Gauchos Look to Remain Perfect in Big West, Travel to Fullerton Thursday

Ami Lakoju (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Ami Lakoju (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

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• Upcoming Games
Game No. 18
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Fullerton Titans

at Titan Gymnasium - Fullerton, Calif. 
On-Line Audio:
On-Line Video:

Game No. 19
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Long Beach State 49ers

at Walter Pyramid - Long Beach, Calif. 
On-Line Audio:
On-Line Video: ESPN3/Watch ESPN

UCSB Extends Winning Streak to Six, Travels to Fullerton and Long Beach
UC Santa Barbara extended its season-best winning streak to six games in a row with a 69-58 road win over UC Davis on Jan. 17. The Gauchos. who won five games in a row earlier in the season, will remain on the road for two games this week when they travel to Cal State Fullerton on Thursday and Long Beach State on Saturday. UCSB will return home on Thursday, Jan. 31 for a game against UC Irvine. 

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its game at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday with an overall record of 14-3 and a Big West Conference mark of 3-0. The Gauchos have won six consecutive games and eight of of their last nine. On Jan. 17 they improved to 3-0 in league play with a 69-58 win at UC Davis. The current winning streak is their longest streak of the season. The other wins came over UC Riverside, Cal Poly, San Francisco, Idaho State and Bethesda. In 2017-18, one season after setting a school record for losses and finishing 6-22, UCSB had 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. 

The Gauchos have won six consecutive games, their longest streak of the season. They had a five-game winning streak in November and December. You don't have to go too far back to find the last time the program had a longer winning streak. In 2018, UCSB had winning streaks of seven and eight games. The seven game streak was during the non-conference portion of the schedule and the eight-game streak was during Big West Conference play.

UCSB Off to Best Big West Start Since 2002, Look to Make it 4-0 for the First Time
The Gauchos are off to a perfect 3-0 start to the 2019 Big West Conference season. The last time they opened league play with a 3-0 record was in 2001-02 when they posted wins over UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton and Idaho. When UCSB plays Cal State Fullerton it will be looking to improve to 4-0 in league player for the first time in program history. 

Time for Jan. 31 and Feb. 9 Games Changed for ESPNU
The Gauchos Jan. 31 showdown against UC Irvine has been moved from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and its Feb. 9 game against UC Davis has been moved from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to accommodate ESPNU which will air both games live. 

UCSB is Off to Its Best Start Since...
UCSB is off to its best 17-game start since the 1988-89 campaign when it opened the year with a 15-2 record. That Gaucho team set a school record for consecutive wins when it began the year at 11-0. They ultimately finished the season with a 21-9 record.

UCSB in the Midst of its Best Stretch in 30 Years
In Joe Pasternack's first season, UCSB tied a school record for wins and went 23-9. Through the first 16 games in 2018-19, the Gauchos are 14-3 giving them a 37-12 record (.755) in Pasternack's first 49 games. The last time the program had a 49 game stretch this successful was when it went 22-8 in 1987-88 and then opened the 1988-89 season with a 15-4 record, giving it an identical 37-12 record over a 49 game span. That team won its next two games, extending its record to 39-12 over 51 games.

Home is Where the Heart is...and Wins
When the Gauchos returned home to face Idaho State on Dec. 22 they brought with them an 8-3 record. Three weeks and five home games later, they have a five-game winning streak and a record of 13-3. UCSB is a perfect 9-0 at the Thunderdome this season and going back to the end of the 2016-17 season they have won 22 of their last 24 home games. In Joe Pasternack's time at the helm they have a exceptional 21-2 home record.

UCSB's Possible Starters  
1 Ar'Mond Davis G 6-5 190 Gr. Scored in double-figures 4 straight and 7 of 8 games...Tied high of 5 3s on Jan. 17 at UCD.
2 Jarriesse Blackmon F 6-7 220 Sr. Has 6 assists in his last 3 games...Just 3 FGAs in 71 minutes over last 3 games.
3 JaQuori McLaughlin G 6-4 190 So. Leads team in minutes at 527 and has played 30 or more in 14 of 15 games vs. D-I opps.
4 Devearl Ramsey G 6-0 185 So. Made 1 3-pointer on Jan. 17 at UCD and has now had at least 1 in 11 straight games.
12 Amadou Sow F 6-9 235 Fr. Made 45-of-76 FGs in last 9 games, 59.2%...Career-high 22 points on Jan. 12 vs. UCR.

UCSB's Possible Reserves
0 Sékou Touré G 6-5 185 Fr. Has been scoreless in last 2 games after scoring in 7 straight...0-5 FGs in last 2.
5 Jay Nagle F 6-8 205 Fr. 20 of his 24 baskets are 3-pointers...Made 2 triples on Jan. 17 at UCD.
10 Maxwell Kupchak F 6-7 205 Sr. Has played in 6 of the last 7 games...Was a DNP on Jan. 17 at UCD.
14 Ami Lakoju F 6-9 260 Sr. Has 24 points and 22 rebounds in 38 minutes over the last 4 games.
21 Max Heidegger G 6-3 180 Jr. In his 6 games, has 19 assists and just 5 turnovers, a 5.8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
23 Christian Terrell G 6-5 200 Jr. Totaled just 1 minute in the last 3 games after playing season-high 27 Jan. 2 vs. Bethesda.
34 Zack Moore G 6-5 210 Jr. Has played a total of 2 minutes in last 8 games...Has 7 DNPs in last 8 games.
35 Robinson Idehen F 6-10 230 So. Scoreless in back-to-back games for first time this season...Totaled 11 minutes in last 2.
40 Andrew Pickles F 6-7 225 Jr. Played in 2 of the last 6 games...Had 2 pts, 1 reb, 2 asts on Jan. 2 vs. Bethesda.

