Oregon State men’s basketball will try to rebound from its Dec. 21 loss at Quinnipiac when it hosts UC Santa Barbara at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Below is an excerpt of The Oregonian’s game-day capsule. Live chat throughout the contest in the comments section. 

Oregon State vs. UC Santa Barbara

Where: Gill Coliseum

Coaches: Wayne Tinkle, 1st year at OSU (8-3 at OSU, 166-94 overall); Bob Williams, 17th year at UC Santa Barbara (274-216 at UC Santa Barbara and overall)

On air: The game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks; Radio on KEX-AM 1190 (Portland) and KEJO-AM 1240 (Corvallis); Live stats on oregonstate.statbroadcast.com

Records: Oregon State 8-3; UC Santa Barbara 5-6

Projected starters: Oregon State: G Gary Payton II (12.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg), G Malcolm Duvivier (8.6 ppg, 3.5 apg), G Langston Morris-Walker (10.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg), F Olaf Schaftenaar (10.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg), F Daniel Gomis (4.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg)

UC Santa Barbara: G Zalmico Harmon (5.7 ppg, 3.4 apg), G Gabe Vincent (11 ppg, 1.9 apg), G Michael Bryson (14.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg), F Mitch Brewe (3.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg), C Alan Williams (18.5 ppg, 11.8 rpg)

Line: Even

The script: After rattling off five straight wins, the Beavers fell Dec. 21 at Quinnipiac. They appeared fatigued in their fourth game in eight days, which resulted in a 46-27 deficit on the boards against the Bobcats.

A break in the schedule afforded OSU necessary rest. Players celebrated Christmas with family, returning to practice Saturday in advance of Tuesday’s UCSB matchup.

The Beavers hope to parlay fresh legs into an inspired performance in their final nonconference game. The Gauchos, after all, are likely better than their record would indicate. They have suffered three overtime losses on the road. In its last outing Dec. 22 at Oregon, UCSB overcame an 11-point deficit before eventually falling 82-78 in overtime. 

Opposing player to watch: Alan Williams. OSU’s game plan will revolve around limiting the 6-foot-8, 265-pound senior. Williams leads the Gauchos in scoring (18.5), rebounding (11.8), steals (1.4) and blocked shots (2.9). The reigning Big West Player of the Year leads Division I with 947 career rebounds. DraftExpress.com and NBADraft.net project Williams to go No. 56 and No. 53 overall, respectively, in the 2015 NBA Draft.

What to watch for: UCSB has a potent inside-out game. The Gauchos pound the ball inside to Williams until defenses collapse, creating open looks along the perimeter. They rank second in the Big West at 39 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Against Oregon, UCSB hit 9-of-17 3-pointers. The Gauchos are second in their conference at 72.4 points per game.

So UCSB represents a worthy test for an OSU team that leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense (55.8) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (27.8), and ranks seventh nationally in field goal percentage defense (34.2).

Did you know: Last season, Bob Williams guided UCSB to a 21-9 overall record and 12-4 mark in the Big West. The 10-win improvement over the previous campaign was the third largest in NCAA. The Gauchos lost two of their top five leading scorers from their 2013-14 team.

Key stat: A win over the Gauchos would move the Beavers to 8-0 at home, their best start at Gill Coliseum since the 1998-99 team opened 10-0. UCSB, meanwhile, is winless in true road games this season. It has dropped matchups at Kansas, Florida Gulf Coast, SMU and Oregon.

Series: This is the fourth meeting between OSU and UC Santa Barbara, with the Gauchos leading the series 2-1. UCSB beat the Beavers at home 62-53 on Dec. 5, 1960. In 1986-87, each team won a home game in a home-and-home series. OSU topped the Gauchos 91-85 on Dec. 5, 1986, while UCSB bested the Beavers on Dec. 3, 1986.

They said it: “They’re a very good team. They’ve played a really tough schedule. They’ve got a great combination of wings and then that big guy (Williams) inside. They pose a lot of problems because they can score inside and out. Then they mix it up a little bit defensively like ourselves, going man and zone. It’s going to be a big challenge for us.” — Tinkle on UC Santa Barbara

Links:

Olaf Schaftenaar develops into a “mismatch basketball player” 

OSU hopes to build off a restful Christmas

As defenses zero in on him, Gary Payton II works to adjust

Your weekly Beavers statistical snapshot

— Connor Letourneau | @ConnOregonian

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