UCSB Plays Rival Long Beach State in Final Home Game of Season Thursday

Jarriesse Blackmon (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Jarriesse Blackmon (Photo by Jeff Liang)

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• Upcoming Games
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

Game No. 29
Thursday, Mar. 7, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at CSUN Matadors

at CSUN's Matadome - Northridge, Calif. 
Live Stats: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: ESPN3/Watch ESPN

UCSB Plays Final Home Game, Hosts Long Beach State
UCSB will host rival Long Beach State in its final home game of the 2018-19 season on Thursday, Feb. 28. The Gauchos will be aiming for their first regular season sweep of the 49ers since the 2013-14 season. Seniors Jarriesse Blackmon, Ami Lakoju and Maxwell Kupchak, and graduate transfer Ar'mond Davis will each be making their final Thunderdome appearance and, prior to the game, the program will honor them. 

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its game against Long Beach State with an overall record of 19-8 and a Big West Conference mark of 8-5. Since losing three consecutive games for the first time during the Joe Pasternack era, the Gauchos have put together back-to-back convincing wins over the University of Hawai'i (79-61) and Cal State Fullerton (82-67). 

Gauchos Clinch Big West Tournament Spot
UCSB is one of four schools that has clinched a spot in the 2019 Big West Conference Tournament. The Gauchos are joined by UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton and Hawai'i as the teams that have already punched their tickets to the league tournament which is scheduled to be played at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on March 14-16.  

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 42 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. 

Pasternack Sets His Sights on Win No. 100
UCSB's 82-67 win over Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 23 was its 19th of the season and the 42nd of head coach Joe Pasternack's career at the school. The win was also the 97th overall in Pasternack's career as a head coach. The Louisiana-native spent four seasons in charge of the program at the University of New Orleans and during that time from 2007-11 his teams posted 54 wins. 

UCSB Approaching Record for Most Wins Over Two Seasons 
In Joe Pasternack's first season, UCSB tied a school record for wins and went 23-9. Through the first 27 games in 2018-19, the Gauchos are 19-8 giving them a 42-17 record over the last two seasons. The last time the program had as many wins over consecutive seasons was in 1988-89 and 1989-90 when it posted back-to-back 21-9 records for a record of 42-18. The school record for wins over two seasons is 42, set by the 1987-88 and 1988-89 teams. UCSB went 22-8 in 1987-88 and coupled with the following season had a two year record of 43-17.

Heidegger Takes Aim at 1,000 Points
Junior guard Max Heidegger scored a team-high 19 points in UCSB's Feb. 23 win over Cal State Fullerton and in doing so moved closer to becoming the 29th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000 point barrier. Heidegger will enter the Feb. 28 game against Long Beach State with 173 points on the season and 982 career points, just 18 shy of 1,000. In 2017-18, Heidegger tallied 612 points, the fifth highest single-season total in school history.

UCSB Looks to Equal School Standard for Home Wins
The Gauchos enter their final home game of the 2018-19 season with a record of 12-2 at the Thunderdome and with a win over Long Beach State, they would equal the school record for home victories in a season and set a new record for home winning percentage in a season. UCSB set a school record with 13 home wins in 1991-92. That year, the program was 13-3 for a winning percentage of .812.  The school standard for winning percentage is .857, set when the team went 12-2 in 2017-18, 2014-15 and 1986-87. A win on Thursday would give this year's Gauchos a 13-2 record and a winning percentage of .867. The program also won 12 games in 1987-88 when it went 12-3.

UCSB's Starters from Previous Game
1 Ar'mond Davis G 6-5 190 Gr. Has had 7 rebounds in back-to-back games...0-for6 from 3-pt range in last 2 games.
2 Jarriesse Blackmon F 6-7 220 Sr. Scored 4 or more points in 6 of the last 8 games...Started vs. CSF, his first in 8 games.
3 JaQuori McLaughlin G 6-4 190 So. Has 15 assists in the last 2 games, including career-high 8 on Feb. 21 vs. Hawai'i.
4 Devearl Ramsey G 6-0 185 So. Set career-high with 4 steals in each of last 2 games and has 10 in the last 3 games.
12 Amadou Sow F 6-9 235 Fr. Averaging 14.6 points in his last 9 games...Made 50-of-78 FGs over that span, 64.1%. 

