The first double-double of JaQuori McLaughlin’s college basketball career helped him double-up on the Big West Conference’s Player of the Week Award, as well.
McLaughlin, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, was honored by the league on Monday for the second time in three weeks after leading UCSB to a pair of victories over Cal State Fullerton last weekend.
“JaQuori is a big-time player,” Gaucho coach Joe Pasternack observed.
His double-double came during Saturday’s come-from-behind, 65-61 victory at the Thunderdome. He scored nine of his team-high 19 points in the final 6:09 and handed out two of his career-high 10 assists during the final 2:20. He also led UCSB’s defense with five steals and had just one turnover.
“When I came off screens, they were stringing it out — helping on me and doubling me, and that was getting guys wide open,” McLaughlin said. “Our guys kept shooting them and they hit them when it counted.”
Pasternack said McLaughlin would have had many more assists if his teammates had shot better than just 35.1% overall (20-for-57) and 15.8% from the three-point line (3-for-19).
“He hit guys for wide-open shots, and we couldn’t make a shot,” he said. “I don’t know if it was our legs, going four days in a row and playing four games in seven days.”
UCSB also played Fullerton on back-to-back nights. McLaughlin led Friday’s 81-63 rout with 13 points, six assists, two steals and no turnovers.
He leads the Gauchos in both scoring average (16.9 per game) and assist average (5.7). His assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.80 ranks eighth in the nation. He’s shooting 47.6% overall, 39.4% from the three-point line, and 88% from the free-throw line.
UCSB is off this week and won’t return to action until it plays Big West newcomer UC San Diego in a Friday-Saturday doubleheader at the Thunderdome on Jan. 15-16. Both games will tip off at 5 p.m.