No. 2 UCSB Plays No. 7 CSUN in Big West Tournament First Round Thursday

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

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Game No. 31
The 2019 Big West Tournament presented by Pacific Surfliner
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019 at 12:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. CSUN Matadors

at Honda Center - Anaheim, Calif. 
Live Stats:
On-Line Video: ESPN3/Watch ESPN

The Gaucho Record
No. 2 seeded UCSB enters its Big West Tournament quarterfinal game against CSUN with an overall record of 21-9. The Gauchos won their final two regular season games and four of the last five to finish with a Big West Conference record of 10-6. In their season-finale, they posted a 92-82 win over Cal Poly, leap-frogging over Cal State Fullerton for the No. 2 seed at the tournament.  

The Gauchos in the Big West Tournament
UCSB has won three Big West Conference Tournament titles and played for a fourth. The Gauchos won their first championship in 2002 when they were seeded third, beating Cal Poly, UC Irvine and Utah State. In 2010, as the No. 1 seed, UCSB topped UC Davis in the semifinals and Long Beach State in the final. In 2011, as the fifth seeded team, the Gauchos beat Pacific, CSUN and Long Beach State. The following year, in 2012, they advanced to their third consecutive championship game against Long Beach, but that time the 49ers were too much. Last season, Santa Barbara defeated Cal Poly in the first round and fell to UC Irvine in the semifinals. In all, the program has advanced to the semifinals 12 times, in addition to the four finals appearances. 

Sow, Davis, Blackmon Honored by Big West Conference
Freshman Amadou Sow was named Second Team All-Big West, graduate transfer Ar'mond Davis was selected honorable mention all-league and senior Jarriesse Blackmon was chosen the Hustle co-Player of the Year by the Big West's coaches. Sow enters the Big West Conference Tournament averaging 12.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 57.7% from the field. In conference play, the native of Mali is averaging a team-best 13.4 points per game. He also leads the Gauchos with 22 blocked shots. Davis remains UCSB's leading scorer at 13.1 points per game overall and he is second in rebounding at 5.9 per game. In the final game of the regular season, a win at Cal Poly, he set a career-high with 17 rebounds, the most by a Gaucho player since March of 2015. Davis, who transferred to UCSB after graduating from Alabama last year, also leads the team with 45 three-point baskets. Blackmon is averaging 4.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He also ranks second on the team with 21 blocked shots and fourth with 16 steals. Blackmon is also one of the top defensive players on the roster.

UCSB Records Back-to-Back 20-Win Seasons for First Time in 29 Years 
The Gauchos enter postseason play with a 21-9 record and coupled with their 23-9 record last season, they have won 20 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1988-89 and 1989-90 campaigns. The 23 wins in 2017-18 equaled a school record and the 44 wins over the last two seasons is the most over a two-season span in school history. The previous record of 43 was set by the 1987-88 and 1988-89 teams that went 22-8 and 21-9 respectively. Overall, the program has now won 20 or more games 13 times. 

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 44 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 92-82 win in the regular season finale at Cal Poly was the 44th of head coach Joe Pasternack's career at the school. The victory was also the 98th 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. 

Sow Sets UCSB Freshman Scoring Record
In the Mar. 9 regular season finale at Cal Poly, Amadou Sow was a perfect 9-for-9 shooting from the field and he scored a career-high 23 points. In doing so, he moved past Chris Devine and into first-place on UCSB's all-time freshman scoring list. Sow enters the Big West Tournament with 361 points, six more than Devine scored in 2005-06, his first season of action with the Gauchos.

Heidegger is 29th Gaucho to Score 1,000 points
Entering UCSB's Mar. 7 game at CSUN, junior guard Max Heidegger needed just one point to become the 29th player in school history to score 1,000 or more in his career. He scored 23 against the Matadors and then 16 on Mar. 9 at Cal Poly and enters postseason play with 1,038, the 27th most ever by a Gaucho. Heidegger needs just 13 points to pass Doug Muse and move into 26th-place all-time.

