Hawai'i, ESPNU Invade Thunderdome Thursday for Key Big West Showdown

Ar'mond Davis (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Ar'mond Davis (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

KCSB Sports GauchoGameday:

• Upcoming Games
Game No. 26
Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. University of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif. 
Live Stats: UCSBgauchos.com
TV/On-Line Video: ESPNU/Watch ESPN

Game No. 27
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif. 
Live Stats: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.tv

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its game against Hawai'i with an overall record of 17-8 and a Big West Conference mark of 6-5. The Gauchos have lost three consecutive games, including an 83-70 decision at UC Irvine on Feb. 16. In all, Santa Barbara has gone 3-5 since opeing the season with a 14-3 overall record and a 3-0 record in Big West Conference games.

Gauchos Losing Streak Reaches Three for First Time Under Pasternack
UCSB has lost three consecutive games for the first time during the 2018-19 campaign and the first time under head coach Joe Pasternack. The last time they dropped three games in a row was in February of 2017 when they actually had an eight-game losing streak en route to a 6-22 record. Prior to the current three-game losing streak, Pasternack's Santa Barbara teams had never lost more than two in a row, which they did so twice in 2017-18.

Pasternack Posts Most Wins in First Two Seasons in School History
In 2017-18, UCSB head coach Joe Pasternack set a school record for a first year coach when he guided the Gauchos to a 23-9 record. The 23 wins were easily the most in a coach's first season in Santa Barbara. Now, with 40 wins and counting in his first two seasons, he has set another mark. Previously the most wins by a UCSB coach in his first two campaigns was 29 by Bob Williams in 1998-99 and 1999-2000. 

Gauchos in the Midst of Their 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 25 games in 2018-19, the Gauchos are 17-8 giving them a 40-17 record (.702) in Pasternack's first 57 games. The last time the program had a 57 game stretch this successful was when it went 22-8 in 1987-88 and then opened the 1988-89 season with a 20-7 record, giving it a 42-15 record over a 56 game span. Finally, the 40-16 record comes on the heels of a 2016-17 season that saw the program go 6-22 with the 22 losses representing a school record.

Heidegger Takes Aim at 1,000 Points
Junior guard Max Heidegger scored 17 points in UCSB's Feb. 16 loss at UC Irvine. He had his best game of the season on Feb. 6 vs. CSUN when he made 7-of-13 field goals overall, including 4-of-8 from three-point range, en route to a season-high 26 points. He followed that game up with 11 points on Feb. 9 vs. UC Davis. Heidegger, who missed the season's first nine games and 11 of the first 14 while recovering from a concussion, is looking to become the next Gaucho to score 1,000 career points. He enters the game against Hawai'i with 957 career points and needs 43 to become the 29th UCSB player to hit the 1,000 point mark. 

Sow, Nagle Jump Onto UCSB Freshman Lists
Amadou Sow and Jay Nagle are making their way onto a variety of UCSB freshman top-10 lists. Sow has 158 rebounds on the year, a figure that already ranks sixth on the all-time list. He needs eight boards to pass Taran Brown and move into fifth. If he were maintain his average of 6.3 per game and play just six more games, he would finish the season with around 195, the second most by a freshman in school history. Sow's 113 field goals rank fifth all-time and his 17 blocked shots are tied for sixth. He is making 57.1% of his shots, a figure that would rank first all-time and his 280 points are eighth all-time. He needs just 10 points to move into sixth. If Sow could maintain his scoring average of 11.2 points per game and play seven more games, he would score about 67 more points and finish with approximately 347 points, a figure that would rank second all-time among Gaucho freshmen. Nagle has 26 three-pointers, ninth all-time, and needs just five more to move into sixth. His three-point field goal percentage of 46.9% would be the highest ever by a freshman.

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.

The Gauchos and Rainbow Warriors
UCSB and Hawai'i have officially played 20 times in a series that began in 1959. The Gauchos hold an all-time advantage of 11-9, including a 75-54 win on Feb. 2 in Honolulu. Last season, the teams split a pair of games with each winning on its home floor. UCSB won at the Thunderdome, 84-82 in overtime.  

The Gauchos at the Thunderdome
The Gauchos are 10-2 at home this season. They started the 2018-19 season at 9-0 record before losing to UC Irvine on Jan. 31, 66-62 in overtime and then 61-57 on Feb. 9 vs. UC Davis. UCSB has home wins this season over CSUN, UC Riverside, Cal Poly, USF, Idaho State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Sacramento State, Montana State, Bethesda and Cal Lutheran. The Gauchos are 22-4 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, the best ever to open a season.

