Gauchos Host UC Irvine Thursday in First-Place Showdown on ESPNU

Devearl Ramsey (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Devearl Ramsey (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

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• Upcoming Games
Game No. 20
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Irvine Anteaters

at The Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif. 
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
TV/On-Line: ESPNU and Watch ESPN

Game No. 21
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at 10:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Univ. of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors

at UH's Stan Sheriff Center - Honolulu, Hawai'i
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: Spectrum Sports/BigWest.tv

UCSB Bounce Back at Long Beach State, Hosts UCI, Travels to Hawai'i
UC Santa Barbara rebounded from its first Big West Conference loss at Cal State Fullerton with an 82-71 win at Long Beach State on Saturday, Jan. 26. The Gauchos led 38-31 at halftime, fell behind on three occasions in the second half, but then closed strong for the win. This week, they will host UC Irvine on Thursday in an 8:00 p.m. game on ESPNU and then travel to Hawai'i on Saturday for a 10:00 a.m. (PST) contest.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its game against UC Irvine on Thursday with an overall record of 15-4 and a Big West Conference mark of 4-1. The Gauchos won at Long Beach State on Saturday, 82-71 and have now won seven out of their last eight and nine of 11. 

Times Changed for Several UCSB Games to Accommodate ESPNU, ESPN2
The Gauchos Jan. 31 showdown against UC Irvine has been moved from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to accommodate ESPNU and their Feb. 16 game against the Anteaters in Irvine has been moved to 9:00 p.m. for ESPN2. In addition, UCSB's Feb. 9 home game against UC Davis has been moved from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and its Feb. 21 home game against Hawai'i has been moved to 8:00 p.m. for ESPNU. 

UCSB is Off to Its Best Start Since...
UCSB is off to its best 19-game start since the 1988-89 campaign when it also opened the year with a 15-4 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 and played in the National Invitation Tournament.

Gauchos Off to Best Big West Start Since 2011-12
The Gauchos are 4-1 in Big West Conference play for the first time since 2011-12. That season, UCSB dropped its sixth league game to go 4-2. The last time the program was 5-1 in league play was in 1988-89 when it opened at 6-1. 

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 19 games in 2018-19, the Gauchos are 15-4 giving them a 38-13 record (.745) in Pasternack's first 51 games. The last time the program had a 51 game stretch this successful was when it went 22-8 in 1987-88 and then opened the 1988-89 season with a 17-4 record, giving it a 39-12 record over a 51 game span.

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 had 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 21-2 home record.

Winning Streak Was Longest Since...
UCSB's six-game winning streak was the longest streak of the season. The Gauchos 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.

Gauchos Go the Distance for Non-Conference Road Games
This season, UCSB played its non-conference road games at Wyoming, North Dakota State, Washington, Rice, Nebraska-Omaha and against Portland State and Idaho in Boise. This year marks the second time in program history that the Gauchos played all of their non-conference road games outside the state of California. The only other time the team played all of its preseason road games outside the Golden State. The first road game that UCSB played in the state of California this season was on Jan. 17 at UC Davis.

UCSB's Possible Starters
1 Ar'Mond Davis G 6-5 190 Gr. Had 2nd double-double with 24 pts and career-high 11 rebs on Jan. 26 at LBSU.
2 Jarriesse Blackmon F 6-7 220 Sr. Had 4 pts on Jan. 26 at LBSU, 1 more than previous 3 games combined.
3 JaQuori McLaughlin G 6-4 190 So. Played career-high 39 mins on Jan. 26 at LBSU...Averaged 6.5 rebs in last 2 games.
4 Devearl Ramsey G 6-0 185 So. Made at least 1 3-pointer in 13 straight games...Season-low 5 pts Jan. 26 at LBSU.
12 Amadou Sow F 6-9 235 Fr. Scored 14 pts on Jan. 26 at LBSU after totaling 10 in previous 2 games.

