Alan Williams had 27 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to lead first-place UC Santa Barbara to an 82-67 win over UC Davis on Saturday afternoon at the Thunderdome, but the highlight of the game was the first regular season appearance ever by John Green.
Green, listed as a sophomore, has been in the UCSB program since 2011-12, but a series of broken bones in both of his feet forced him to miss all of 2011-12 and 2012-13. He played in an exhibition game earlier this season and then a non-conference game against Hawaii-Pacific, was sidelined once again when a small break showed-up on an x-ray.
"A 20-20 is nothing compared to John being back out on the court," said Alan Williams. "He's been my roommate and I've seen what it's been like for him not to play. Tonight I got choked-up when he came in. The reaction of the crowd was great. He's my superhero."
Green made two appearances in the game and totaled seven minutes. He had two points and three rebounds.
"I was so pumped when that first shot went in," Alan Williams said. "I was praying so hard when he took his next shot too. Hopefully there will be many more."
UCSB head coach Bob Williams shared his player's sentiment.
"For what he's gone through and to finally get on the court in a real game is fantastic," Coach Williams said. "It was a pretty emotional moment for me and everyone connected with the team."
Alan Williams had a double-double by halftime with 10 points and 12 rebounds and didn't slow down in the second half as he added 17 points and eight more rebounds to become the first Gaucho to record a 20-20 game since Eric McArthur in 1990.