UCSB's Starters from Previous Game
1 Ar'Mond Davis G 6-5 190 Gr. Career-high 17 rebs on Mar. 9 at Cal Poly, most by a Gaucho since Mar. 7, 2015.
3 JaQuori McLaughlin G 6-4 190 So. Totaled 19 pts in last 3 games, 6.3 per game, while making 4-of-18 FGs, 22.2%.
4 Devearl Ramsey G 6-0 185 So. Has scored in double-figures in 5 of the last 6 and has 3 or more rebs in 11 of last 12.
12 Amadou Sow F 6-9 235 Fr. Made all 9 FGAs on Mar. 9 at Cal Poly...Scored 10 or more in 7 straight and 11 of 12. 
21 Max Heidegger G 6-3 180 Jr. Scored in double-figures in season-high 4 straight, averaging 18.7 ppg over that span.

UCSB's Reserves from Previous Game
0 Sékou Touré G 6-5 185 Fr. Had 6 rebs in Mar. 9 win over Cal Poly, his second 6 reb game in the last 4.
2 Jarriesse Blackmon F 6-7 220 Sr. Made 9-of-12 FGs in the last four games, 75.0%, and has averaged 5.2 ppg in the last 5.
5 Jay Nagle F 6-8 205 Fr. 30 of his 36 baskets are 3-pointers...30 3-pointers are tied for 6th among UCSB freshmen.
10 Maxwell Kupchak F 6-7 205 Sr. Has played in 3 straight games and 13 of the last 20 games.
14 Ami Lakoju F 6-9 260 Sr. Made 8-of-10 FGs over the last 6 games, 80.0%...Made 2nd start of season Feb.1 vs. LSBU.
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 19 of the last 21 games.
35 Robinson Idehen F 6-10 230 So. Has made 18-of-25 shots over the last 13 games, 72.0%...18 rebs in last 5 games, 46 mins.
40 Andrew Pickles F 6-7 225 Jr. Has been a DNP in the last 16 games...Only FG of the year was on Jan. 2 vs. Bethesda.

The Gauchos and Matadors
UCSB and CSUN have played 59 times in a series that began in 1959. The Gauchos hold an all-time advantage of 40-19 and have won the last four in the games, including a 76-74 victory at the Matadome on Mar. 7. They also won the first game between the schools this year, 70-64 on Feb. 6 at the Thunderdome. The programs have met in the Big West Tournament on three occasions with CSUN winning in 2009 and 2004. UCSB won the most recent matchup, an 83-63 semifinal win on Mar. 11, 2011.   

The Gauchos Away from Home
The Gauchos went 7-6 in true road games this season and 9-6 in all games away from home. They went 5-3 in Big West road games, winning 69-58 at UC Davis on Jan. 17, 82-71 on Jan. 26 at Long Beach State, 75-54 on Feb. 2 at Hawai'i, 76-74 at CSUN on Mar. 7 and 92-82 at Cal Poly on Mar. 9. 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. 

On Balance, This is a Pretty Balanced Team
UCSB enters postseason play with five players averaging in double-figures for the first time in school history. The Gauchos have had several teams with four players averaging 10 or more points per game, but they have never had five players. As he has since the second game of the season, graduate transfer Ar'mond Davis is the team's leader at 13.1 points per game. Junior guard Max Heidegger, who missed 11 games with concussion symptoms, is averaging 12.1 points per game. Freshman Amadou Sow is averaging 12.0 points, a figure that is at its highest point all year. In fact, he averaged 13.4 per game against Big West opponents, the tops among all players. Sophomore guards Devearl Ramsey (10.7 per game) and JaQuori McLaughlin (10.2 per game) round out the double-digit quintet. 

Ramsey, McLaughlin Share and Share Alike...Literally
Sophomore guards Devearl Ramsey and JaQuori McLaughin have, basically, split the point guard duties this season and the result is an even split of assists. Ramsey, who was the team-leader in assists for much of the year, completed the regular season with exactly 100 assists, 3.3 per game. McLaughlin had more assists than any Gaucho in Big West Conference games and he too finished the regular season with precisely 100 assists, 3.3 per game. This marks the sixth time in UCSB history that two players have produced at least 100 assists in the same season. Brian Shaw and Carlton Davenport accomplished the feat in 1986-87 and 1987-88. Derrick Allen and Larry Bell did so in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, and last season it was Gabe Vincent and Marcus Jackson.

