UCSB Hosts Red Hot Cal State Fullerton in Penultimate Home Game Saturday

Robinson Idehen (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Robinson Idehen (Photo by Tony Mastres)

• Upcoming Games
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

Game No. 28
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Long Beach State 49ers

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

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its game against Cal State Fullerton with an overall record of 18-8 and a Big West Conference mark of 7-5. The Gauchos ended their three-game losing streak on Thursday with a 79-61 win over visiting Hawai'i. The victory moved Santa Barbara past UC Davis, which lost to Fullerton, and into a tie with the Rainbow Warriors for third-place in the league.

Gauchos End Longest Losing Streak Under Pasternack
UCSB's 79-61 win over Hawai'i on Thursday night ended a three-game losing streak, the longest during the two-year tenure of Joe Pasternack as head coach. Prior to the just-ended three-game losing streak, the last time the program 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. Before to the three-game losing streak, Pasternack's Santa Barbara teams had never lost more than two in a row, which they did 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 41 wins and counting in his first two seasons, he has set another mark. Previously, the most victories 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 26 games in 2018-19, the Gauchos are 18-8 giving them a 41-17 record (.707) in Pasternack's first 58 games. The last time the program had a 58 game stretch this successful was when it went 22-8 in 1987-88 and then opened the 1988-89 season with a 21-7 record, giving it a 43-15 record over a 58 game span. Finally, the 41-16 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 six points in UCSB's Feb. 21 win over Hawai'i. 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. 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 Cal State Fullerton with 963 career points and needs 37 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 166 rebounds on the year, a figure that already ranks fifth on the all-time list. He needs six boards to pass Chris Devine and move into fourth. If he were maintain his average of 6.4 per game and play just five more games, he would finish the season with around 198, the second most by a freshman in school history. Sow's 119 field goals rank fifth all-time and his 17 blocked shots are tied for sixth. He is making 57.2% of his shots, a figure that would rank first all-time, and his 298 points are sixth all-time. He needs just nine to move into fifth. If Sow could maintain his scoring average of 11.5 points per game and play five more games, he would score about 57 more points and finish with approximately 355 points, a figure that would rank tied for first 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 44.1% would be the highest ever by a freshman.

The Gauchos and Titans
UCSB and Cal State Fullerton have played 87 times in a series that began during the 1975-76 season. The Gauchos hold an all-time advantage of 47-40 but the Titans won the first game between the schools this season, an 81-60 decision on Jan. 24. The 21-point margin was the largest in a UCSB loss this season.  

The Gauchos at the Thunderdome
The Gauchos are 11-2 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 Hawai'i, CSUN, UC Riverside, Cal Poly, USF, Idaho State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Sacramento State, Montana State, Bethesda and Cal Lutheran. The Gauchos are 23-4 at home under Joe Pasternack. In 2017-18, UCSB went 12-2 at home and opened the regular season with an 11-0 record the best ever home start to open a season.

UCSB's Possible Starters
1 Ar'mond Davis G 6-5 190 Gr. Scored 10+ points in 3 straight for first time since first 3 Big West games.
3 JaQuori McLaughlin G 6-4 190 So. Had a career-high 8 assists to go alon with 0 turnovers Thursday vs. Hawai'i.
4 Devearl Ramsey G 6-0 185 So. Set career-high with 4 steals in Thursday's win over Hawai'i.
12 Amadou Sow F 6-9 235 Fr. Averaging 14.4 points in last 8 games to lift average to season-high 11.5 points per game. 
21 Max Heidegger G 6-3 180 Jr. Has played 30 or more minutes in 7 straight, averaging 34.3 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 4 games, 75.0%.
2 Jarriesse Blackmon F 6-7 220 Sr. Scored 5 or more points in 5 of the last 7 games.
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 16 games, including Feb. 14 at UCR...DNP in last 2 games.
14 Ami Lakoju F 6-9 260 Sr. Has 44 pts, 41 rebs and 5 BS in 100 minutes over the last 13 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 15 of the last 17 games.
35 Robinson Idehen F 6-10 230 So. Has made 14-of-18 shots over the last 9 games, 77.8%, and is shooting 70.8%.
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.

Take Me to Your Leader(s)
Through the first 26 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 eight 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 11 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.

Newcomers Make Their Mark
To say that UCSB has leaned on newcomers quite a bit through its first 26 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, 1,506 of Santa Barbara's 1,907 points, 79.0%, have been scored by first-year Gauchos. The rebounding number is not quite as extreme with 678 of 904 individual rebounds, 75.0%, credited to newcomers. Finally of the 362 assists that UCSB has produced through 26 games, 262 have been by newcomers, 72.4%.    

Double Vision, Double-Double Vision 
UCSB has five players averaging in double-figures through 26 games. Ar'Mond Davis leads the way at 13.7 points per game and he is followed by Amadou Sow at 11.5 per game, Devearl Ramsey at 10.8 points per game. JaQuori McLaughlin is at 10.5 points per game and Max Heidegger is averaging 10.3 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 six games they have been relatively up. The Gauchos have shot 73.9% or better from the free throw line in each of the last six games and over that span, they made 100 out of 130, 76.9%. Interestingly, their best shooters over that span have not been the usual suspects. In the last six games, Amadou Sow has gone 21-of-27 (including 19-for-22 in the last five games) 77.8% and Jarriesse Blackmon has made 12-of-15, 80.0%. The team's best free throw shooter, Max Heidegger, is 23-of-25 in the last four games, 92.0%  

Sow Sets Freshman Standard
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.  

Men of Steal
In its win over Hawai'i on Thursday, Feb. 21, UCSB did much of its work on the defensive end of the floor. Led by Devearl Ramsey and Amadou Sow, who had career-highs of four and three steals respectively, the Gauchos finished with a season-high 12 steals against the Rainbow Warriors. It marked just the second time this season that they were in double-figures and the first against a Division I opponent.