After 15 days on the road, the UCSB men’s basketball team (13-3, 4-1 Big West) were back in The Thunderdome as they took on the Highlanders of UC Riverside. After two halves of play and coming down to the final seconds, it was the Highlanders who left The Thunderdome with the win, squeezing out a 65-64 win over the Gauchos.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Gauchos put themselves on the board first, taking an early lead in the first half of play before eventually relinquishing the lead to th Highlanders.
Leading the scoring in the first half were seniors Josh Pierre-Louis and Miles Norris. The duo scored seven points apiece with Pierre-Louis shooting at a 60 percent clip. Norris also helped in other areas of the game, grabbing three boards while blocking one shot.
The Highlanders continued to grow their lead once the second half began, growing it to 11 at one point. But in the final four minutes, the Gauchos made their final push, going on a 14-2 run to close the gap. It came down to the final second of this Big West battle for a winner to be decided. Despite the final push, the Highlanders came out on top as the Gauchos lost 65-64.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
– Ajay Mitchell was on top for the Gauchos, registering 15 points in tonight’s game. Along with that, he went 55 percent from the field while adding on a team-high four assists.
– Cole Anderson was very efficient for the Gauchos today. He went four-for-six from the field while making 100 percent of his free throw shots. With his phenomenal performance from the field, he recorded 13 points.
– Both forwards Norris and Andre Kelly each contributed 12 points apiece. To go along with his offensive performance, Kelly grabbed six boards while Norris blocked a shot and added on three assists.
The Gauchos have a very quick turnaround as they travel to UC Irvine for a Big West game on Monday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with a live stream available through ESPN+. Live stats will also be available.
Kristen Keller is the associate athletic director for communications and digital strategy at UCSB.