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UC Riverside Highlanders vs. Santa Barbara Gauchos Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/23/14

Santa Barbara Gauchos (11-5) at UC Riverside Highlanders (6-12)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Student Center)

The Line: UC Riverside Highlanders +9 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


Storyline: The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos look for their third straight victory when they face off with the UC Riverside Highlanders Thursday.

The Breakdown: UC Santa Barbara is in third place in the Big West with a conference record of 2-1 and winners of their last two, including a 79-69 victory over Cal State Northridge Saturday. The Gauchos held their opponent to 20 of 54 from the field and 4 of 12 from distance, while hitting 51.9 percent from the floor and 7 of 19 from downtown. UC Santa Barbara also connected on 16 of 21 from the free throw line.  Junior F Alan Williams had a team-high 16 points to go along with 6 rebounds and sophomore G Michael Bryson added 15 points and 5 boards.  Through 16 games, the Gouchos are averaging 72.5 ppg on 48 percent shooting and Williams leads the team with 22.8 ppg, followed by senior G Kyle Boswell at 11.9 ppg.

UC Riverside Highlanders vs. Santa Barbara Gauchos Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/23/14

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, UC Riverside is 1-3 and tied for last place in the conference after a 100-69 thrashing by Hawaii Sunday. The Highlanders were outshot from the field 49.3 percent to 39.2 percent and from distance 35 percent to 17.6 percent. UC Riverside was also outrebounded by the Warriors 42-28 and committed 18 turnovers. The bulk of the Highlanders’ scoring came from the bench, with backup freshman shooting G Sam Finley scoring a game-high 19 points and backup junior point guard Austin Quick adding 15 points and 5 rebounds. On the season, UC Riverside is averaging 67.4 ppg on 42 percent shooting and sophomore F Taylor Johns leads the team in scoring with 12.8 ppg, followed by senior C Chris Patton at 12.6 ppg.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is currently set at -9 for UC Santa Barbara and these two have faced just one common opponent in Seattle. Riverside lost that game 69-68, while Santa Barbara beat the Redhawks convincingly 86-70. UCSB gets the lean.

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