Pixel Tracker

Monday, February 18 , 2019, 7:33 pm | Fair 50º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
College Basketball

Late Cold Spell Dooms UCSB in Big West Semifinals

Gauchos miss 13 of 14 shots in last 10 minutes, lose to UC Irvine

ANAHEIM – UC Santa Barbara went ice cold in the final 10 minutes of its Big West Tournament Semifinal game on Friday night and UC Irvine took advantage for a 61-58 victory, ending a historic bounce-back season for the Gauchos. 

UCSB (23-9) missed 13 of its last 14 shots – the only field goal being three-pointer by Marcus Jackson with 5:14 left that pushed a one-point lead to three – and the Anteaters earned a spot in Saturday's Big West Tournament Championship game. 

"We got good looks in the last 10 minutes, but the shots just didn't go down," said Leland King II, "Right now it hurts because we played really hard. We played really hard all season." 

It was a see-saw game that had 13 lead changes, the final coming on a steal and breakaway layup by John Edgar, Jr., with 2:59 remaining that gave UCI a 59-57 lead. Max Heidegger, who scored a game-high 18, including 15 in the first half, pulled the Gauchos within 59-58 when he made 1-of-2 free throws with 2:28 to play, but that was their last point. 

Eyassu Worku made a long two-point shot with 45 seconds left, and those were the games final points. 

"I told the team in the locker room that I was very proud of how hard they worked tonight and all year," said head coach Joe Pasternack. "This has been a long season and we did so many good things. You hate for it to end like this, but that doesn't take away from what this team accomplished." 

This UCSB team did, in fact, accomplish a great deal. For one, it tied the NCAA record and broke the Big West Conference record for the largest increase in wins from one season to the next. Last year, the program won just six games and set a school record for losses with 22, this year the team increased its win total by 17 while also tying the school's record for wins in a season with 23. 

"For me, it is so important that this team trusted the process," Pasternack said. "I'm someone who believes that you can't predict results, but if you trust the process, the results will take care of themselves." 

The 2017-18 Gauchos finished second in the Big West Conference regular season standings with an 11-5 record. They did so one year after winning just four league games and missing the conference tournament. UCSB also opened its home schedule with 11 consecutive wins, a program first. The team also had winning streaks of eight and seven games, a first in school history. 

On Friday, Santa Barbara led by as many as six points twice and never trailed by more than five, but in the end, Irvine was just a bit too much. 

"Irvine is a good team," Pasternack said. "They have mostly sophomores and juniors, but they have run the same system so they run it well. They've set the standard in this conference over the last few years and we hope to do the same in the future." 

King finished with 12 points and six rebounds, while Jackson and Gabe Vincent each added 11 points. Jalen Canty led the team with eight rebounds and three blocked shots. 

The Anteaters, who will play Cal State Fullerton in Saturday's championship game, was led by Max Hazzard and Edgar who finished with 16 and 14 points respectiv

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.