Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UC Santa Barbara wins Big West championship

JaQuori McLaughlin scored 22 points, including 16 in the decisive second half, to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 79-63 victory over UC Irvine in the championship game of the Air Force Reserve Big West Conference Championship Tournament, presented by the Hawaiian Islands, on Saturday.

Photo courtesy Big West Conference

The top-seeded Gauchos won three games in three days at the Michelob ULTRA Arena, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, to earn the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

UCSB improved to 22-4, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011. It is UCSB’s fourth Big West championship, with the previous titles coming in 2002, 2010 and 2011.

UCI, which was the No. 2 seed, completed its season with an 18-9 record. The Anteaters beat the Gauchos twice during the regular season, but were no match this time.

The first half was close, with UCSB taking a 31-30 lead at intermission. The Gauchos pulled away in the second half with McLaughlin and Miles Norris combining for 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting.

McLaughlin drained three 3-pointers during a 15-4 run by UCSB midway through the second half that gave the Gauchos a 64-48 lead with 6:12 remaining. The Anteaters never threatened the lead the rest of the way.

Norris finished with 19 points, and Amadou Sow contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds for UCSB. Collin Welp led UCI with 22 points.

Leave a Response

Login or fill in the fields below to comment. (New user? Register)