Gauchos Roll Past Fresno Pacific in Exhibition Game, 82-62

Ami Lakoju (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Ami Lakoju (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Jalen Canty scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Ami Lakoju added 12 points as UC Santa Barbara cruised to a 82-62 exhibiton win over visiting Fresno Pacific on Sunday.

Canty, who was named California Community College Player of the Year after leading City College of San Francisco to the 2016 State Championship, made 8-of-10 field goal attempts en route to his team-high 17 points. Lakoju made his first six shots and finished 6-for-7. As a post duo, they combined to make 14-of-17 field goal attempts and score 29 points.

"I thought we took advantage of the things we needed to take advantage of and post play was one of those things," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "Jalen is not in the greatest shape yet and when he is, he is going to be really good. Ami was relaxed and played with poise and that showed."

The Gauchos scored the first basket of the game and never trailed. They built the lead to 27 (75-48) before coasting to the 20-point margin.

"Our play off the bench with Christian (Terrell), Maxwell and Ami, especially in the first half, was really good," Williams said. "Our bench gave us very good minutes today."

Terrell, a freshman, had six points, seven assists and five rebounds. He made 2-of-4 shots from beyond the 3-point line. Kupchak, a sophomore, had six rebounds and three assists.

Senior point guard Eric Childress had 10 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steal. Junior Gabe Vincent, the team's top retuturning scorer, made a trio of 3-pointers and finished with 11 points.

Overall, UCSB made 33-of-67 field goal attempts, 49.3%, but struggled from 3-point territory, making just 7-of-25, 28.0%. The Gauchos limited the Sunbirds to 20-of-65 overall, 30.8%, and 10-of-36 from 3-point range, 27.8%. 

Fresno Pacific was led by Kavika Jimenez who had 13 points and six rebounds.

UCSB will open the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 12 when it hosts Nebraska-Omaha in a 2:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.