Gauchos Carry Three-Game Winning Streak to UC Davis on Thursday

Matt Freeman (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Matt Freeman (Photo by Jeff Liang)

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Game No. 25
Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Davis Aggies  

at UCD's Pavillion - Davis, Calif.
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Game No. 26
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Fullerton Titans 

at CSUF's Titan Gymnasium - Fullerton, Calif.
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UCSB Travels to UC Davis in One-Game Week
UC Santa Barbara will play at UC Davis on Thursday, Feb. 13 in its second one-game week of the season. The Gauchos will remain on the road for a Feb. 20 game at Cal State Fullerton before returning home on Feb. 22 to host Davis. 

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its Thursday game at UC Davis with an overall record of 16-8 and a Big West record of 5-4. The Gauchos have won three straight and four of of their last five games, including a 64-61 win over first-place UC Irvine on Feb. 8 and a 79-66 win over second-place Hawai'i on Feb. 6. The first win of the current three-game winning streak came on Feb. 1 at Long Beach State, 87-62. 

UCSB's games at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Feb. 20 and UC Riverside on Thursday, Feb. 27, have been added to the ESPN3 schedule The game at Fullerton will remain a 7:00 p.m. tip-off and the game at Riverside will tip-off at 8:00 p.m.

Sow Named Big West Player of the Week
Sophomore Amadou Sow garnered his second career Big West Men's Basketball Player of the Week award as the catalyst behind UCSB's victories over UC Irvine and Hawai'i. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 25.5 points and 8.0 rebounds as the Gauchos beat the top two teams in the Big West. Sow became the first UCSB sophomore to score 30 points in a game since November of 2017 when he tallied 30 against the Rainbow Warriors. He made 12-of-13 field goal attempts, the 92.3% field goal percentage was the best by a Gaucho with 10 or more attempts since 2000. More impressively, Sow dealt with first half foul trouble and scored 24 of his career-high 30 in the second half. Against UCI, Sow notched his sixth double-double of the season and the third in his last four games with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He was 8-of-15 from the field. For the week, the Bamako, Mali native shot 71.4% (20-of-28) from the field, 66.7% (4-of-6) from three-point range and 1.000 (7-of-7) from the free throw line. 

Gauchos Defeat First-Place UC Irvine, 64-61
Amadou Sow scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds and JaQuori McLaughlin tallied 11 points as UCSB defeated first-place UC Irvine, 64-61, in a nationally televised game on Feb. 8. The Gauchos built a 17-point lead midway through the second half only to see the Anteaters claw their way back to take a 58-55 lead on a jumper by Evan Leonard with 2:42 to play in the game. Santa Barbara went on a  7-0 run to reclaim a 62-58 lead, but a three-pointer by Christian Welp with 13 seconds to play pulled Irvine back within 62-62. The visitors intentionally fouled Devearl Ramsey and he made both free throws with five seconds left, pushing the advantage to 64-61. A last second three-point attempt by Eyassu Worku missed and the game was over.  

Sow on Lou Henson Award Watch List
UCSB sophomore forward Amadou Sow was named to the Lou Henson Award Watch List. The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I mid-major player. In 2018-19, 6-foot-9 Sow had one of the finest freshman seasons in Gauchos' history and was named Second Team All-Big West. He is one of just eight underclassmen on the list of 50 players. He is currently averaging 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots blocked shots per game while shooting 57.3% overall, 45.7% from three-point range and 76.3% from the free throw line. 

UCSB's Possible Starters (This is purely a guess.)
2 - Matt Freeman - F 6-10 220 Gr. - Made 15 out of 26 field goal attempts in the last 3 games, 57.7%.
3 - JaQuori McLaughlin - G 6-4 190 Jr. - Scored 11 points in 2/8 win over UC Irvine, his first time in double-figures in 5 games.
4 - Devearl Ramsey - G 6-0 185 Jr. - Made 26 of his last 28 free throws, 92.9%...Has played 30+ minutes in 9 straight games.
12 - Amadou Sow - F 6-9 235 So. - Career-high 30 pts on 12-of-13 from the field on 2/6 vs. UH..3 double-doubles in last 4 games.
21 - Max Heidegger - G 6-3 180 Sr. Leads the team with 18 assists in the last 3 games...Also tops on team in scoring at 15.2 ppg.

UCSB's Possible Reserves (Again, purely a guess.)
0 - Sékou Touré - G 6-5 185 So. - Has been scoreless in 7 of the last 8 games, playing a total of just over 43 minutes in those games.
1 - Roberto Gittens - G 6-5 220 Jr. - Has 5 assists and just 1 turnover in 86:25 this season.
5 - Jay Nagle - F 6-8 205 So. - 13 of his 18 field goals are 3-pointers...Has missed his last 6 3-point attempts.
11 - Brandon Cyrus - G 6-5 190 Jr. - Went 7-for-15 from FT line to start the year, has gone 15-of-17 since, 88.2%.
35 - Robinson Idehen - F 6-10 230 Jr. - Tied career-high with 11 pts on 2/6 vs. UH...Made 12 of last 15 FGs, 80.0%.

The Opponents
UCSB and UC Davis have played 40 times with the Gauchos holding a 30-10 all-time advantage. The teams have split games each of the last two years with the road team winning all four times. Last season, the Aggies won 61-57 in Santa Barbara while the Gauchos posted a 69-58 win in Davis. UCSB and Cal State Fullerton have played 88 times in a series that dates back to 1976. The Gauchos hold a 48-40 all-time lead. Each team won on its own home floor last season, but the Titans won a second round Big West Tournament match-up in Anaheim, 64-58. 

The Gauchos on the Road
The Gauchos are 6-5 on the road this season and since losing their first two road games – at UCLA and at Oregon State – they have won six of their last nine.  UCSB first road win this season came on Dec. 3 at Cal State Bakersfield.  The Gauchos have also won at UT-Arlington, Idaho State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Cal Poly and Long Beach State. During Joe Pasternack's 2+ seasons, UCSB has gone 22-17 in true road games and 27-19  in all games away from home.

Pasternack Has Most Wins by UCSB Coach in First Three Seasons
In his first 2+ seasons as head coach at UCSB, Joe Pasternack's teams have won 61 games, the most ever by a coach in his first three seasons at the school. The previous record of 42 wins was set from 1998-2001 by Bob Williams. In fact, the school record for wins over a three-season span, whether to begin a career or in the at any point, is 64 set by Jerry Pimm's Gauchos from 1987-90.

12-Game Stretch Was the Best Since 1988-89
When UCSB defeated Menlo College 88-69 on Nov. 23, it began a stretch in which it won 11 out of 12 games over a month and a half. The only loss over that span was a 62-61 defeat at Southern Utah on Dec. 20. The 11 of 12 run was the best 12-game stretch that the program had since the 1988-89 season when it opened the season with records of 11-0 and 15-1. 

Heidegger Continues His Climb Up UCSB's Scoring List
Senior guard Max Heidegger returned to the lineup on Jan. 11 against Long Beach State after missing 10 games. Heidegger suffered a concussion near the end of UCSB's Nov. 27 win over Portland State. In his return, the Malibu native scored five points and then was in double-figures in six straight games before scoring nine on Feb. 8 vs. UC Irvine. He went for 21 on Jan. 18 at Hawai'i and Jan. 22 vs. CSUN, 16 on Jan. 25 vs. UC Riverside, a season-high 30 on Jan. 30 at CSUN, 14 at Long Beach State on Feb. 1 and 13 on Thursday vs. Hawai'i. He enters Thursday's game at UC Davis with 1,272 points in his career, 15th on the school's all-time list He needs 80 to pass Scott Fisher for 14th-place.

Three-Pointers? We Don't Need No Stinking Three-Pointers!
UCSB made a season-high 10 three-point baskets in a Feb. 1 win at Long Beach State. The 10 threes gave the Gauchos 19 in consecutive games, their highest total of the year. In fact, at that point, they had piled up 33 three-point baskets over a four game span, 8.2 per game. However, in its last two games, the three-point well has dried up for Santa Barbara as it has made just three in each, going 6-for-25, 24.0%, in the two contests. Ironically, the Gauchos have recorded two of their best wins of the season in the last two, defeating Hawai'i 76-66 on Feb. 6 and first-place UC Irvine 64-61 on Feb. 8.    

30-Point Gauchos
When he scored 30 points in the Feb. 6 win over Hawai'i, Amadou Sow became the second UCSB player to score 30+ points in a game this season, joining Max Heidegger who had 30 on Feb. 30 at CSUN. This marks the first time that two Gauchos have had 30 or more points in a game in the same season since 2010-11 when Orlando Johnson (six times) and James Nunnally (once) turned the trick. 

UCSB mad 21-of-25 free throws in its win over UC Irvine on Feb. 8. In the last three games, the Gauchos have made 57-of-65 shots from the charity stripe, 87.7%, lifting their season percentage to 76.9%, a mark that would be the second highest in school history, if it were to hold. Santa Barbara is 114-of-138 in the last seven games, 82.6%, and has shot 84.0% or better five times over that span. Finally, the Gauchos have five players 82.7% or better from the free throw line and another two who are over 75.0%. Matt Freeman (88.1%), Devearl Ramsey (84.6), Max Heidegger (84.2%) and JaQuori McLaughlin (82.7%) lead the way.

Double-Double, Toil and Trouble
Amadou Sow had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Gauchos' Feb. 8 win over UC Irvine. It was Sow's fifth double-double this season and the ninth of his career. In addition to the Irvine game, Sow had double-doubles on Feb. 1 at Long Beach State (15 points and a season-high 14 rebounds), Jan. 30 at CSUN (14 points and 11 rebounds), Nov. 20 at Oregon State (14 points and 11 rebounds) and Nov. 23 vs. Menlo College (25 points and 10 rebounds). Max Heidegger also had a double-double in the Feb. 1 win at Long Beach with 14 points and 11 assists. He became the first Gaucho to have a double-double with points and assists since Zalmico Harmon had 20 points and 10 assists in a Feb. 22, 2014 win over Cal State Fullerton. The 11 assists were the most by a UCSB player since Marcus Jackson also had 11 against Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 5, 2017.