UCSB Begins Tough Stretch, Travels to Pitt on Wednesday, No. 16 Texas A&M on Friday

(Photo by Eric Isaacs)
(Photo by Eric Isaacs)

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Upcoming Games
Game No. 2
Progressive Legends Classic
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Univ. of Pittsburgh Panthers

at Pitt's Petersen Events Center - Pittsburgh, Pa.
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: ACC Network Extra | Watch ESPN

Game No. 3
Progressive Legends Classic
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Univ. of Pittsburgh Panthers

at Texas A&M's Reed Arena - College Station, Texas
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: SEC Network Plus | Watch ESPN

Gauchos Continue Tough November With Progressive Legends Classic
UCSB's difficult November schedule will continue this week with the first two games of the Progressive Legends Classic. The Gauchos will hit the road for games at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Nov. 15 and Texas A&M on Friday, Nov. 17. The games will be aired on the ACC Network Extra and SEC Network Plus, respectively, and Watch ESPN. Play in the Progressive Legends Classic will resume when UCSB returns to Southern California with a Monday, Nov. 20 game at Pepperdine and a Tuesday, Nov. 21 game in Malibu against either Montana or Oral Roberts. The Gauchos will return home on Friday, Nov. 24 when they host Prairie View A&M.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB hits the road for the first time this season with a record of 1-0. The Gauchos opened their campaign with an 85-66 win over North Dakota State on Saturday, Nov. 11. They also had a 92-69 exhibition win on Nov. 4 over visiting Fresno Pacific. Santa Barbara is coming off of an injury and eligibility-riddled 2016-17 season in which it needed to win three of its last five games just to get to 6-22 overall and 4-12 in the Big West Conference. 

Pasternack Era Begins With a Victory
The Joe Pasternack era as head men's basketball coach at UCSB officially began on Saturday, Nov. 11 when the Gauchos defeated North Dakota State, 85-66. Pasternack became the fourth Gaucho head coach to begin his career with a victory, joining Jerry Pimm, Willie Wilton and Ralph Barkey

Heidegger's Career Game Leads Gauchos to Win Over North Dakota State, 85-66
Sophomore Max Heidegger scored a career-high 33 points made a career-high eight three-point baskets, one short of the school record, to pace UCSB to an 85-66 win in its season opener against North Dakota State on Saturday. Heidegger scored 17 points in the first half as the Gauchos took a 40-31 lead. He finished the game making 10-of-19 field goals overall and 8-for-14 from outside the three-point arc. Graduate transfer Leland King II posted a near double-double with 23 points and nine assists. King made 3-of-5 three-pointers as UCSB hit 12-of-22 as a team. Senior forward Jalen Canty gave the Gauchos a third player in double-figures as he tallied 13 points and collected seven rebounds. Senior guard Gabe Vincent, returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, played 17 minutes and had a career-high eight assists to go along with seven points. As a team, Santa Barbara shot 50.9% overall and held the Bison to 40.7%. The Gauchos had just six turnovers and also won the rebounding battle, 36-29.

Possible Starters - Quick Fact
F 1  Leland King II - Grad transfer from Nevada had 23 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals in win over NDSU...Also hit trio of 3-pointers.
G 2 Gabe Vincent - Had career-high 8 assists in his first regular season game since early February...Has 1,051 career points, 189 3-pointers.
F 5 Jalen Canty - Scored 13 points and had 7 rebounds in his first regular season game since December of 2016.
G 21 Max Heidegger - Set career-highs with 33 points and 8 3-point baskets in win over NDSU...Most points by a Gaucho since Dec. 30, 2015.
G 23 Christian Terrell - Started in place of injured Marcus Jackson in the opener...Had 4 points and 3 rebounds...Hit both of his free throw attempts..

