UC Santa Barbara (9-3, 5-2) vs. Cal State Northridge (5-5, 1-2)
Matadome, Northridge, California; Saturday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: UC Santa Barbara looks for its sixth straight conference win against Cal State Northridge. UC Santa Barbara’s last Big West loss came against the UC Irvine Anteaters 73-69 on Dec. 28, 2020. Cal State Northridge lost 105-58 loss at home to UC Santa Barbara in its most recent game.
TALE OF TWO ROSTERS: UC Santa Barbara has relied on senior leadership while Cal State Northridge has been fueled heavily by freshmen this year. For the Gauchos, seniors JaQuori McLaughlin, Amadou Sow and Devearl Ramsey have combined to score 40 percent of the team’s points this season, including 43 percent of all Gauchos points over their last five. In the other locker room, freshmen Darius Brown II, TJ Starks and Alex Merkviladze have collectively accounted for 46 percent of Cal State Northridge’s scoring this season.
DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Gauchos have given up just 62.1 points per game to conference opponents so far, an improvement from the 67.3 per game they gave up in non-conference play.
OFFENSIVE THREAT: Brown has either made or assisted on 48 percent of all Cal State Northridge field goals over the last three games. The junior guard has 13 field goals and 23 assists in those games.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Gauchos have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Matadors. Cal State Northridge has 39 assists on 75 field goals (52 percent) over its past three contests while UC Santa Barbara has assists on 63 of 102 field goals (61.8 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The sturdy UC Santa Barbara defense has held opponents to just 62 points per game, the 22nd-lowest in Division I. Cal State Northridge has given up an average of 80.1 points through 10 games (ranked 284th, nationally).
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This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com