Walking into the Viking Pavilion, UCSB men’s basketball (8-2) was ready for another road contest this season as they made the trip North to Portland to take on the Portland State University Vikings. The Gauchos had never played in this gym but were undefeated against the Vikings heading into the game.
After 40 minutes of play and a combined 51 fouls among the two teams, the Gauchos were the ones to come out on top, winning 85-73 over the home team.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Gauchos came out strong, taking a nine-point run early in the first half. However, this scrappy Portland State team wasn’t going to let UCSB get away with a lead for too long. The Vikings battled against the Gauchos, tying the game multiple times throughout this game. Once the clock hit zero in this first half, UCSB earned back their nine-point lead sitting on top of the Vikings 39-30.
Leading the team in points at the half is graduate student Andre Kelly. The transfer from Stockton finished the first half with nine points while shooting 50 percent from the field and grabbing four rebounds. Along with Kelly’s efforts, senior Miles Norris and sophomore Ajay Mitchell each tallied six points each.
At the start of the second half, the Gauchos continued to add pressure. They eventually went up by 10 at the first media timeout with Mitchell scoring six points in four minutes. He continued applying pressure, continuing to add on to his point total for the game while his teammates followed suit. UCSB went from no players with double-digit points in the first half to end with four players in that category. With their hustle and perseverance, the Gauchos were able to end the game with their biggest lead of the night, grabbing the 85-73 win.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
– Leading the Gauchos tonight was of course Mitchell. He was on fire in the second half to finish the night with 25 points. He also distributed the ball well to his teammates, adding on five assists. He also crashed the boards with the best of them, securing seven rebounds.
– Norris finished with his second double-double of the season and his ninth game registering double-digit points. He ended the night with 12 points while also adding on 10 rebounds, the third-best on the team in points and best on the team in rebounds.
– Along with those two, Calvin Wishart and Andre Kelly also finished with double-digit points. Wishart ended up with 13 while adding on two steals while Kelly had 11 points, going four-for-seven from the field.
– Josh Pierre-Louis was an impactful player for UC Santa Barbara before fouling out of the game. The senior from Plainfield, New Jersey ended the game with a team-high three steals while also shooting 50 percent from the field, securing eight points.
The Gauchos have one final non-conference game of the season as they compete in the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix, Az. UCSB will take on Appalachian State with a 3 p.m. tip at the Footprint Center.
Kristen Keller is the associate athletic director for communications and digital strategy at UCSB.