Jan 3, 2013 4:16 PM by Andrew Masuda

Mustangs open New Year at home against defending Big West champ Long Beach State

The Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara men's basketball teams open the New Year on their home courts Thursday with Big West Conference games.

The Mustangs host reigning conference champion and preseason pick Long Beach State at 7pm in Mott Gym. Cal Poly is 5-6 and coming off a 58-48 victory in its Big West opener at UC Riverside last Saturday. Kyle Odister led the Mustangs with 14 points and continued his solid play off the bench. The junior averages 8 points and is shooting 42 percent from 3-point range. Chris Eversley leads the Mustangs with 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds this season. Freshman Brian Bennett and senior Dylan Royer average nearly 10 points per game.

Long Beach State is 5-7 after taking its Big West opener 67-63 over Pacific. The defending Big West Tournament champions finished first in the Preseason coaches poll. The 49ers have won six-straight over the Mustangs and have taken the last four meetings in Mott Gym. Cal Poly's last win over LBSU was on January 16, 2010 on the road.

UCSB enters its game with UC Irvine with a 4-8 overall record and 0-1 mark in conference. The Gauchos have lost three in a row and are coming off an 86-79 loss to Cal State Fullerton. Alan Williams scored 22 points and added 16 rebounds, while Taran Brown had 20 points and 8 rebounds for UCSB. The Gauchos hit 15 three-pointers and Fullerton made 14.

Williams has recorded six double-doubles over the season. The sophomore leads the Gauchos with 16.8 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocked shots per contest. Brown, a freshman, averages 13.3 points and Kyle Boswell scores 11.5 points.



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