UCSB Travels to Boise for Vandal Holiday Hoops Showcase Friday, Saturday

Amadou Sow (Photo by Mark Lasa)
Amadou Sow (Photo by Mark Lasa)

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Upcoming Games
Vandal Holiday Hoops Showcase
Game No. 5
Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Portland State Vikings

at CenturyLink Arena - Boise, Idaho
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Video: Pluto.tv

Game No. 6
Saturdady, Nov. 24, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. University of Idaho Vandals

at CenturyLink Arena - Boise, Idaho
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Video: Pluto.tv

UCSB Travels to Vandal Holiday Hoops Showcase for Pair of Games
UC Santa Barbara travels to Boise, Idaho over Thanksgiving weekend to play a pair of Big Sky Conference opponents in the Vandal Holiday Hoops Showcase. The Gauchos will play Portland State on Black Friday in a game that will tip-off at 4:00 p.m. (PST) and then they will take on the host University of Idaho on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. (PST). All games in the tournament will be played at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its Friday game against Portland State with a record of 3-1. The Gauchos have won two consecutive games for the first time this season, both at home. On Nov. 13, they thrashed Cal Lutheran (88-32) and in their last outing, on Nov. 17, they defeated Montana State, 88-69. Santa Barbara split a pair of road games to open the season, winning at Wyoming and losing at North Dakota State. In 2017-18, UCSB finished with an overall record of 23-9 and a Big West Conference mark of 11-5. The 23 wins equaled the most in school history and the 11-5 league record was good for second-place. 

UCSB Rolls Past Montana State
The Gauchos jumped out to a 13-0 lead in their Nov. 17 game against visiting Montana State and never looked back, cruising to an 88-69 victory. Ar'Mond Davis scored a career-high 22 points to lead the way, but he had plenty of help from his backcourt mates. JaQuori McLaughlin scored a season-high 19 points, made a season-high four three-point baskets and added five assists, while Devearl Ramsey had 13 points, eight assists and just one turnover. UCSB's lead ballooned to 24 on two occasions. The Gauchos shot 55.7% overall and they went a season-best 11-of-22 from three-point range, 50.0%. They also had a season-low eight turnovers to go along with 21 assists. Amadou Sow added 11 points and eight rebounds for Santa Barbara, which tied its season-high for points in a game. 

Heidegger is Day-to-Day
Junior guard Max Heidegger, a First Team All-Big West choice in 2017-18 when he averaged 19.1 points per game, has yet to play for UCSB this season. Heidegger remains day-to-day as he battles concussion symptoms. 

UCSB Looks to Build on Big Turnaround
In 2016-17, the Gauchos went 6-22 overall and 4-12 in the Big West. Last season's team went 23-9, a 17-win improvement, the largest increase in victories in Big West Conference history and it equaled the most massive regular season improvement in NCAA history. In fact, last year's UCSB team became just the fourth Big West program to go from a season with a single-digit win total to 20 or more wins the following year. 

Pasternack Most Successful First-Year Coach in UCSB History
UCSB's 23-9 record in 2017-18 made Joe Pasternack the most successful first-year head coach in Gaucho history. Prior last season, Art Gallon's 15-10 mark in 1957-58 and Bob Williams' 15-13 in 1998-99 were the two best records for a first-year coach. 

The Opponents
UCSB is 5-2 all-time against Portland State, but the teams have not played since 1981. The Gauchos are 10-8 all-time against Idaho, a former Big West Conference foe. The last time the teams met was on March 14, 2012 in a first round game of the College Insider Tournament and the game was won by the Vandals, 86-83.

The Gauchos on the Road
The Gauchos are 1-1 on the road this season after splitting a pair of games to open the regular season. On Nov. 6, they won 76-66 at Wyoming and on Nov. 11 they dropped an 82-63 decision at North Dakota State. In 2017-18, UCSB was a respectable 9-6 in true road games, including 9-4 to close the season. The Gauchos also went 2-1 in neutral site games to make their overall record away from home 11-7.

UCSB's Possible Starters
1 - Ar'Mond Davis - G - Scored a career-high 22 points in UCSB's win over Montana State. 
2 - Jarriesse Blackmon - F - Has tied his career-high with 3 blocked shots in 2 of the first 4 games.
3 - JaQuori McLaughlin - G - Had season-highs of 19 points and 5 assists vs. Montana State.
4 - Devearl Ramsey - G - Passed of for season-high 8 assists vs. Montana State...13 assists, 3 TOs in last 2 games.
12 - Amadou Sow F - Averaging 13.0 points per game and shooting 76.9% (10-of-13) in last two games.

