The UC Santa Barbara men’s basketball team saw their 2-game win streak come to an end on Monday night with a 70-62 defeat against the University of Texas Arlington Mavericks. The loss also ended the Gaucho’s 20-game win streak at the Thunderdome and was UCSB’s first defeat at home since 2019.
Senior forward Amadou Sow continued his strong start to the season with a game-high 23 points while shooting an efficient 66.7% from the field. In addition, Sow was able to grab 7 rebounds, and junior guard Josh Pierre-Louis had a game-high 11 rebounds. While Sow was the only UCSB starter to score in the double digits, three Mavericks starters scored 10 or more points. Two UCSB players off the bench, junior guard Calvin Wishart and graduate forward Robinson Idehen, scored 10 and 11 points, respectively. Idehen also totaled 2 blocks for the Gauchos.
The Gauchos struggled shooting the ball all night. UCSB was only able to capitalize on 11 of the 22 free throws they were awarded, while they shot a below-average 21.4% from behind the 3-point line.
UCSB played a sloppy first half that saw the lead go back and forth. The Gauchos were able to retake the lead consistently due to their ability to draw fouls and slow the pace of play. However, a late run by UT Arlington saw the Gauchos down by 7 with little time left in the first half. UCSB took advantage of the time remaining and cut the Mavericks’ lead to 2 when the halftime buzzer sounded.
The Gauchos came out slow again in the second half with a scoring drought that lasted 4 minutes. During this drought, UCSB allowed UT Arlington to extend the lead to double digits. As the half progressed, the Gauchos increased their defensive intensity. They were able to hold the Mavericks to a shooting clip of just 39.1% for the half. However, these recurring stops did not translate to success on the offensive side of the court. The Gauchos committed 10 turnovers in the second half and had 18 total turnovers at the end of the game. Fortunately, the Mavericks were only able to score 9 points off these Gaucho turnovers, so even with the offensive errors, UCSB was able to stay in the game. Consistent stops and timely buckets saw the Gauchos cut the lead down to 5 points with 2 minutes to go. However, UT Arlington was able to force the Gauchos into more turnovers which led to the go-ahead bucket for the Mavericks.
UCSB will look to start a new winning streak at home this week as they close this streak of home games. On Friday night, the Gauchos will take on the Pepperdine Waves, while they will play the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen on Sunday. After these games, UCSB will travel to Moraga to match up against the Saint Mary’s Gaels.
A version of this article appeared on p. 9 of the Dec. 2, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus.