SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Nov. 21, 2022) – The first day of the Santa Barbara Beach Classic was upon us and UC Santa Barbara Men's Basketball (3-1) hit the court first as they took on the Hampton University Pirates. After grabbing an early lead, the Gauchos capitalized on their success for the remainder of the game as they took down the Pirates 79-66.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Gauchos came out strong from the first second of the game. UC Santa Barbara stepped on the gas and went up as many as 12 points during the first 12 minutes of the game. As the half continued, the Gauchos built on that momentum and grew their lead to 19 by the end of the first quarter. With the defensive efforts by the Gauchos, the Pirates did not score for more than six minutes during this half.
Leading the offense for the Gauchos was Andre Kelly, who already had 10 points in the first half along with six rebounds. Helping him out was Ajay Mitchell, who recorded eight points and a team-high four assists.
Once both teams returned to the floor, the Pirates picked up their game for the remaining 20 minutes of play. Hampton actually outscored UC Santa Barbara in this second half, however, it wasn't enough for the bad guys to defeat the Gauchos on their home court. The Gauchos remain undefeated in The Thunderdome as they took down the Pirates 79-66.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
- Mitchell led the team in scoring with 17 points, going five-for-six from the field and two-for-two from beyond the arc. He also set up his teammates for success as he led the team in assists with eight.
- Kelly and Josh Pierre-Louis also contributed heavily to this game as they each tallied 16 points. Kelly went seven-for-11 from the field while Pierre-Louis was five-for-10. Along with that, Kelly added on seven rebounds to continue his work in the paint.
- The most impressive defensive performance came from Miles Norris. He registered a new career-high as he grabbed 16 rebounds in tonight's contest, with 11 of those being on defense. Norris helped the team in transition as well as he earned the most steals in tonight's game with three.
- As a team, the Gauchos shot 50 percent from the field against the Pirates. They also maintained control the entire game, only trailing for the first minute.
The Gauchos will have the second day of the Santa Barbara Beach Classic off before playing on the third and final day. During that final contest, UC Santa Barbara will take on the University of North Alabama Lions. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. with live stats and a stream through ESPN+ available.