UCSB's Reserves from Previous Game
0 Sékou Touré G 6-5 185 Fr. Recorded 14 mins, 5 pts, 6 rebs and 1 BS on Feb. 23 vs. CSF, all highs in Big West 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 17 games, including Feb. 14 at UCR...DNP in last 3 games.
14 Ami Lakoju F 6-9 260 Sr. Has 14 rebs in the last 5 games, a total of 36 minutes.
21 Max Heidegger G 6-3 180 Jr. Made at least 1 3-pt basket in 9 consecutive games...Has 982 career points.
23 Christian Terrell G 6-5 200 Jr. Made a free throw on Feb. 14 at UCR, his only point in Big West play...DNP in last 2.
34 Zack Moore G 6-5 210 Jr. Has been a DNP in 16 of the last 18 games.
35 Robinson Idehen F 6-10 230 So. Has made 14-of-19 shots over the last 10 games, 73.7%, and is shooting 69.7%.
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.

The Gauchos and 49ers
UCSB and Long Beach State have played 127 times in a series that began in 1952. The 49ers hold an all-time advantage of 67-60 but the Gauchos won the first game between the schools this season, an 82-71 decision on Jan. 16. Santa Barbara has won two of the last three meetings in the series.  

The Gauchos at the Thunderdome
The Gauchos are 12-2 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 Cal State Fullerton, Hawai'i, CSUN, UC Riverside, Cal Poly, USF, Idaho State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Sacramento State, Montana State, Bethesda and Cal Lutheran. The Gauchos are 24-4 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.

McLaughlin Named Big West Player of the Week
Sophomore guard JaQuori McLaughlin was named Big West Player of the Week after helping UCSB to a pair of wins over Hawai'i and Cal State Fullerton last week. McLaughlin averaged 13.5 points, 7.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game in the two wins. He also made 10-of-20 field goals overall and 5-of-12 from three-point range. He was also instrumental on the defensive end as he limited Fullerton's First Team All-Big West guard Kyle Allman, Jr., to a mere 4-for-14 shooting from the field. In the win over Hawai'i, McLaughlin set a new career-high with eight assists while not committing a turnovers. He joins Amadou Sow and Ar'mond Davis as Gauchos to be named Player of the Week this season.

Sow, Nagle Climb Onto UCSB Freshman Lists
Amadou Sow and Jay Nagle are making their way onto a variety of UCSB freshman top-10 lists. Sow has scored 314 points, collected 170 rebounds and made 124 field goals, ranking fifth in all three categories on the school's all-time freshman top-10 lists. He also has 18 blocked shots, sixth all-time, and his field goal percentage of 57.9% would be a new freshman record. In addition, Sow ranks 10th in field goal attempts with 214, tied for fifth in free throws with 65 and sixth in free throw attempts with 95. His current averages of 11.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game would each rank fourth all-time. Nagle has 26 three-pointers, ninth all-time, and his three-point field goal percentage of 44.1% would be the highest ever by a freshman.

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.  

Free at Last
While UCSB has been up and down from the free throw line this season, over the last seven games they have been relatively up. The Gauchos have shot 73.9% or better from the free throw line in each of the last seven games and over that span, they made 120 out of 157, 76.4%, lifting their season mark to 71.4%, the tops in the Big West Conference. Prior to the current seven game streak over 70%, the longest such stretch by UCSB this season was just two games.  

Take Me to Your Leader(s)
Through the first 27 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 six 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 seven 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 12 times and McLaughlin 11.

Men of Steal
While UCSB is averaging just 5.1 steals per game on the season, eighth in the Big West Conference, it has started to turn things around in the last several games. On Feb. 21 vs. Hawai'i, the Gauchos had a season-high 12 steals and they followed that up with eight steals on Feb. 23 against Cal State Fullerton. The 20 steals in the last two games are four more than the previous high over a two-game span. In fact, Santa Barbara has 36 steals over the last five games, an average of 7.2 per game.

Newcomers Make Their Mark
To say that UCSB has leaned on newcomers quite a bit through its first 27 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, 1,562 of Santa Barbara's 1,989 points, 78.5%, have been scored by first-year Gauchos. The rebounding number is not quite as extreme with 707 of 941 individual rebounds, 75.1%, credited to newcomers. Finally of the 378 assists that UCSB has produced through 27 games, 275 have been by newcomers, 72.8%.