UCSB Puts 5-Game Winning Streak on the Line Thursday at UC Davis

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

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• Upcoming Games
Game No. 17
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Davis Aggies

at UCD's Pavilion - Davis, Calif. 
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.tv

Game No. 18
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Fullerton Titans

at Titan Gymnasium - Fullerton, Calif. 
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.tv

UCSB Hits the Road for Next 3, 4 of Next 5
After enjoying nearly a month of home cooking, UC Santa Barbara will be on the road for its next three games and four of its next five. Following their Jan. 17 game at UC Davis, the Gauchos will play at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 24, at Long Beach State on Jan. 26 and at Hawai'i on Feb. 2. The only home game over the next three weekends will be a Jan. 31 game against UC Irvine. 

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its game at UC Davis on Thursday with an overall record of 13-3 and a Big West Conference mark of 2-0. The Gauchos have won fove consecutive games and seven of of their last eight. On Saturday they improved to 2-0 in league play with a 72-64 win over visiting UC Riverside. The current winning streak is their second five-game streak of the season. The other wins came over Cal Poly, San Francisco, Idaho State and Bethesda. In 2017-18, one season after setting a school record for losses and finishing 6-22, UCSB had 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. 

UCSB Off to Best Big West Start Since 2012
The Gauchos are off to a perfect 2-0 start to the 2019 Big West Conference season. The last time they opened league play with a 2-0 record was in 2011-12 when they posted wins over Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton. The last time a UCSB team began the Big West portion of the season with a 3-0 record was in 2001-02 when it defeated UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton and Idaho. 

Jan. 31 Game vs. UC Irvine Moved to 8:00 p.m. for ESPNU
The Gauchos Jan. 31 showdown against UC Irvine has been moved from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to accommodate ESPNU, which will carry the game live. At least through the non-conference portion of the schedule, UCSB and UCI have proven to be the top two teams in the Big West.

UCSB is Off to Its Best Start Since...
UCSB is off to its best 16 game start since the 1988-89 campaign when it opened the year with a 15-1 record. That Gaucho team set a school record for consecutive wins when it began the year at 11-0. They would get to 15-1 before settling for a 21-9 record.

UCSB in the Midst of its 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 16 games in 2018-19, the Gauchos are 13-3 giving them a 36-12 record (.750) in Pasternack's first 48 games. The last time the program had a better 48 game stretch was when it went 22-8 in 1987-88 and then opened the 1988-89 season with a 15-3 record, giving it a 37-11 record over a 48 game span. 

• Home is Where the Heart is...and Wins
When the Gauchos returned home to face Idaho State on Dec. 22 they brought with them an 8-3 record. Three weeks and five home games later, they have a five-game winning streak and a record of 13-3. UCSB is a perfect 9-0 at the Thunderdome this season and going back to the end of last season it has won 10 in a row at home. Going back to the 2016-17 season the Gauchos have won 22 of their last 24 home games. In Joe Pasternack's time at the helm they have a exceptional 21-2 home record.

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 was in 2014-15 when it traveled to Kansas, Florida-Gulf Coast, SMU, Oregon and Oregon State. That season, UCSB also played Washington State, Mercer and Colorado  State at the Great Alaskan Shootout in Anchorage, and at Oral Roberts in the College Basketball Invitational.

UCSB's Possible Starters
1 - Ar'Mond Davis - G - Leads the team at 13.9 ppg...In double-figures 3 straight and 6 out of last 7 games. 
2 - Jarriesse Blackmon - F - Has 5 assists in his last 2 games...Scoreless and without a rebound on Jan. 12 vs. UCR.
3 - JaQuori McLaughlin - G - Passed off for exactly 5 assists on Jan. 12 vs. UCR, his 7th game with exactly 5.
4 - Devearl Ramsey - G - 20 points on Jan. 12 vs. UCR, 2nd highest of season...10+ in 8 of last 9 games.
12 - Amadou Sow - F - Career-high 22 points on Jan. 12 vs. UCR...Made 42-of-71 FGs in last 8 games, 59.2%.

UCSB's Possible Reserves
0 - Sékou Touré - G - Went scoreless on Jan. 12 vs. UCR after scoring in 7 straight games.
5 - Jay Nagle - F - Scored career-high 20 vs. Bethesda...Made career-high 6 3-ptrs all in last 5:24.
10 - Maxwell Kupchak - F - Has played in 6 straight games for the first time this season.
14 - Ami Lakoju - F - Has 20 points and 20 rebounds in 29 minutes over the last 3 games, 6.7 per game each.
21 - Max Heidegger - G - In his 5 games, has 17 assists and just 3 turnovers, a 5.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
23 - Christian Terrell - G - Totaled just 1 minute in the last 2 games after playing season-high 27 Jan. 2 vs. Bethesda.
34 - Zack Moore - G - Has played a total of 2 minutes in last 6 games...Has 6 DNPs in last 7 games.
35 - Robinson Idehen - F - Was without a rebound on Jan. 12 vs. UCR, his first such game since Nov. 6 at Wyoming.
40 - Andrew Pickles - F - Played in 2 of the last 5 games...Had 2 pts, 1 reb, 2 asts on Jan. 2 vs. Bethesda.

