Gauchos Look to Stay Perfect on Road, Travel to North Dakota State Sunday

Jarriesse Blackmon (Photo by David Hague)
Jarriesse Blackmon (Photo by David Hague)

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Upcoming Games
Game No. 2
Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at North Dakota State Bison

at NDSU's Scheels Center - Fargo, N.D.
On-Line Audio:
TV/Video: ESPN+ / Midco Sportsnet
Video Stream | Live Stats

Game No. 3
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Lutheran Kingsmen

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif.
On-Line Audio:
Big West TV | Live Stats

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara opened the 2018-19 season with a tough road victory at Wyoming on Nov. 6, 76-66. In 2017-18, UCSB finished with an overall record of 23-9 and a Big West Conference mark of 11-5. The 23 wins equaled the most in school history and the 11-5 league record was good for second-place. The Gauchos also went 12-2 in home games and 9-6 in true road games.

UCSB Opens 2018-19 With Win at Wyoming
JaQuori McLaughlin scored 17 points, Devearl Ramsey added 14 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Amadou Sow had eight points and 11 rebounds as the Gauchos opened the 2018-19 season with a 76-66 win at Wyoming on Nov. 6. UCSB led the game for nearly 31 of 40 minutes, including the entire second half. The lead fell to 64-62 with 4:21 to play, but a 12-1 run pushed the advantage to 76-63 and the rest was history. Jarriesse Blackmon, the only returnee in the starting lineup, scored eight points while also tying his career-highs with eight rebounds and three blocked shots. The Gauchos shot 51.1% overall while limiting the Cowboys to just 36.2%. UCSB also won the rebound battle, 40-29.

Heidegger is Day-to-Day
Junior guard Max Heidegger did not make the trip to Wyoming but his status is now day-to-day and it is  yet to be determined if he will travel with the team to North Dakota State. Heidegger, who averaged 19.1 points per game as a sophomore, is recovering concussion symptoms.

UCSB Looks to Build on Big Turnaround
In 2016-17, the Gauchos went 6-22 overall and 4-12 in the Big West. Last season's team went 23-9, a 17-win improvement, the largest increase in victories in Big West Conference history and it equaled the most massive regular season improvement in NCAA history. In fact, last year's UCSB team became just the fourth Big West program to go from a season with a single-digit win total to 20 or more wins the following year. 

Pasternack Most Successful First-Year Coach in UCSB History
UCSB's 23-9 record in 2017-18 made Joe Pasternack the most successful first-year head coach in Gaucho history. Prior last season, Art Gallon's 15-10 mark in 1957-58 and Bob Williams' 15-13 in 1998-99 were the two best records for a first-year coach. 

• 23 Wins: A School Record
UCSB's 23 victories in 2017-18 equaled the most in school history, a mark that was set 10 years earlier in 2007-08.  The 1987-88 team won 22 games while three other Gaucho teams (1988-89, 1989-90 and 2013-14) each won 21 games in a  season. Interestingly, the record-setting win total came one season after Santa Barbara set a school record for losses with 22.

• Gauchos Picked to Finish 4th in Big West Media Poll
UCSB was selected to finish in fourth-place in the Big West Conference in the annual preseason media poll. The Gauchos received four first-place votes in the poll and totaled 149 points. UC Irvine collected 10 first-place votes and was picked to finish first with 192 poll points. Cal State Fullerton, which won the Big West Tournament in 2018, was picked second and UC Davis third.

• UCSB's Possible Starters
1 - Ar'Mond Davis - G - Early foul trouble at Wyoming limited him to 19 minutes, 6 points, 1 rebound. 
2 - Jarriesse Blackmon - F- Played career-high 25 minutes at Wyoming, tied career highs with 8 rebounds, 3 blocks.
3 - JaQuori McLaughlin - G - Scored 17 points in opener at Wyoming, 6 on a pair of key 3-point plays, not shots.
4 - Devearl Ramsey - G - His 14 points at Wyoming were a career-high, 9 points more than his high at Nevada.
12 - Amadou Sow - F - First freshman with 10+ rebounds since Alan Williams in March of 2012.

