Long Beach State (6-11, 5-8) vs. No. 1 seed UC Santa Barbara (19-4, 15-3)
Big West Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas; Thursday, 2 a.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Long Beach State is set to face UC Santa Barbara in the quarterfinals of the Big West tournament. UC Santa Barbara earned a 70-54 win over Cal Poly on Saturday, while Long Beach State won easily 85-63 against Cal State Northridge on Tuesday.
STEPPING UP: UC Santa Barbara’s JaQuori McLaughlin has averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 assists while Amadou Sow has put up 13 points and 7.5 rebounds. For the Beach, Isaiah Washington has averaged 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists while Chance Hunter has put up 12 points and 5.9 rebounds.
SPARKING THE OFFENSE: McLaughlin has either made or assisted on 42 percent of all UC Santa Barbara field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has accounted for 15 field goals and 15 assists in those games.
WINNING WHEN: UC Santa Barbara is a perfect 16-0 when it holds an opponent to 66 points or fewer. The Gauchos are 3-4 when opponents score more than 66 points.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Gauchos have recently created baskets via assists more often than the Beach. UC Santa Barbara has an assist on 44 of 71 field goals (62 percent) over its past three outings while Long Beach State has assists on 39 of 80 field goals (48.8 percent) during its past three games.
PACE OF PLAY: The upbeat Long Beach State offense has averaged 75.4 possessions per game, the seventh-most in Division I. UC Santa Barbara has not been as uptempo as the Beach and is averaging only 66.6 possessions per game (ranked 292nd, nationally).
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