SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – In the final home game of his career, senior John Green had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and sophomore Gabe Vincent added 14 points as UC Santa Barbara ended the regular season with its eighth straight win, 69-50 over Cal Poly on Saturday afternoon.
The Gauchos (17-12 overall, 11-5 in the Big West) throttled the Mustangs (10-19, 4-12) on the defensive end, limiting them to 27.6% shooting overall and just 4-for-28 from three-point territory, 14.3%.
"This was a great way for these six guys to end their home careers," said head coach Bob Williams "I thought they really stepped-up, especially on the defensive end in the second. It's not always easy to play on the offensive end when your emotions are running so high, but you can always bring it defensively and they did."
Cal Poly was the sixth straight opponent to shoot below 40.0% from the field against UCSB. Additionally, it was the fifth time in the last six games that the Gauchos have led form start-to-finish as they never trailed.
"I am so proud to have been part of this program," Green said. "I've grown so much since I got here and I can't even explain how much my teammates and coaches kept me going through some tough times."
Green missed, essentially, all of his first three seasons with several foot injuries and then a broken wrist. He returned to play in all 33 games last season and has been one of team's most valuable players in 2015-16.
"John has taught us all a lesson in never giving up," Williams said. "He just kept working on getting healthy and it is great to see him end his home career like this."
Every Santa Barbara senior contributed in the win. Michael Bryson, who is the school's all-time leader in three-point baskets and free throw percentage and ranks eighth in scoring, finished with nine points and five rebounds. Sam Beeler, who will set school records for single-season and career field goal percentage had eight points, six boards and a career-high three assists.
Mitch Brewe had nine points and six rebounds while making all of his field goal and free throw attempts. He also had arguably the most important basket of the game when he was fouled while making a reverse, high-arcing lay-up with 8:54 to play. Brewe made the free throw to stretch UCSB's lead to 49-40.
Cal Poly did pull within 53-48 on a three by Taylor Sutlive, but the Gauchos ended the game on a 16-2 run to run away with the game. David Nwaba, who did an outstanding defensive job on Bryson, led his team with 15 points and nine rebounds.
The eight-game winning streak equals the program's third longest ever. It is also the longest streak ever in Big West Conference play.
"It feels great to end my home career on such a high note," Bryson said. "To win our last eight games of the regular season was huge. Now we have to keep it going in Anaheim."
Although UCSB shot just 43.9% overall, it made 6-of-12 three-point attempts and had a season-low five turnovers.
The Gauchos are seeded fourth in the Big West Tournament, which will begin on Thursday, Mar. 10 at Honda Center in Anaheim. They will play UC Davis in the tourney's first game at noon that day.