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Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 3:48 am | Light Rain 60º

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College Basketball

Amadou Sow, Devearl Ramsey Lead UCSB Past UC Riverside

Pair combine for 42 points in Gauchos' fifth straight victory

Amadou Sow Click to view larger
Amadou Sow of UCSB shoots over UC Riverside’s Menno Dijkstra. Sow scored a career-best 22 points. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

Amadou Sow had a career-high 22 points and nine rebounds, Devearl Ramsey added 20 points and UC Santa Barbara broke open a close game late for a 72-64 win over visiting UC Riverside on Saturday night at the Thunderdome. 

The win was the fifth in a row for the Gauchos (13-3 overall, 2-0 in Big West) while the Highlanders (6-12, 0-2) dropped their second consecutive game. 

Riverside took a 56-53 lead when Dragan Elkaz made one of his three three-point baskets with 9:26 to play. But Ramsey responded for UCSB with a three of his own, tying the game at 56. 

Following a defensive stop and rebound by Sow, Ramsey streaked out on a fast break. He maneuvered his way through the key, made a floating, high arc layup and was fouled by Zac Watson. He made the free throw to put the Gauchos up for good at 59-56 with 8:25 to play. 

Menno Dijkstra made a jump hook to pull the Highlanders within 59-58, but Santa Barbara used a 7-0 run to stretch the lead to 66-58 with 3:43 remaining. JaQuori McLaughlin scored five of the points during the 7-0 run, including an old school three-point play, and Sow added the final basket on baseline jumper. 

The UCSB lead reached 10 twice down the stretch, the first time when Sow threw down a dunk on an alley-oop pass from McLaughlin with 1:44 on the clock and the final time at 72-62 on a pair of free throws by Ramsey with just under a minute to play. 

"Every game in this league is going to be tough," said head coach Joe Pasternack. "Nothing comes easy. We know that and we're just happy to be 2-0 as we get ready to go on the road." 

The win completed a sweep of a five-game home stand for the Gauchos, who improved to 8-0 at the Thunderdome in 2018-19 and 21-2 under Pasternack's guidance.

McLaughlin and Ar'Mond Davis each finished with 12 points and McLaughlin added a game-high five assists. Max Heidegger logged 20 minutes and attempted just three field goals, but he finished with four assists to improve his assist-to-turnover ratio to 17-3 on the season.

Ajani Kennedy scored a team-high 19 for Riverside while Dikymbe Martin chipped in 16. The Highlanders stayed in the game in part because they hit 9-of-21 three-point attempts and outrebounded the Gauchos 37-27. It was just the fourth time this season that Santa Barbara was outrebounded.

UCSB also equaled its season-low with six turnovers while forcing its opponent into 14. 

UCSB will travel to UC Davis on Thursday, Jan. 17 for a 7 p.m. game against the Aggies. It will be the Gauchos' first Big West road game of the season.

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