The UCSB men’s basketball team (19-4, 10-2 Big West) are back in action as they returned to The Thunderdome to take on the Aggies of UC Davis. After this physical game with the community behind them, the Gauchos were able to come out with a win, taking down the visiting Aggies 84-74. This is the second-most points the Gauchos scored in a game this season.
“Anytime you get 18 assists, you’re really sharing the ball,” UCSB Coach Joe Pasternack said. “We shot 61 percent; basketball is a game of percentages, and the team with the best percentages wins. I thought our second half defense was great as we held them to just 40 percent. These factors are ultimately why we won the game.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
In the first five minutes of this contest, the Aggies hustled and kept up with the Gauchos. The two lead changes that happened in this game took place during that time, with neither team getting more than two points ahead of the other. However, UCSB wasn’t having any of that. They ended up taking the lead about six minutes into the first half and ran with it, resulting in a 38-32 score at the half.
Once both teams returned to the court, the Gauchos continued to grow their lead. By the time the game ended, UCSB was up by 10, resulting in the 84-74 final score in favor of the home team.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
– Ajay Mitchell did it yet again as he finished as the team’s leading scorer. He ended the night with 24 points, the third time he has hit that number this season, while adding on two assists and a block. He also went five-for-five from the free throw line.
– Josh Pierre-Louis had a phenomenal night for the Blue and Gold, contributing 18 points while making seven of his 11 attempted shots. Along with that, he added on seven rebounds, four of which were offensive, while leading the team in assists with eight. To top it all off, he secured two steals.
– Miles Norris had another great performance for the Gauchos as he tallied 16 points in tonight’s Big West thriller. Not only did he do well on offense, but he helped on defense as he led the team in rebounds with eight while blocking two shots.
– Calvin Wishart was the fourth Gaucho to finish in double-digit points. He was the first to hit double digits until he was fouled out early in the second half, keeping him on the bench after recording his 11 points and three assists.
The Gauchos will be in The Thunderdome again on Wednesday as they face UC Irvine for the final time in the regular season with a Blue Out. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. with a live stream through ESPN+.
Kristen Keller is the associate athletic director for communications and digital strategy at UCSB.