campaign.
In a series that dates back to 1964 when both schools were members of the West Coast Conference, Santa Clara owns a 15-11 advantage over the Gauchos and is 9-3 at home. However, the most recent meeting went in favor of UCSB last year, an 89-56 rout to give the Gauchos their second straight win in the series.
The Gauchos were paced by Alan Williams who tallied 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds before fouling out, while Kyle Boswell contributed 10 points off the bench in the lackluster effort against Wyoming earlier this week. UCSB shot just 34.6 percent from the floor in the first half, the team failing to make it to the free-throw line in the period, which allowed the visitors to move out to a 34-21 advantage at the break. In the second half, the Gauchos responded by making only 23.3 percent from the field, en route to the disappointing setback. The hosts turned the ball over 18 times and were outscored at the charity stripe, 23-2. For a team scoring just 61.3 ppg at the moment, only Taran Brown and Alan Williams are hitting for double figures as both deliver 14.0 ppg, which means the rest of the roster is combining for only slightly more than what the duo has produced.
The Broncos were led by Kevin Foster who erupted for 27 points, followed by Evan Roquemore with 23 points and a game-high nine assists, but even those solid efforts were not enough to keep Santa Clara from suffering the two-point overtime loss to visiting Utah State a few nights back. No one else on the roster made more than a pair of field goals and with 14 turnovers to go along with 23-of-334 shooting at the free-throw line, the Broncos took themselves out of contention. Regardless of the last outcome, Foster is still the leading scorer for the program with his 21.7 ppg, having knocked down 20-of-50 attempts behind the three-point line. Throw Raymond Cowels with his 12-of-25 effort out on the perimeter into the mix and it means the remaining players combined to make only 22 triples for SCU and yet this is a team generating a hefty 84.5 ppg.
The Broncos built their strong start with victories over inferior opponents for the most part, which means even with a losing record at the moment the Gauchos have a fighting chance in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Santa Barbara 78, Santa Clara 72
12/01 10:42:51 ET