UCSB's Possible Reserves
0 Sékou Touré G 6-5 185 Fr. Since scoring 18 on Jan. 2 vs. Bethesda, has totaled just 4 points in 5 games, 27 minutes.
5 Jay Nagle F 6-8 205 Fr. 23 of his 27 baskets are 3-pointers...Scoreless at LBSU after scoring 18 in previous 2.
10 Maxwell Kupchak F 6-7 205 Sr. Has played in 8 of the last 9 games and only DNP was on Jan. 17 at UCD.
14 Ami Lakoju F 6-9 260 Sr. Has 27 pts and 25 rebs in 52 minutes over the last 6 games.
21 Max Heidegger G 6-3 180 Jr. Went for 10 pts and 6 asts in 2nd half at LBSU on Jan. 26...Has 27 asts, 5 TOs this year.
23 Christian Terrell G 6-5 200 Jr. Totaled just 2 minutes in the last 5 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 10 games...Has 9 DNPs in last 10 games.
35 Robinson Idehen F 6-10 230 So. Scored 8 pts in each of last 2 games going 7-for-7 from the field in the process.
40 Andrew Pickles F 6-7 225 Jr. Played in 2 of the last 9 games...Had 2 pts, 1 reb, 2 asts on Jan. 2 vs. Bethesda.

The Gauchos and Anteaters
UCSB and UC Irvine have played 91 times in a series that began in 1968. The Gauchos hold a 52-39 all-time advantage. The teams split a pair of regular season games last season before the Anteaters defeated UCSB in a Big West Tournament semifinal game, 61-58. 

The Gauchos at the Thunderdome
The Gauchos have started the 2018-19 season with a 9-0 record at the Thunderdome. They have posted wins over UC Riverside, Cal Poly, USF, Idaho State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Sacramento State, Montana State, Bethesda and Cal Lutheran. UCSB is 21-2 at home under Joe Pasternack. In 2017-18, UCSB went 12-2 at home and opened the regular season with an 11-0 record at the Thunderdome, equaling the longest streak to begin a home schedule in school history. 

Take Me to Your Leader(s)
Through the first 19 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 nine times, while Amadou Sow has led four times, Devearl Ramsey three times and JaQuori McLaughlin twice. Sow has led the way in rebounding six times, while Davis has led five times, Jarriesse Blackmon three times and McLaughlin twice. McLaughlin, Ramsey, Blackmon, Davis, Max Heidegger, Christian Terrell and Zack Moore have each led the team in assists with Ramsey leading on seven occasions.

• Newcomers Make Their Mark
To say that UCSB has leaned on newcomers quite a bit through its first 19 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, 1,181 of Santa Barbara's 1,437 points, 82.2%, have been scored by first-year Gauchos. The rebounding number is not quite as extreme with 525 of 649 individual rebounds, 76.2%, credited to newcomers. Finally of the 283 assists that UCSB has produced through 19 games, 208 have been by newcomers, 73.4%.    

Double Vision
UCSB has four players averaging in double-figures through 19 games. Ar'Mond Davis leads the way at 14.6 points per game and he is followed by Devearl Ramsey (11.9 per game), JaQuori McLaughlin (11.3 per game) and Amadou Sow (10.4 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 19 games, UCSB has had seven different players make an appearance in the starting lineup and four have started all 19. 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 16 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. Although the Gauchos and their last two opponents – Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State – tied in the rebounding battle, they have outrebounded 13 of 19 opponents this season. After being outrebounded 37-27 in a Jan. 12 win over UC Riverside, Santa Barbara bounced back with a 37-21 edge on Jan. 17 at UC Davis. Of the 13 times that UCSB has outrebounded its opponent, nine have been by 10 or more. In all, Santa Barbara holds a +8.0 per game rebounding advantage. Ironically, the Gauchos are 10-3 when outrebounding an opponent,  1-1 when tied, and a perfect 4-0 when they are outrebounded.

Their Better Half
The Gauchos have trailed at halftime nine times in 19 games this season and in five of those games they have come back to win, including three games during their season-long six-game winning streak. Overall, UCSB has been better in second halves this season. While it has outscored its opposition 677-616 in first halves, an average of 3.2 per half. On the other hand, the Gauchos have outscored their opponents by a margin of 738-602 in second halves, an average of 7.2 per half. If the second halves and overtime are accounted for, they have outscored opponents by 146 points, an average margin of 7.7. Through 19 games, UCSB has outscored its opponents in the second half 15 times. The only opponents to have a scoring advantage in the second half this season are North Dakota State, UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton.