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Men's Basketball

Tournament Action Fills Up Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

Files associated with this release:
Men's Basketball Release No. 2

11/15/2010

A plethora of tournaments dot the men's basketball non-conference ledger this week.  Pacific, coming off a solid season-opening win at UTEP, competes in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off and faces Nevada on Monday.

NOTEWORTHY

KEEP AN EYE ON

David Hanson, Cal Poly
Hanson became a key contributor for the Mustangs during the latter half of the 2009-10 season, scoring in double figures in 14 of the last 19 games.  He averaged 10.5 points per game to rank fourth on the team in scoring last year.  The junior resumed his production in Cal Poly’s season opener with a team-high 22 points and five steals in a 76-60 win at Seattle on Sunday.  Hanson played all 40 minutes while shooting 8 of 14 from the field overall and hitting a trio of three-pointers.

MORE NOTABLES

Pacific Opens With Big Win, Heads To Preseason NIT
Pacific recorded the Big West’s most notable win during the opening weekend of the 2010-11 season, dispatching a tough UTEP team on the road by a score of 66-61 on Friday.  The Tigers overcame an 11-point halftime deficit, shooting 53.3 (16 of 30) percent in the second half to quiet the sellout crowd of 12,222.  Sam Willard had a career-high tying 23 points and Jose Rivera came off the bench to score 17 in his first career game as a Tiger.  Pacific returns to action on Monday, facing Nevada in the first round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off.  The Tigers will face Pepperdine or host UCLA the following night with both games appearing on ESPNU.

Opening Statements
Three Big West schools recorded season-opening wins last weekend, including UC Santa Barbara, which won its opener for the eighth straight season.  The Gauchos toppled Denver 65-49 in the BTI Invitational.  Pacific’s win over UTEP marked the second straight year the Tigers won their opener.  Cal Poly won an opener for the first time in five seasons after defeating Seattle on the road.  Below is the current list of streaks in season opening games for Big West teams.

Team                          Streak
Cal Poly                      Won 1
Cal State Fullerton      Lost 1
Cal State Northridge   Lost 2
Long Beach State       Lost 1
UC Davis                     Lost 3
UC Irvine                     Lost 1
UC Riverside               Lost 11
UC Santa Barbara      Won 8
Pacific                         Won 2

Payne Hits Career Scoring Milestone
UC Davis senior Mark Payne, the Big West’s active career scoring leader, surpassed the 1,000-point mark in Sunday’s 73-62 defeat against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  The guard had 17 points and he finished the weekend with 1,008 for his career.

UC Santa Barbara Picked To Win 2010-11 Title

A 23-member media voting panel gave UC Santa Barbara the nod to win the 2010-11 Big West men’s basketball regular season title.  The Gauchos, which won the conference’s regular season and tournament championships last season, received 20 first-place votes and 204 points.  The Gauchos feature the return of 2009-10 Big West Player of the Year Orlando Johnson, who led the league in scoring at 18.0 points per game.  Long Beach State captured two first-place vote and 180 points for second place.  Earning 161 points and the remaining first-place vote was Pacific.  The Tigers are coming off of a 23-12 season and a run to the championship game of the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.  UC Davis earned 126 points for fourth place and Cal Poly was fifth with 96.  Rounding out the poll was UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside.

Honda Center New Home Of Tournament
Honda Center last November announced a five-year partnership with the Big West Conference to host its annual men’s and women’s post-season basketball tournament beginning in 2011.  Each year the winner of the three-day single-elimination playoff receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Big West and Honda Center have teamed up for “March Madness” and “The Road To The Final Four” on numerous occasions including men’s basketball regionals in 1998, 2001 and 2003 and first and second round action in 2008.  In addition, the Big West and Honda Center was selected as host of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball West Regional.

The Big West Tournament is the oldest NCAA Division I post-season basketball tournament in the west, dating back to 1976 when the conference was known as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association.

All-session tickets for the 2011 Big West Tournament may be purchased at hondacenter.com.  For more information, please call (714) 704-2500 or email bigwesttournament@hondacenter.com.  Courtside (first 4 rows) all-session tickets cost $144 apiece.  All other all-session tickets cost $64 apiece.

Williams Earns 200th Career Victory
Bob Williams became the third coach in UC Santa Barbara history to win 200 games.  The 13th-year mentor won his milestone 200th when the Gauchos defeated Denver in Friday’s season opener.  In beating the Pioneers, Williams also became just the fifth coach to reach the 200-win plateau during his Big West tenure.  He is 200-158 at the school for his career.  The all-time winningest coach at UCSB is Jerry Pimm with 222 victories.

ALL-TIME VICTORY LEADERS - BIG WEST TENURE
Rk.    Coach, School                                No.
1.      Jerry Tarkanian, LBSU & UNLV       405
2.      Bob Thomason, Pacific                    388
3.      Neil McCarthy, New Mexico State    248
4.      Jerry Pimm, UC Santa Barbara        222
5.      Bob Williams, UC Santa Barbara     200

Bold denotes active Big West head coach

Walter Pyramid Record Crowd Witnesses 49er Opener
The largest crowd for any sporting event in Walter Pyramid history was on hand for Long Beach State’s opener against San Diego State on Homecoming Saturday.  The standing room only contingent of 5,143 broke the previous attendance mark of 5,118 for the LBSU women’s volleyball team’s match against UC Santa Barbara on November 7, 1998.  The 49er faithful watched LBSU put up a good fight against the 25th-ranked Aztecs in an eventual 81-65 loss.  The two teams were tied at the break, 42-42, and the 49ers led 53-50 six minutes into the second half.  But the Aztecs closed the game on a 31-12 run to claim the victory.

Follow Your Team On BigWest.TV
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