After two losses to begin the season, the UCSB men’s basketball team recorded its first win of the season with an 80-60 victory against The Master’s College Saturday night at the Thunderdome.
Led by freshman forward Taran Brown’s 20 points and sophomore center Alan William’s double-double, the Gauchos extended their regular season home- opening winning streak to 12, as they improve to 1-2 on the season while The Master’s College drops to 4-2.
“The mindset was to go back out here and improve and Coach really harped on that this game, just to keep improving because at the right time we’re going to peak,” Williams said. “We’re a really young team, really athletic and really talented. Once we get all the kinks out and all that kind of stuff, we’re going to be really tough to beat.”
Taking control from the beginning, the Gauchos were able to get easy shots from the paint, shooting 44 percent from the field in the first half. The Mustangs, however, were able to stay in the game with six three-pointers and trailed UCSB 39-30 going into the half.
Santa Barbara went on a 21-7 run in the span of 10 minutes to increase the lead to 68-47 in the second half. After scoring only two points in the first half, Brown settled into an offensive flow, making seven shots from the field, including 4-6 from three- point range, en route to recording his first double-double of his collegiate career.
“Every game I’m just starting to feel a little better out there and just really try to focus what coach has been telling me,” Brown said. “[Coach has said] to get out there and rebound, and knock down open shots and just really ‘D’ up. It’s starting to pay off a little bit.”
The Gauchos continued wearing down the Mustangs on the boards, holding a 50- 31 advantage in the game. Brown had a career-high 13 rebounds to lead the team while Williams recorded 12 rebounds.
“I feel like I did an okay job on rebounds, couple of them I should’ve had that I couldn’t get a hand on. I’m just going to go back and work on that,” Williams said. “Rebounding is going to be a really big key and I’ve got to go out there and rebound really hard.”
UCSB also received excellent play from its point guards, as senior Nate Garth and sophomore T.J. Taylor combined to shoot 8-9 from the field, including 3-4 from behind the arc. The two helped dish out 10 assists while committing only one turnover.
“We get 22 points from our point guard position; we didn’t get 22 points in five games combined from our point guard position last year,” Head Coach Bob Williams said. “It was really a good sign, and for the most part, they were all really good shots.”
After turning the ball over 41 times combined in their first two games, the Gauchos only had 13 turnovers and limited The Master’s College to only 38 percent shooting from the field.
UCSB next hosts San Diego on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
A version of this article appeared on page 5 of November 19th, 2012’s print edition of the Nexus.