The Gauchos and Titans
UCSB and UC Davis have played 86 times in a series that began in 1976. The Gauchos hold a 47-39 all-time advantage including 2-0 last season with wins at Fullerton (70-65) and in Santa Barbara (83-64).

• The Gauchos on the Road
The Gauchos are 3-3 in true road games this season and 5-3 in all games away from home. They won their last road game, 69-58 on Jan. 17 at UC Davis. It was the team's first road game played in California. UCSB's other road victories came on Nov. 6 at Wyoming and Dec. 15 at Rice. The neutral court wins came over Idaho and Portland State in Boise. The defeats have come at Washington, Omaha and North Dakota State. 

Newcomers Make Their Mark
To say that UCSB has leaned on newcomers quite a bit through its first 17 games would be a bit of an understatement. The top four Gaucho scorers and six of their top eight are newcomers. Their top two rebounders and seven of their top eight are also newcomers. In all, 1,057 of Santa Barbara's 1,295 points, 81.6%, have been scored by first-year Gauchos. The rebounding number is not quite as extreme with 465 of 618 individual rebounds, 75.2%, credited to newcomers. Finally of the 258 assists that UCSB has produced through 17 games, 193 have been by newcomers, 74.8%.    

Take Me to Your Leader(s)
Through the first 17 games of the 2018-19 season, UCSB has had six different players lead or tie for the team-lead in scoring and 10 lead or tie for the lead in rebounding. Ar'Mond Davis has led the team in scoring a team-high eight times while Amadou Sow has led four times and JaQuori McLaughlin and Devearl Ramsey twice apiece. Sow has led the way in rebounding six times and while Davis has led four times and Jarriesse Blackmon three times. McLaughlin, Ramsey, Blackmon, Davis, Max Heidegger, Christian Terrell and Zack Moore have each led the team in assists with McLaughlin leading six times and Ramsey on five occasions.

Double Vision
UCSB has four players averaging in double-figures through 17 games. Ar'Mond Davis leads the way at 14.4 points per game and he is followed by Devearl Ramsey (12.1 per game), JaQuori McLaughlin (11.1 per game) and Amadou Sow (10.5 per game). In a Jan. 2 win over Bethesda, the Gauchos had six players score in double-figures for the first time in more than two decades. In that game Jay Nagle (20), Sékou Touré (18), Ami Lakoju (16), Sow (14), Robinson Idehen (11) and Davis (10) each hit double-figures. Overall, the Gauchos have had five or more players in double-figures three times this season. The Gauchos also turned the trick in their Dec. 22 win over Idaho State when Davis (19), Ramsey (18), Sow (10), Touré (10) and Jarriesse Blackmon (10) scored in double-digits. On Dec. 15 at Rice, it was McLaughlin (22), Max Heidegger (22), Ramsey (21), Sow (12) and Davis (10). In all, 10 different players have scored 10 or more  points in a game this season and six have scored 20 or more. 

Starters from the Start
Through its first 17 games, UCSB has had seven different players make an appearance in the starting lineup and four have started all 17. Guards Ar'Mond Davis, Devearl Ramsey and JaQuori McLaughlin, along with forward Amadou Sow have been in the starting lineup in every game this season. Jarriesse Blackmon has made 14 starting appearances while Max Heidegger has started twice and Amai Lakoju once.  

On the Rebound
UCSB continues to outrebound its opponents on a regular basis. After being outrebounded 37-27 in a Jan. 12 win over UC Riverside, the Gauchos bounced back with a 37-21 edge at UC Davis. The game against the Aggies marked the 13th time in 17 games this season that they have had the rebound edge over the oppositiion and of those 13 instances, nine have been by 10 or more rebounds. In all, Santa Barbara holds a +9.0 per game rebounding advantage. Ironically, the Gauchos are 10-3 when outrebounding an opponent and a perfect 4-0 when they are outrebounded.

Their Better Half
The Gauchos have trailed at halftime eight times in 17 games this season and in five of those games they have come back to win, including three games during the six-game winning streak. Overall, UCSB has been better in second halves this season. While it has outscored its opposition 608-537 in first halves, an average of 4.2 per half. On the other hand, the Gauchos have outscored their opponents by a margin of 665-529 in second halves, an average of 8.0 per half. If the second halves and overtime are accounted for, they have outscored opponents by 146 points, an average margin of 8.6. Through 17 games, UCSB has outscored its opponents in the second half 15 times. The only opponent to have a scoring advantage in the second half of any game this season was North Dakota State on Nov. 11. The Bison outsscored the Gauchos 46-35 in the second half and the 46 points were easily the most by an opponent in the second half this year.