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
F 0 Jarriesse Blackmon - Played 8 minutes and missed his only shot in win over NDSU...Had a blocked shot, assist and rebound in his 8 minutes.
G 3  Clifton Powell, Jr. - Made his only field goal attempt and had 2 points in 8 minutes vs. NDSU...Added a pair of rebounds.
F 10 Maxwell Kupchak - Played 2 minutes and was scoreless in the win over NDSU...Played in 26 of 28 games as a sophomore.
G 11 Brandon Davis - Freshman point guard passed off for 4 assists and had 0 turnovers in 19 minutes vs. NDSU...Also had 1 steal.
F 12 Alex Hart - Missed his only field goal attempt and a pair of free throw attempts in his 7 minutes vs. NDSU.
G 13  Sam Walters - Played 6 minutes in the opener and didn't attempt a field goal or a free throw.
F 14  Ami Lakoju - Had 3 points and 2 rebounds in 17 minutes vs. NDSU, his first regular season appearance since December of 2016.  
F 43 J.D. Slajchert - Did not enter the game against NDSU...Had 4 points in 5 minutes on Nov. 4 in exhibition game against Fresno Pacific.   
G 55 Marcus Jackson - Grad transfer from Rice is nursing an injured hip and missed opener vs. NDSU...Had 14 points, 10 assists in exhibition game.

The Opponents
The game between UCSB and Pittsburgh will be the first between the schools. According to our records, the Gauchos hold a 2-0 record against Texas A&M, defeating the Aggies 69-61 on Dec. 17, 1976, and 66-61 on Dec. 15, 1979. The second victory was at College Station.

The Gauchos Away From Home 
UCSB was 1-14 away from home in 2016-17, going 1-12 in true road games and 0-2 in neutral site games. In fact, the Gauchos were winless away from home until defeating Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo in the final game of the regular season.

Heidegger's Near Historic Performance
Sophomore Max Heidegger scored 33 points in UCSB's Nov. 11 win over North Dakota State, the second most ever by a Gaucho sophomore. Doug Rex went for 34 against San Fernando Valley State on Jan. 28, 1969. For Heidegger, it was a career-high. His previous personal best was 21 in a win over Cal State Bakersfield in December of 2016. In scoring 33 points, Heidegger became the first Gaucho to hit the 30-point mark since Michael Bryson tallied nine three-pointers and had 36 points in a win at Seattle University on Dec. 30, 2015. Also, his eight threes equaled the second most in school history. In addition to Bryson, Brian Johnson made nine at New Mexico State during the 1986-87 season.

Vincent Passes on His Return 
Senior guard Gabe Vincent's return to the lineup for a regular season game was a successful one. Vincent tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a game against Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 2 and missed the final eight games of the season. He returned to the court for the Nov. 4 exhibition against Fresno Pacific, but played just five minutes. and scored two points. In the win over North Dakota State, he started and logged 17 minutes, finishing with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting overall and 1-of-2 from three-point range. In addition, Vincent added a career-high and team-leading eight assists

50-Percent Breakthrough
UCSB shot 50.9% in its season-opening win over North Dakota State on Nov. 11 and while that figure didn't set any records, it was a nice step in the right direction for the Gauchos. In 2016-17, Santa Barbara shot just 37.7% overall and ranked among the bottom three in NCAA Division 1. In fact, when the Gauchos made 50.9% in the win over North Dakota State, it was the first time that the team made more than half of its shots since the Big West Tournament in 2016. On March 10, 2016, UCSB made 54.2% of its shots in a tournament win over UC Davis. Last year's season-best was 48.9% in a win over UC Riverside.

80 Points? Really?
UCSB scored 85 points in its season opening win over North Dakota State. Scoring 80 points in a game was a major accomplishment for the Gauchos. The last time they piled up that many points was in their first round game at the Big West Tournament in 2016 when they scored 87 in a win over UC Davis. The 2016-17 UCSB team scored a season-high of 76 against Seattle University on Dec. 30. The Gauchos lost that game, 80-76.

On the Rebound 
After being outrebounded in their exhibition game against Fresno Pacific, the Gauchos won the battle of the boards against North Dakota State, 36-29. UCSB was actually outrebounded 18-15 by the Bison in the first half but dominated the glass in the second half with 21-11 advantage.

It's Academic
Senior Jalen Canty and junior Ami Lakoju were UCSB's top two post players during the first 10 games of the 2016-17 season and then they were sidelined because of academic issues. On Saturday the duo returned to regular season action and combined for 16 points and nine rebounds. Together, they made 5-of-9 shots from the field. Canty was particularly effective as he played 29 minutes, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds. He also blocked a shot, had a steal and added an assist.