Gauchos Travel to CSUN, Cal Poly to Complete 2018-19 Regular Season

Amadou Sow (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Amadou Sow (Photo by Jeff Liang)

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• Upcoming Games
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

Game No. 30
Saturday, Mar. 9, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal Poly Mustangs

at Cal Poly's Mott Athletics Center - San Luis Obispo, Calif. 
Live Stats: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.tv

• UCSB Travels South, Then North to End Regular Season
UC Santa Barbara will will travel south to Cal State Northridge on Thursday night in its penultimate regular season game of the 2018-19 season and, after returning home, will head north on the 101 to complete the campaign with a Saturday night game at Blue-Green rival Cal Poly. The Gauchos are playing for seedings in next weekend's Big West Tournament which will tip-off on Thursday, Mar. 14

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its game at CSUN with an overall record of 19-9 and a Big West Conference mark of 8-6. In their last games, the Gauchos had a two-game winning streak snapped on Feb. 28 when they fell at home to Long Beach State, 69-64. Prior to the loss to the 49ers, UCSB had put together back-to-back convincing wins over the University of Hawai'i (79-61) and Cal State Fullerton (82-67). 

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 28 games in 2018-19, the Gauchos are 19-9 giving them a 42-18 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 43, 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 17 points in UCSB's Feb. 28 loss to Long Beach State 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 Mar. 7 game at CSUN with 180 points on the season and 999 career points, just one shy of 1,000. In 2017-18, Heidegger tallied 612 points, the fifth highest single-season total in school history.

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 collected 185 rebounds and made 130 field goals, ranking fourth in both categories among Gaucho freshmen. He has scored 327 points and blocked 21 shots, each ranking fifth all-time. His field goal percentage of 57.8% would be a new freshman record. In addition, his 225 field goal attempts are tied for seventh, his 66 free throws and 97 free throw attempts each rank fifth. Sow's current averages of 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game would rank fourth and third respectively.  Nagle has 27 three-pointers, ninth all-time, and his three-point field goal percentage of 44.3% would be the highest ever by a freshman.

Sow's 15 Boards are Most by Gaucho Freshman in 26 Years
Amadou Sow collected a career-high 15 rebounds in UCSB's Feb. 28 game against Long Beach State. The 15 boards were the most by a freshman in more than 26 years. The last time a Gaucho freshman player had more than Sow's 15 rebounds was on Feb. 13, 1993 when Kyle Milling had 16 in an overtime loss to Utah State. The program's all-time leading rebounder, Alan Williams, had a high of 13 rebounds during his freshman season. The school record for rebounds in a game by a freshman is 18 set by Tex Walker on Jan. 23, 1974 against San Jose State. 

Possible Starters - Notes
1 Ar'Mond Davis G 6-5 190 Gr. Has made 13 consecutive free throws and is now at 79.5% for the season.
2 Jarriesse Blackmon F 6-7 220 Sr. Scored 4 or more points in 7 of the last 9 games...20 BS are 2nd on the team.
3 JaQuori McLaughlin G 6-4 190 So. Taken over the team-led with 96 assists...Made a 3-pt basket in 11 of last 12 games.
4 Devearl Ramsey G 6-0 185 So. Scored in double-figures in 4 straight, his longest streak since December.
12 Amadou Sow F 6-9 235 Fr. Career-highs in rebounds (15), BS (3) and assists (2) on Feb. 28 vs. LBSU. 

Possible Reserves - Notes
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. 27 of his 31 baskets are 3-pointers...27 3-pointers is 9th all-time for UCSB freshman.
10 Maxwell Kupchak F 6-7 205 Sr. Has played in 11 of the last 18 games...Made 1st start of season on Feb. 28 vs. LBSU.
14 Ami Lakoju F 6-9 260 Sr. Made 6-of-8 FGs over the last 4 games, 75.0%...Made 2nd start of season vs. LSBU.
21 Max Heidegger G 6-3 180 Jr. Has 999 career points and needs 1 to become the 29th Gaucho to hit 1,000.
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 3.
34 Zack Moore G 6-5 210 Jr. Has been a DNP in 17 of the last 19 games.
35 Robinson Idehen F 6-10 230 So. Has made 14-of-19 shots over the last 11 games, 73.7%, and is shooting 69.7%.
40 Andrew Pickles F 6-7 225 Jr. Has been a DNP in the last 11 games...Only FG of the year was on Jan. 2 vs. Bethesda.