UCSB's Possible Reserves
0 - Sékou Touré - G - Made his first career 3-point basket in win over Montana State.
5 - Jay Nagle - F - All 10 of his field goal attempts have come from 3-point range and he is 7-for-10.
10 - Maxwell Kupchak - F - Was a DNP vs. Montana State after playing in consecutive games.
14 - Ami Lakoju - F - Scored career-high 16 points in just 12 minutes on 11/13 vs. Cal Lutheran.
21 - Max Heidegger - G - Is day-to-day with concussion symptons and has yet to play this season.
23 - Christian Terrell - G - Has had a season-high 3 assists in each of the last 2 games.
34 - Zack Moore - G - Averaged 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks in the last 2 games.
35 - Robinson Idehen - F - Since going scoreless in opener, has averaged 7.3 points in last 3 while shooting 71.4%.
40 - Andrew Pickles - F - A DNP in the first four games...Has battled a sprained ankle.

Gaucho Backcourt Makes its Impact in Win Over Montana State 
All three members of UCSB's post rotation had career-best games in the blowout win over Cal Lutheran on Nov. 13 with the trio combining for 41 points, 18 rebounds and six blocked shots while making 18-of-27 shots from the field, 66.7%. In the Nov. 17 win over Montana State, it was the backcourt that ruled the day. Ar'Mond Davis, JaQuori McLaughlin and Devearl Ramsey combined to score 54 points, collect nine rebounds and pass off for 14 assists while making 19-of-37 field goals overall, 51.4%, and 8-of-18 from three-point range, 44.4%. Davis scored a career-high 22, McLaughlin added a UCSB-best 19 and a career-high four three-point baskets, and Ramsey added 13 points and a Gaucho-best eight assists in the win.

UCSB Discovers Three-Point Shot in Win Over Montana State
Through three games, UCSB had struggled to finds its range from beyond the three-point arc. As a team, the Gauchos made just 15-of-46 attempts in games against Wyoming, North Dakota State and Cal Lutheran. In the Nov. 17 win over Montana State, they had easily their best game of the year from three-point range as they hit 11-of-22, 50.0%, marking the first time this season that they have made 40% or better, let alone 50%. Freshman Jay Nagle was a perfect 2-for-2 in his three-point attempts against the Bobcats and is now 7-for-10 on year, 70.0%. JaQuori McLaughlin was 4-for-7 in the game and is now tied for the team lead with seven three-point baskets.

Approaching the Bench
While the 2017-18 Gauchos posted an outstanding 23-9 record, it often did so while getting minimal contributions from its bench. Beginning with its season opener at Wyoming, the bench played has been more than solid this season. Against the Cowboys it pivotal role in a 76-66 win, combining for 23 points, seven rebounds and a pair of assists. The bench has kept it going in the three games since the opener, scoring 20 at North Dakota State, a massive 53 against Cal Lutheran, and 19 in the win over Montana State. Combined, UCSB's reserves are averaging 38.3 points, 15.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. The group has also made 47-of-75 field goal attempts overall, 62.7%, and 11-of-18 from three-point range, 61.1%. In fact two members of the bench – Jay Nagle and Zack Moore – have combined to make 10 of 14 three-point shots, 71.4%. Sékou Touré and Robinson Idehen are the leading scorers off the bench at 5.5 points per game apiece. 

• Sow Starts From the Start
Freshman Amadou  Sow has started all four games this season and when he started the season opener at Wyoming he became the first freshman to start for the Gauchos since Gabe Vincent was in the starting lineup in a season opener at Kansas in 2014. Sow scored eight points and collected a team-high 11 rebounds in his 32 minutes of action in Laramie, becoming the first UCSB freshman to record a double-digit rebound game since Alan Williams had 10 in a game against Cal Poly on Mar. 9, 2012. 

Gauchos Break Pair of Records in Win Over Cal Lutheran
UCSB broke a pair of old standing records in their 88-32 win over Cal Lutheran on Nov. 13. The 56-point margin of victory was one more than the previous record of 55 set in a 123-68 win over Cal Poly Pomona on January 3, 1971. In addition narrowly breaking the victory margin record, the Gauchos also broke the school record for fewest points allowed in the shot clock era. The previous record of 33 was set on January 10, 1994 in a 53-33 win over Utah State.

UCSB Gets Defensive
Last season, UCSB opponents averaged 69.1 points per game while making 43.1 of their field goals overall and 34.5% from three-point territory. Through four games this season, things are looking up defensively. The quartet of Gaucho foes are averaging 62.2 points per game while shooting 36.2% overall and 24.5% from beyond the three-point arc. In addition, Santa Barbara has piled up 20 blocked shots (5.0 per game) and 20 steals (5.0 per game)

Share and Share Alike
After combining for just 14 total assists in their first two games, the Gauchos had 26 in their win over Cal Lutheran and 21 in the victory over Montana State. In fact, in the last two games, UCSB has 47 assists and just 20 turnovers. They had a season-low eight turnovers against Montana State.

Taking the Lead
When Ar'Mond Davis led UCSB in scoring with 22 points on Nov. 17 against Montana State, he became the fourth player to lead the Gauchos in scoring in as many games. JaQuori McLaughlin led the way with 17 points on Nov. 6 at Wyoming, Devearl Ramsey paced the team with 13 on Nov. 11 at North Dakota State and Ami Lakoju had a team-high 16 on Nov. 13 vs. Cal Lutheran.