Gauchos Clobber Bethesda 109-47, Host Cal Poly to Open Big West Play

Jay Nagle (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Jay Nagle (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Sékou Touré and Ami Lakoju each recorded double-doubles and six players scored in in double-figures as UC Santa Barbara crushed visiting Bethesda University on Wednesday night, 109-47.

Playing their final non-conference game of the season, the Gauchos (11-3) set a school record with a 62-point victory margin against the Flames (1-11). The previous highest margin was on Jan. 22, 1971 when the team defeated Cal Poly Pomona, 123-68. 

Touré finished with career-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Lakoju had 16 points and 11 boards. Freshman Jay Nagle had a game-high and career-high 20 points, including 18 in the second half when he made six three-point baskets.

The 109 points marked the first time that the Gauchos had scored 100 or more points in the last three decades. It equaled the most points scored by a UCSB team since it scored 109 on Nov. 30, 1985 in a win over United States International University. 

UCSB dominated Bethesda from the word go. After Joante Avery made a three-pointer to tie the score at 7-7, Santa Barbara ended the first half on a 37-12 run to claim a 44-19 edge at the break. 

Lakoju, who started for the first time this season, scored 16 points, including UCSB's first seven, and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Touré added career-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Nagle was the game's leading scorer with 20 points. 

"We give everyone an opportunity to be part of what we do," said head coach Joe Pasternack. "Sometimes you don't know what a recruiting class will be like until they graduate, but tonight our freshmen were instrumental in the win."

In the win over Bethesda, Gaucho freshmen totaled a school record 52 points. In addition to Nagle and Touré scoring 20 and 18 respectively, Amadou Sow was 5-for-6 from the field and finished with 14 points and six rebounds.

Santa Barbara won going away despite suffering through its worst three-point shooting night of the season. As a team, it made just 9-for33 from outside the arc after starting 1-for-23. 

"We didn't shoot the ball well from outside," Pasternack said. "But we played good defense the whole game." 

Joining Nagle, Touré and Lakoju in double-figures were Amadou Sow (14), Robinson Idehen (11) and Ar'Mond Davis (10). 

As a team, UCSB finished the game with 68 total rebounds, an advantage of +45, the largest in program history. 

UCSB will begin Big West Conference play on Wednesday, Jan. 9 when it hosts rival Cal Poly in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.