As the third youngest team in the nation, the UCSB men’s basketball team expected to have some bumps in the road. One of those bumps came Wednesday night as UCSB fell to Wyoming 68-40 at the Thunderdome.
The loss dropped the youthful Gauchos to 2-4 overall and snapped an undefeated record at home. Wyoming, meanwhile, improved to a perfect 7-0 on the year with the victory.
“It was a rough game for us; we couldn’t get anything going,” junior guard Kyle Boswell said. “We just couldn’t get any easy buckets going. They just outworked us, I thought.”
Out of the 12 Gauchos that received playing time, a mere five players scored in the team’s lowest scoring total since a 2006 defeat at Pacific.
Sophomore forward Alan Williams led UCSB with 11 points and nine rebounds, but received only 20 minutes of playing time after fouling out with seven minutes remaining in the second half.
“I’m literally going out there with the mindset not to foul and sometimes
the calls just don’t go my way,” Williams said. “I’m very frustrated right now. I can’t finish the game. It sucks that I haven’t been able to put two halves together at all in the season.”
Boswell recorded 10 points for UCSB while a pair of freshmen in forward Taran Brown and guard Michael Bryson added nine and eight for the Gauchos, respectively. The only other Gaucho to score was freshman Mitch Brewe with two points.
In addition to Williams, Brown also fouled out as UCSB committed 24 personal fouls compared to Wyoming’s eight. The Cowboys outshot the Gauchos 27-3 at the free throw line, making 23 of those attempts.
“If you don’t get the ball inside and you don’t attack the rim, you’re not going to get foul calls,” Head Coach Bob Williams said. “And when we did get the ball inside and we did attack the rim, we didn’t see the calls we wanted, which means we probably weren’t strong enough and balanced enough.”
Wyoming outworked the Gauchos from the beginning, taking a 34-21 lead into the half behind the play of senior guard Luke Martinez. Martinez scored a game-high 17 points and shot
5-8 from three-point range. Seniors in forward Larry Nance Jr. and guard Derrious Gilmore each added 12 points to help fuel the Cowboys’ rout.
Buckets did not fall for the Gauchos as they shot a lowly 28.6 percent from the field. Wyoming in comparison shot over 48 percent on its field goal attempts.
“We just didn’t make shots. It just wasn’t a night for us to hit shots,” Boswell said. “That’s a team that we can definitely beat. And they bury us like that, I feel kind of embarrassed because they’re not that much of a better team than us.”
Despite playing poorly, the Gauchos will have a shot at redemption against the Cowboys when they travel to Wyoming on Dec. 21.
“I feel like if we’re making shots, it’d be a different story. I feel like if we didn’t have the foul trouble we were in, it’d be a different story,” Alan Williams said. “We just weren’t in our rhythm today. It’s a stinker and we just have to let it go and prepare for the game on Saturday.”
UCSB continues play on Saturday when they travel to take on Santa Clara.