Men's Basketball: Gauchos rally to top UCI

UCSB makes half its 26 three-point tries and Williams is big inside to help turn away Anteaters.

January 03, 2013|By Barry Faulkner

SANTA BARBARA — UC Santa Barbara men's basketball coach Bob Williams said there were some basic adjustments in the second half that simplified the Gauchos' offense in their 74-71 Big West Conference home win against UC Irvine on Thursday.

But, Williams admitted, there wasn't much complexity to his squad's offensive attack to start with.

"We're basically threes around Al," said Williams, referring to three-point shooters positioned around 6-foot-7, 240-pound sophomore post Alan Williams inside.

Both elements of that equation were functioning at a high level against the Anteaters, particularly in the second half, to allow the Gauchos (5-8, 1-1 in conference) to erase a 13-point first-half lead and hand UCI (7-8, 1-1) its first conference loss.

Williams, who had 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots, made a three-point play with seven seconds left to break a 71-71 deadlock.


Taran Brown, UCSB's 6-8 freshman, blocked a three-point attempt from the corner by Alex Young in the final seconds to halt the Gauchos' three-game losing streak.

Williams banged, spun and leaped for his inside points against smaller, lighter opponents. He was eight of 16 from the field and six of nine from the foul line. And when UCI did manage to get a body on him and a hand up inside, Williams was more than happy to dish to the perimeter, where his teammates made 13 of 26 attempts from beyond the arc.

UCSB sophomore reserve Kyle Boswell made six of 10 three-point tries on his way to a career-high-tying 23 points to lead all scorers. The Edison High product had 19 points and made five of eight from three-point range in the Gauchos' road victory at UCI last season.

Brown connected on four of eight three-point tries and sophomore T.J. Taylor made three of four to help the hosts outgun the Anteaters.

UCI, which scored seven straight points to knot the score at 71 with 1:29 remaining, made 10 of 24 three-pointers, but only four of 14 after halftime, when it led, 37-32.

"[Boswell] comes in with a lot of confidence and he has the ultimate green light," Bob Williams said of his reserve sharpshooter, who came in averaging 11.5 points and 2.7 three-pointers per game. "When you have a good inside player [Williams], you need balance. If you try to take away threes, it gives Al more room."

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