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Vegas 16 | First Round| Huskies vs. Gauchos

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Vegas 16 | First Round| Huskies vs. Gauchos

By Don Phillips


Vegas 16 | First Round

Northern Illinois Huskies vs. UC Santa Barbara Gauchos


Monday, March 28, 2016

5:30 PM ET, Monday, March 28, 2016

Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada


TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio: WLBK 1360-AM, 98.9-FM (DeKalb)

Live Stats:

Twitter Updates: @NIUscores


The Gauchos enter their opening game at the Vegas 16 with an overall record of 18-13. In their last game, they fell in a Big West Tournament semifinal game to the ultimate champion, Hawaii, 88-76.

The loss to the Rainbow Warriors ended a nine-game winning streak.

UCSB finished Big West Conference regular season play with an 11-5 record, good for fourth-place. It closed the season by winning nine of its last 10 and after a 2-7 start went 16-6.

UCSB’s trip to Las Vegas will be its second of the season. The Gauchos split a pair of games at the South Point Holiday Classic in December, falling 84-70 to Akron and defeating Iona, 80-76.

The loss to Akron actually dropped the team’s record to 2-7 and extended its losing streak to five. The win over Iona, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament this season, was the start of a season-ending 16-6 run that resulted in a postseason bid.

Playing games away from home has become a very familiar circumstance for the Gauchos. UCSB played just 11 of its 31 games at home in 2015-16, its fewest ever. On the other side of the coin, it played 16 true road games and four neutral site games.

The 20 games away from home were the most in program history. The Gauchos finished the year with a 10-6 record in true road games and 2-2 in neutral site games. The 12 wins away from home equals the most in school history, a mark previously set in 2007-08.

Senior Michael Bryson was named to the Big West All-Tournament Team after leading the Gauchos into the semifinals of the tournament.

In the Gauchos’ 87-61 victory over UC Davis in the first round game, Bryson made 8-of-12 shots overall, including 5-of-7 from three-point range, to finish with 24 points. He also added six rebounds.

In the team’s loss to Hawaii in the semifinal game, he made 8-of-16 field goals, including 3-of-7 from three-point range, and finished with 22 points along with 10 rebounds. The double-double was Bryson’s fifth of the season.

Possible Starters – Quick Fact

F 0 Jarriesse Blackmon – Has started the last 6 games…Scored 21 of his 33 points in the last 4 contests, 5.2 per game…Made 8-of-16 FGs in last 4 games, 50.0%.

G 1 Eric Childress – Has four or more assists in 18 of the last 21 games…His 136 assists are the 9th most in school history…Has exactly 300 career assists, 10th all-time.

G 2 Gabe Vincent – Has 73 three-point baskets, tied for 6th most in school history…Made 11 out of 13 2-point field goal attempts in Big West Tournament, 84.6%.

G 24 Michael Bryson – Made 17-of-31 three-pointers in last 5 games, 54.8%, and now has school record 235…His 1,594 career points rank 7th all-time, 13 behind 6th.

C 44 Sam Beeler – Leads Big West in field goal percentage at 71.0%, a figure that would set a UCSB record…Has played in school record 125 games in his career.

Selection: UCSB