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    HomeSportsUC Santa Barbara Men's Basketball Will Host NCAA Tournament Participant Howard

    UC Santa Barbara Men’s Basketball Will Host NCAA Tournament Participant Howard

    The UC Santa Barbara Men’s Basketball team (6-3) will round out the non-conference schedule and play their final game of 2023 tomorrow in The Thunderdome as they get ready to face the Howard University Bison. These two teams have never played each other before, but both the Gauchos and the Bison went dancing last March.

    The Gauchos made their way to Phoenix for the Jerry Colangelo Classic, playing inside of the Footprint Center which is home to the Phoenix Suns. They took on the Loyola Marymount Lions in the second game of the day, taking them down with a score of 68-59. Ajay Mitchell finished with a game-high 25 points, earning him Player of the Game honors.

    Howard University is coming into this game with two losses after dropping close games to Jackson State and Texas Southern at the HBCU Challenge in Las Vegas. The Bison have secured four wins earlier on this season against Hampton, Boston University, Mount St. Mary’s and Regent. 

    When it comes to the MEAC, the Bison are one of the best teams in the conference. After making it to March Madness last season by winning the conference tournament, they are expected to make their return to The Big Dance again this season. They also rank highly in numerous stat categories as they are No. 1 in their conference in assists per game, effective field goal percentage, defensive rebounds per game, scoring offense, three-point field goal percentage and three pointers made per game.  

    Two of the key players for the Bison this season are their leading point scorers Seth Towns and Bryce Harris. Towns is one of the best three-point shooters in the NCAA as he is currently ranked 23rd in three-point field goal percentage, shooting at 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. However, Harris has been an elite shooter from all over the court as he is currently 32nd in the NCAA in field goal percentage as he shoots at 60.6 percent from the field. Not only do they get work done on offense, but they also lead the team in rebounds as Harris has the most with 68 while Towns is close behind with 60. Dishing the ball out to his teammates is Jelani Williams as he currently leads the team in assists with 33.

    The Gauchos and the Bison will face off in The Thunderdome beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20. For those coming to the game, the team will be hosting a toy drive to benefit underprivileged children in Santa Barbara. One new, unwrapped toy will equal a complimentary ticket to attend the Gauchos’ conference home opener on Jan. 4 against UC San Diego. For fans who can’t make it to The Thunderdome, they can watch from home on ESPN+.

    UC Santa Barbara Men's Basketball Will Host NCAA Tournament Participant Howard was originally published at https://ucsbgauchos.com/news/2023/12/19/mens-basketball-will-host-ncaa-tournament-participant-howard.aspx.

    Photos courtesy UCSB Athletics.



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