The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos and the Long Beach State Beach meet Thursday in college basketball action from Walter Pyramid. UC Santa Barbara is 18-4 overall this year. The Gauchos lost to CSU Northridge in their last outing. As for Long Beach State, they’re sitting at 14-10 on the season after an overtime win versus UC Irvine on Saturday. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara posted a solid run over their first 16 games this year, going 13-3 overall. The Gauchos are 5-1 since then, taking wins over UC Irvine, CSU Northridge, CSU Bakersfield, Hawaii and Cal Poly during that time.
In the CSU Northridge rematch on Saturday, the Gauchos were down 38-37 by the break. UC Santa Barbara posted a 34-30 deficit from there and lost 72-67. Leading team scorer Miles Norris posted 17 points with nine rebounds.
Long Beach State Beach
Over on the Long Beach State side, they were a shaky 7-9 over their first 16 games this season. The Beach have improved greatly on a 7-1 run since then, beating Cal Poly, CSUF, UC San Diego, Cal Poly again, UC Davis, CSUF again and UC Irvine.
Back on Saturday versus UC Irvine, Long Beach State scored 35 points in the first half, 45 in the second and 13 in overtime for a 93-88 victory. Marcus Tsohonis led the way on 28 points and Lassina Traore doubled on 16 points and 20 rebounds.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll probably take a stab on UC Santa Barbara in this one. You could make a case either way here, though; it’ll be a good matchup. The Gauchos snapped a five-game win streak with the Saturday loss to CSUN, but overall they’re playing well and have hit 65 or more points in all six of those outings. As for Long Beach State, they’re much improved lately and on a great run with this six-game win streak. The Beach have scored 70 or more points in a whopping 18 straight games, so UCSB will have to push on offense in order to power out the cover/win. I think the Gauchos will pull it off, though. Should be a fun one to watch.