COLLEGE STATION, Texas – D.J. Hogg scored 24 points, including 19 in the second half when he made his first five three-point attempts, to lead No. 16 Texas A&M to an 84-65 win over visiting UC Santa Barbara on Friday night in a Regional Game of the Progressive Legends Classic.
The Aggies (2-0) scored the first seven points of the game and never looked back, but the Gauchos (1-2) never stopped scrapping and actually had runs of 12-2 and 8-0 in the second half to close a gap that was once 28 to 19 by the end.
"I told the guys after the game just how proud I was of how they fought for 40 minutes," said UCSB head coach Joe Pasternack. "We got a lot of good minutes from a lot of players and almost everyone made a contribution."
Max Heidegger tied for game-high honors with 24 points, 16 in the first half, and he did so without making a three-pointer. He finished 7-for-13 from the field and 10-of-12 from the free throw line.
"Max did a great job of attacking and driving tonight," Pasternack said. "He is so good at creating contact and tonight he either made the shot or got fouled and did a nice job at the line."
Texas A&M jumped out to a fast start in the first half due in great part to the play of forward Tyler Davis. The 6-foot-9 Davis finished with 14 points, all in the first half when he hit 6-of-7 shots. The second half was a different story as he missed his only field goal attempt and was scoreless.
"He (Davis) is one of the best big men in the country and could be a first round draft pick," Pasternack said. "He's just so quick and long. He had a great first half, but we did a good job on him in the second half."
Hogg had just five points in the first 20 minutes but he came out on fire after halftime, scoring all 19 of his second half points in the first 9:24. He finished with 24 points, six rebounds and three assists.
"There aren't many better players at his position in the country," Pasternack said. "He (Hogg) is long and can really shoot it. It wouldn't surprise me if he were a first round pick too."
UCSB struggled with its shooting in the first half making just 11-of-30 field goals overall and 2-for-8 from three-point range. But things got better in the second half when it hit 15-of-31, 48.4%, to finish at 42.6% for the game. The Gauchos also responded well to the Aggies pressure, committing just 12 turnovers, four of which came on offensive fouls.
Senior guard Gabe Vincent scored 12 points, his highest total in three games this season and his highest since last January. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in early February. Vincent made two of the Gauchos' three three-point baskets.
Senior Jalen Canty committed two early fouls but still finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots in his 21 minutes. He made 5-of-7 field goal attempts. Leland King II, who scored 23 and 22 points in UCSB's first two games, had just seven on Friday, but he also added a game-high nine rebounds.
Texas A&M, which beat 11th-ranked West Virginia on a neutral site in the season opener for both teams, made 30-of-60 field goal attempts, 50.0%, but also 11-of-22 from outside the three-point arc, also 50.0%. In addition to Hogg and Davis, Admon Gilder added 13 points and seven assists, and Tonny Trocha-Morelos added 10 points.
The Gauchos continue play in the Progressive Legends Classic on Monday, Nov. 20 when they travel down the coast to Malibu to play Pepperdine in a game that will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. The tournament will conclude on Tuesday, Nov. 21 when they will play either Montana or Oral Roberts.
UCSB returns home on Friday, Nov. 24 for a 7:00 p.m. post-Thanksgiving game against Prairie View A&M. Tip-off at the Thunderdome is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Season tickets remain on sale for Gaucho men's and women's basketball. For information or to purchase go to UCSBgauchos.com.