The UCSB men’s basketball team (16-3, 7-1 Big West) were back in The Thunderdome to take on the Roadrunners of Cal State Bakersfield for the second time in as many weeks. Even with playing five games in 11 days, the Gauchos closed this long stretch out with another win, taking down the Roadrunners 76-58.
“I thought our guys really competed well tonight,” UCSB Coach Joe Pasternack said. “In the first eight minutes, I thought our guys didn’t play very well, but after that, I was really happy with it. I was happy with our rebounding and proud of Miles and Josh for their performances. I challenged them a lot in the last 24 hours and they showed up.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Senior forward Miles Norris had a night, and it began from the moment the clock started. After winning the tip, he scored the first basket of the night to put the Gauchos on the board first. From there, it was a close battle between the two teams for the first eight minutes as the Roadrunners scored their fair share of points. After the 12-minute media timeout, the Gauchos cleaned up their game. They took the lead from Cal State Bakersfield and ran with it for the remainder of the first half, giving them the advantage with a score of 39-24.
Norris was a huge force on both ends of the court in this half, earning nine points and six boards in these first 20 minutes. Cole Anderson also influenced the offense as he also tallied nine points.
Once both teams were back on the court, the Gauchos continued to build off their first half success. UCSB grew their lead, separating themselves from the Roadrunners by as much as 22 points. At the end of the game the Gauchos secured their seventh Big West win of the season, taking down the Roadrunners 76-58.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
– Norris had one of his best nights of the season as he rounded out the game with 24 points, making 10 of his 13 shots for a 76.9 field goal percentage. Not only that, but he led the team in rebounds with seven, three of which were offensive rebounds.
– Anderson was the only other Gaucho to earn double-digit points against the Roadrunners. He ended tonight’s game with 11 points, going three-for-six beyond the arc. He also added two rebounds and a steal to the stat sheet.
– Josh Pierre-Louis’s well-rounded game pushed the Gauchos ahead. He totaled eight points and six boards against Cal State Bakersfield while leading the team in steals with three.
The Gauchos will get a nice break in gorgeous Hawaii as they take on the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in Honolulu. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. local time. A live stream will be available through ESPN+ with live stats available at ucsbgauchos.com.
Kristen Keller is the associate athletic director for communications and digital strategy at UCSB.