UCSB's Possible Reserves
0 - Sékou Touré - G - Made his only FG attempt and had 3 points in the win at Wyoming.
5 - Jay Nagle - F - Hit all 3 of his 3-point attempts in win at Wyoming, finished with 9 points, 3 rebounds.
10 - Maxwell Kupchak - F - Recorded a DNP in the opener at Wyoming.
14 - Ami Lakoju - F - Picked up 2 early fouls and was limited to 5 minutes in the win at Wyoming.
21 - Max Heidegger - G - Is day-to-day with concussion symptons and it is yet to be decided if he plays at NDSU.
23 - Christian Terrell - G - Made his only FG attempt and both of his FT attempts in win at Wyoming.
34 - Zack Moore - G - Was a perfect 2-for-2 from 3-point range in 11 minutes at Wyoming.
35 - Robinson Idehen - F - Committed 3 fouls in 3 minutes in the season opener at Wyoming.
40 - Andrew Pickles - F - Recorded a DNP in UCSB's first game.

The Opponents
UCSB and North Dakota State have played twice with each team winning once. The Bison defeated the Gauchos 68-60 at the BTI Tipoff Classic in Eugene, Ore., in 2010. Last season UCSB returned the favor at the Thunderdome in the season opener for both teams, 85-66. According to our records, the game between the Gauchos and Cal Lutheran will be the first ever.

The Gauchos on the Road
The Gauchos are 1-0 on the road this season after opening with a 76-66 win at Wyoming. In 2017-18, UCSB was a respectable 9-6 in true road games, including 9-4 to close the season. The Gauchos also went 2-1 in neutral site games to make their overall record away from home 11-7.

The Gauchos in Season Openers
With their win in the opener at Wyoming, the Gauchos have gone 53-26 in season opening games under eight different coaches dating back to the 1937-38 season. They have now won 13 of their last 16 season openers with the only losses over that span coming to Nebraska-Omaha (2016), at Kansas (2014) and at LSU (2012). 

Heidegger Named Preseason All-Big West
Junior guard Max Heidegger, who remains sidelined with concussion symptoms, was named to the Preseason All-Big West Conference Team by the league's media. As a sophomore in 2017-18, Heidegger averaged 19.1 points per game and made a school record 95 three-point baskets. His 19.1 average and 612 points were both UCSB records for a sophomore. He scored 33 points and made eight threes in a season opening win over North Dakota State, also sophomore records. Following the season, Heidegger was named First Team All-Big West, Second Team NABC All-District and Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American.

All-Newcomer Backcourt Has Solid First Game
In its season opener at Wyoming, UCSB started a backcourt made up 100% of newcomers and 100% of transfers. The threesome of Devearl Ramsey, a sophomore transfer from Nevada, JaQuori McLaughlin, a sophomore transfer from Oregon State, and Ar'Mond Davis, a graduate transfer from Alabama, fared quite will in its debut. Ramsey scored 14 points, collected six rebounds, passed off for a team-high four assists and added one steal. McLaughlin led the Gauchos in scoring with 17 points, while also adding three rebounds and a pair of assists. Davis, who got into early foul trouble and was limited to 19 minutes, had six points and one rebound. Combined, the group scored 37 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had six assists. 

A Perfect Bench
While the 2017-18 Gauchos posted an outstanding 23-9 record, it often did so while getting minimal contributions from its bench. In its opener at Wyoming, the bench played a pivotal role in a 76-66 win. The six players that came off the bench against the Cowboys combined to contribute 23 points, seven rebounds and a pair of assists. Most impressively, the four players off the bench who scored – Jay Nagle, Zack Moore, Christian Terrell and Sékou Touré – went 7-for-7 from the field overall and 5-for-5 from three-point territory.  

Sow Starts From the Start
Freshman Amadou  Sow started the season opener at Wyoming and, in the process, became the first freshman to start for the Gauchos since Gabe Vincent was in the starting lineup in a season opener at Kansas in 2014. Sow scored eight points and collected a team-high 11 rebounds in his 32 minutes of action. In fact, he became the first UCSB freshman to record a double-digit rebound game since Alan Williams had 10 in a game against Cal Poly on Mar. 9, 2012. 

Nagle Makes His Mark Too
Amadou Sow wasn't the only freshman to make his mark in the win at Wyoming. Jay Nagle, a 6-foot-8 freshman forward from Will C. Wood HS in Vacaville, Calif., scored nine points and was a perfect 3-for-3 from outside the three-point arc. In addition, Nagle collected three rebounds in his 13 minutes of action. 

UCSB Rides Free Throw Rollercoaster in Opener
Free throw shooting was not a strength of the 2017-18 Gauchos as they made 69.7% from the line. Nine minutes into the season opener at Wyoming it looked like more of the same. However, that was not the case. Led by JaQuori McLaughlin (6-for-6), Devearl Ramsey (7-for-8), Christian Terrell (3-for-3) and Jarriesse Blackmon (2-for-2), UCSB made 20 of its final 22 free throws, including 16 straight after the 1-for-5 start, to finish a a solid 21-for-27, 77.8%.