It was the first trip on the road this season as the UCSB men’s basketball team (2-1) traveled to Flagstaff, Az., to take on the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. This was the first contest between these two teams since 1981 when the Gauchos defeated the Lumberjacks in The Thunderdome.
While being on the road and coming off a slow start, the Gauchos attempted a comeback at the start of the second half. However, it wasn’t enough to hold off Northern Arizona as UCSB dropped their first game of the season 63-54.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The first half of play was a slow start for both teams. Neither the Gauchos or the Lumberjacks were able to score a basket for the first three minutes of play. Despite the start, the Gauchos were able to get on the board and play catch-up with Northern Arizona. With the help of Ajay Mitchell and Miles Norris, the Gauchos scored 19 points in the first half. It wasn’t enough to take the lead before heading into the locker room, as the Lumberjacks had a 26-19 lead.
Once the two teams were back on the court for the second half, it started much like the first. No one on either team was able to score for the first two minutes until Josh Pierre-Louis made a field goal. From there, UCSB fought their way back into the game, keeping Northern Arizona from scoring for six minutes. Even with this push, the Lumberjacks could not be stopped. The bad guys ended up pushing ahead of the Gauchos yet again, ultimately defeating UCSB 63-54.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
– Since his return to the court, Pierre-Louis has been instrumental for the Blue and Gold. He led the team in scoring with 17 points while making seven of his eight free throw attempts.
– Mitchell continues to build off his standout freshman season this year as he grabs double-digit points in yet another game. The sophomore from Belgium led the Gauchos in the first half while adding more baskets in the second, ultimately finishing his night with 16 points. He also led the team in assists with two.
– Norris also ended tonight’s game with double-digit points, securing this feat with a three-pointer late in the second to finish with 11. He also added on five rebounds.
– Andre Kelly continues to put in on defense. His leadership in the paint helped his team earn 35 rebounds tonight with him grabbing seven, the highest number for a Gaucho in this contest.
The Gauchos will be back in The Thunderdome on Wednesday, when they will host North Alabama at 7 p.m.
Kristen Keller is the associate athletic director for communications and digital strategy at UCSB.