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Coming off an 85-62 dismantling of UC Irvine on the road Wednesday night, the UCSB men’s basketball team will travel to Utah State on Saturday night to take on the Aggies in a nationally televised ESPNU Bracketbuster game.
“[Wednesday] night was one of the best games we played from start to finish,” Head Coach Bob Williams said. “We defended well, shot well and were really unselfish.”
In the win at Irvine, senior guard Orlando Johnson led the way for the Gauchos with game highs of 25 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Kyle Boswell added a career-high 19 points including five three-pointers, and junior guard Nate Garth totaled a game-high six assists.
UCSB (14-8 overall, 9-3 Big West) remains in a tie for second place in the Big West with Cal State Fullerton, while Irvine (9-17, 5-8) fell into a tie for sixth place.
Utah State (14-13, 5-6 WAC) is currently in fifth place in the Western Athletic Conference, coming off a home victory over Montana Tech.
“[Utah State] controls the game very well with their offensive execution,” coach Williams said. “It’s not the best team they have ever had, but especially at home, they are tough to beat.”
Tough may be an understatement. Under current Head Coach Stew Morrill, the Aggies have posted an impressive 194-13 record at home over 13 years. Although it is a nonconference game, the Gauchos are looking forward to the opportunity to play on national television, as well as improve heading into the home stretch of league play.
“We just need to keep growing as a team,” coach Williams said. “Whether it is a league game or Bracketbuster game on national television, we want to put on a good showing and build on what we are doing.”
Tip-off on Saturday is set for 6 p.m. The game is on ESPNU.