The Gauchos and Matadors
UCSB and CSUN have played 57 times in a series that began in 1959. The Gauchos hold an all-time advantage of 38-19 and have won the last three in the series, including a 70-64 victory at the Thunderdome on Feb. 6, 2019. The last time the teams played in the San Fernando Valley, Feb. 24, 2018, UCSB posted an 82-73 win.

The Gauchos on the Road
The Gauchos are 5-6 in true road games this season and 7-6 in all games away from home. They are 3-3 in Big West road games, winning 69-58 at UC Davis on Jan. 17, 82-71 on Jan. 26 at Long Beach State and 75-54 on Feb. 2 at Hawai'i. The road losses in league were 81-60 on Jan. 24 at Cal State Fullerton, 71-57 on Feb. 14 at UC Riverside and 83-70 at UC Irvine on Feb. 16. UCSB's other victories came at Wyoming and at Rice. The neutral court wins came over Idaho and Portland State. 

McLaughlin Claims Assist Lead
Sophomore guard JaQuori McLaughlin had a game-high five assists in UCSB's Feb. 28 game against Long Beach State and, in the process, took over the team-lead in assists for the first time this season. McLaughlin enters Thursday's game at CSUN with 96 assists, two more than sophomore Devearl Ramsey, who had led the way through the first 26 game of the season. After 27 games, McLaughlin and Ramsey were tied with 91 assists apiece. 

Free at Last
While UCSB has been up and down from the free throw line this season, over the last eight games they have been up. The Gauchos have shot 73.3% or better from the free throw line in each of the last eight games and over that span they made 131 out of 172, 76.2%, lifting their season mark to 71.5%, tops in the Big West Conference. Prior to the current eight 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 28 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 seven times, Devearl Ramsey three times, JaQuori McLaughlin twice and Ami Lakoju once. Nine different players have led the way in rebounding. Sow has led 12 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 and McLaughlin leading 12 times each.

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 what was then his career-high with 11 rebounds in the win. The 20 point game was Sow's third of the season and it was his second doiuble-double. After his double-double on Feb. 28, he now has three on the year.  

The Honorable Gauchos
UCSB has had three Big West Player of the Week honorees this season. Graduate transfer Ar'mond Davis earned the honor after his performances in wins over Portland State and Idaho at the Vandal Holiday Hoops Showcase on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 respectively. Freshman Amadou Sow was chosen after an outstanding effort in a Dec. 29 win over the University of San Francisco, which had previously lost just one game. Finally, sophomore JaQuori McLaughlin was named Player of the Week after Gaucho victories over Hawai'i and Cal State Fullerton two weeks ago.

Playing the Percentages
There is a pretty clear barometer of success for this year's UCSB basketball team and that's field goal percentage. The Gauchos have shot better than their opponents 18 times this season and they have won all 18 games. on the other hand, opponents have had a higher field goal percentage 10 times and they have gone 9-1 in those games. The only time that UCSB has shot a lower percentage that its opponent and won was on Jan. 17 at UC Davis when the Aggies shot 47.9% as compared to the Gauchos' 44.4%. The difference in that game? an 11-4 advantage in three-point baskets.

Newcomers Make Their Mark
To say that UCSB has leaned on newcomers quite a bit through its first 28 games would be a bit of an understatement. The top two 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, 1,603 of Santa Barbara's 2,053 points, 78.1%, have been scored by first-year Gauchos. The rebounding number is not quite as extreme with 731 of 972 individual rebounds, 75.2%, credited to newcomers. Finally of the 395 assists that UCSB has produced through 28 games, 286 have been by newcomers, 72.4%.