UCSB's Possible Starters
1 Ar'mond Davis G 6-5 190 Gr. Made at least 1 3-point basket in 2 straight and 10 of 11 games.
3 JaQuori McLaughlin G 6-4 190 So. Played 35 minutes on Feb. 16 at UCI and has now played 30+ in 12 straight, 14 of 15.
4 Devearl Ramsey G 6-0 185 So. Tied career-high with 6 rebounds on Feb. 16 at UCI and averaging 5.0 in last 4 games.
12 Amadou Sow F 6-9 235 Fr. 158 boards are the 6th most by a UCSB freshman...Made 14 of last 15 FTs, 93.3%. 
21 Max Heidegger G 6-3 180 Jr. Has played 30 or more minutes in 6 straight, averaging 34.7 per game over that span.

UCSB's Possible Reserves
0 Sékou Touré G 6-5 185 Fr. After missing 10 straight FGAs, has gone 3-for-4 in the last 3 games, 75.0%.
2 Jarriesse Blackmon F 6-7 220 Sr. Has made 11 of his last 13 free throw attempts, 84.6%.
5 Jay Nagle F 6-8 205 Fr. 26 of his 30 baskets are 3-pointers...26 3-pointers is 9th all-time for UCSB freshman.
10 Maxwell Kupchak F 6-7 205 Sr. Has played in 10 of the last 15 games, including Feb. 14 at UCR.
14 Ami Lakoju F 6-9 260 Sr. Has 38 pts, 38 rebs and 5 BS in 92 minutes over the last 12 games.
23 Christian Terrell G 6-5 200 Jr. Made a free throw on Feb. 14 at UCR, his only point in Big West play.
34 Zack Moore G 6-5 210 Jr. Has been a DNP in 14 of the last 16 games.
35 Robinson Idehen F 6-10 230 So. Has made 11-of-15 shots over the last 8 games, 73.3%, and is shooting 69.4%.
40 Andrew Pickles F 6-7 225 Jr. Has been a DNP in the last 10 games...Only FG of the year was on Jan. 2 vs. Bethesda.

Newcomers Make Their Mark
To say that UCSB has leaned on newcomers quite a bit through its first 25 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, 1,445 of Santa Barbara's 1,828 points, 79.0%, have been scored by first-year Gauchos. The rebounding number is not quite as extreme with 656 of 873 individual rebounds, 75.1%, credited to newcomers. Finally of the 346 assists that UCSB has produced through 25 games, 248 have been by newcomers, 71.7%.    

Take Me to Your Leader(s)
Through the first 25 games of the 2018-19 season, UCSB has had seven 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 10 times, while Amadou Sow has led seven times, Max Heidegger five times, Devearl Ramsey three times, JaQuori McLaughlin twice and Ami Lakoju once. Nine different players have led the way in rebounding. Sow has led 10 times, Davis has led six times, Jarriesse Blackmon four times and McLaughlin three times. McLaughlin, Ramsey, Blackmon, Davis, Max Heidegger, Christian Terrell and Zack Moore have each led the team in assists with Ramsey leading 10 times.

Double Vision, Double-Double Vision 
UCSB has five players averaging in double-figures through 25 games. Ar'Mond Davis leads the way at 13.6 points per game and he is followed by Amadou Sow at 11.2 per game, Devearl Ramsey at 10.8 points per game. Max Heidegger is at 10.6 points per game and JaQuori McLaughlin is averaging 10.4 points 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 have had 10 different players score 10 or more points in a game and six have scored 20 or more. Finally, five different UCSB players have recorded double-doubles in 2018-19. Sow and Davis each have a pair while Lakoju, Touré and Jarriesse Blackmon have one apiece. 

Free at Last
While UCSB has been up and down from the free throw line this season, over the last five games they have been relatively up. The Gauchos have shot 73.9% or better from the free throw line in each of the last five games and over that span, they made 81 out of 106, 76.4%. Interestingly, their best shooters over that span have not been the usual suspects. In the last five games, Amadou Sow has gone 16-of-20 (including 14-for-15 in the last four games) 80.0% and Jarriesse Blackmon has made 10-of-12, 83.3%. The team's best free throw shooter, Max Heidegger, is 22-of-23 in the last four games, 95.7%  

Sow Sets Freshman Standard
In UCSB's 75-54 win over Hawai'i on Feb. 2, Amadou Sow became the first true freshman in school history to record a game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. Sow scored 20 points and tied his career-high with 11 rebounds in the win. The double-double was his second of the year and it marked the third time he scored at least 20 points in a game.  

UCSB Hands Hawai'i Its Worst Big West Home Loss Ever
UCSB's 75-54 victory at Hawai'i on Feb. 2 was the Rainbow Warriors' worst home defeat to a Big West Conference opponent ever. Previously, their worst home loss was a 93-82 defeat suffered at the hands of UC Davis on Jan. 19, 2013.

February Must be National Turnover Month
Beginning with their game at Rice on Dec. 15, the Gauchos went a stretch of 11 games in which they turned the ball over more than 10 times just once. The final game of that run came on Jan. 9 when they had just seven turnovers in an overtime loss to UC Irvine. Beginning with the Feb. 2 game at Hawai'i, however, UCSB has turned the ball over more than 10 times in five straight games and they've averaged 13.2 over that span.