The Gauchos and Aggies
UCSB and UC Davis have played 38 times in a series that began in 1939. The Gauchos hold a 29-9 all-time advantage. Last season, the teams split a pair of games with UCSB winning 90-81 in Davis and the Aggies winning 71-54 at the Thunderdome.

The Gauchos on the Road
The Gauchos are 2-3 in true road games this season and 4-3 in all games away from home. On Dec. 19, in their last road game, they were beaten by Omaha, 85-74. Prior to that, UCSB defeated Rice University in Houston on Dec. 15, 99-89 in overtime. The other true road win came on Nov. 6 in the opener at Wyoming, while the losses came on Nov. 11 at North Dakota State and Dec. 2 at Washington. The Gauchos defeated Portland State and Idaho in Boise for their neutral court victories. 

Turning Over a New Leaf, and Not Much Else
In its first nine games this season, UCSB committed more than 10 turnovers eight times. In the last seven games, the Gauchos have flipped the script, turning the ball over 10 or less times in each. On the season, they are averaging 10.9 turnovers per game, but in the last seven, they have totaled just 57 turnovers, an average of 8.1 per game. While Santa Barbara has a 1.4-to-1 assist to turnover ratio through 16 games, it has 123 assists to go along with its 57 turnovers in the last seven games, a 2.2-to-1 ratio.

Take Me to Your Leader(s)
Through the first 16 games of the 2018-19 season, UCSB has had six 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 seven times while Amadou Sow has led four times and JaQuori McLaughlin and Devearl Ramsey twice apiece. Sow has led the way in rebounding six times and while Davis and Jarriesse Blackmon have each led in rebounding three times. McLaughlin, Ramsey, Blackmon, Max Heidegger, Christian Terrell and Zack Moore have each led the team in assists with McLaughlin leading six times and Ramsey on five occasions.

Double Vision
In its Jan 2 win over Bethesda, UCSB had six players score in double-figures for the first time in several seasons. Jay Nagle (20), Sékou Touré (18), Ami Lakoju (16), Amadou Sow (14), Robinson Idehen (11) and Ar'Mond Davis (10) each hit double-figures against the Flames. Overall, the Gauchos have had five or more players in double-figures three times this season. The Gauchos also turned the trick in their Dec. 22 win over Idaho State when Davis (19), Devearl Ramsey (18), Sow (10), Touré (10) and Jarriesse Blackmon (10) scored in double-digits. On Dec. 15 at Rice, it was JaQuori McLaughlin (22), Max Heidegger (22), Ramsey (21), Sow (12) and Davis (10) who each scored 10 or more points. In all, 10 different players have scored 10 or more  points in a game this season and six have scored 20 or more. 

Gauchos Rebounding Roll Ends, But Another Streak Continues
In its last game, UCSB was outrebounded by UC Riverside, 37-27. It was the Gauchos' second largest rebound deficit of the season. On Dec. 15 at Rice, they were outrebounded by 12, 40-28. In all, they have won all but four rebounding battles and they continue to lead the Big West in rebound margin at +8.6. Santa Barbara has had eight games in which it has a rebound margin of 10 or more and it has gone 7-1 in those games. Ironically, the Gauchos are 4-0 when being outrebounded. 

Their Better Half
The Gauchos have trailed at halftime eight times in 16 games this season and in five of those games they have come back to win, including three games during the just-completed 5-0 homestand. Overall, UCSB has been better in second halves this season. While it has outscored its opposition 565-506 in first halves, an average of 3.7 per half. On the other hand, the Gauchos have outscored their opponents by a margin of 639-502 in second halves, an average of 8.6 per half. If the second halves and overtime are accounted for, they have outscored opponents by 147 points, an average margin of 9.2. Through 16 games, UCSB has outscored its opponents in the second half 15 times. The only opponent to have a scoring advantage in the second half of any game this season was North Dakota State on Nov. 11. The Bison outsscored the Gauchos 46-35 in the second half and the 46 points were easily the most by an opponent in the second half this year.

Newcomers Make Their Mark
To say that UCSB has leaned on newcomers quite a bit through its first 16 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, 1,003 of Santa Barbara's 1,226 points, 81.8%, have been scored by first-year Gauchos. The rebounding number is not quite as extreme with 439 of 585 individual rebounds, 75.1%, credited to newcomers. Finally of the 230 assists that UCSB has produced through 15 games, 184 have been by newcomers, 80.0%.