Sow, Nagle Climb UCSB Freshman Lists
As mentioned on page one, Amadou Sow has set a UCSB record for most points by a freshman with 361, but he and teammate Jay Nagle are scaling other statistical lists as well. Here are where they rank and what their next targets are.

Amadou Sow                                                                                       Jay Nagle
Category                 Stat        Rank       Next Target                           Category                           Stat           Rank        Next Target 

Rebounds                 194         3rd          195 (Alan Williams)                 3-pointers                          30             t-6th        38 (Idris Jones)
Field Goals               142         2nd          145 (Tex Walker)                    3-point FGA                        67             11th        68 (Brandon Payton)
FGA                         246         4th           285 (Carrick DeHart)              3-point FG%                       44.8%       1st          NA
FG%                        57.7%     1st           NA
Free Throws              76          3rd           80 (Chris Devine)
FTA                         109         2nd          116 (Branduinn Fullove)
BS                            22         6th           24 (Rob Ramaker)

That 70s Show
While UCSB has been up and down from the free throw line this season, over the last nine games they have been up. The Gauchos have shot 70.4% or better from the free throw line in each of the last nine games and over that span they made 165 out of 220, 75.0%, lifting their season mark to 71.4%, second in the Big West Conference. Prior to the current nine 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 30 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 nine times, Max Heidegger eight 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 eight 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 13 times and McLaughlin 12 times.

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 19 times this season and they have won all 19 games. On the other hand, opponents have had a higher field goal percentage 11 times and they have gone 9-2 in those games. The only times that UCSB has shot a lower percentage than its opponent and won were on Jan. 17 at UC Davis when the Aggies shot 47.9% as compared to the Gauchos' 44.4% and then again on Mar. 7 at CSUN when the Matadors made 49.1% to UCSB's 42.2%.

Sow Sets Another 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 double-double. After his double-double on Feb. 28, he now has three on the year.  

Gauchos Approach Some All-Time Bests
UCSB has scored 2,221 points on the season, the seventh most in school history. In addition the Gauchos enter the Big West Tournament with an average scoring margin of +8.0 per game, a figure that would rank fifth all-time. In addition, the team's rebound margin of +6.9 would rank as the second best ever and a full rebound more than the third highest margin. In terms of total rebounds, UCSB has 1,140 and needs 37 to move into ninth on the school's all-time list.

Newcomers Make Their Mark
To say that UCSB leaned on newcomers quite a bit through the regular season would be a bit of an understatement. In the first 30 games, the Gauchos top scorer and six of their top eight are newcomers. Their top two rebounders and seven of their top eight are also newcomers. In all, 1,715 of Santa Barbara's 2,221 points, 77.2%, have been scored by first-year Gauchos. The rebounding number is not quite as extreme with 791 of 1,051 individual rebounds, 75.3%, credited to newcomers. Finally of the 416 assists that UCSB has produced through 30 games, 302 have been by newcomers, 72.6%.    

Double-Double Quintet
When Ar'mond Davis went for 13 points and 17 rebounds in UCSB's regular season finale at Cal Poly, it was his third double-double of the season. The 17 rebounds were the most by a Gaucho since March of 2015 when Alan Williams had 19 in a game. Amadou Sow, like Davis, has a trio of double-doubles this season. Most recently, Sow had 13 points and 15 boards on Feb. 23 against Cal State Fullerton. The 15 rebounds were the most by a Santa Barbara freshman since Kyle Milling had 16 in an overtime loss to Utah State on Feb. 13 , 1993. While Davis and Sow are the team leaders in double-doubles, they have three teammates to keep them company. Jarriesse Blackmon (12 points, 10 rebounds vs. Idaho on Nov. 24), Ami Lakoju (16 points, 11 rebounds vs. Bethesda University on Jan. 2) and Sékou Touré (18 points and 10 rebounds vs. Bethesda University on Jan. 2) each have one double-double apiece.