Gauchos Open Homestand on Thursday With 6 pm Game vs. St. Mary's

Gauchos Open Homestand on Thursday With 6 pm Game vs. St. Mary's

• The Schedule
Thursday, November 17, 2011,  at 6:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. St. Mary's (1-1)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Gaels – 6-3
Streak – Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Gaels – L, 77-53 (@ St. Mary's 12/3/10)
Game broadcast live on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here

Saturday, November 19, 2011,  at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Loyola Marymount (0-2)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Lions – 10-5
Streak – Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Lions – L, 65-40 (@ UCSB, 11/22/09)
Game broadcast live on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 990 KTMS and will stream live online by clicking here with the pregame show starting 30 minutes prior to tipoff.

• Doing Good, Underwood
Junior forward Sweets Underwood leads UCSB in both points (26 total) and rebounds (20) after the Gauchos' first two games last weekend. Underwood opened the season with a career-high 15 rebounds to go with 14 points in a loss to Seattle, which was her fifth career double-double as a Gaucho. The Compton, Calif. native then led the team with 12 points on Sunday at Portland State. Underwood is a two-time All-Big West honoree, making the All-Freshman Team and the Honorable Mention list a season ago.

• 0-2? No Problem!
UCSB has started the season 0-2 for the third straight year, and the fourth time since 2005-06. However, don't count the Gauchos out – in two of the previous three seasons UCSB has opened 0-2, the team has played in the postseason.

• Seeing 20/20
Guard Emilie Johnson opened her senior campaign with a bang, scoring a team-high 20 points last Friday vs. Seattle. The Loomis, Calif. native, who has led the team in scoring each of the past two years, has now scored 1,085 career points which is just 69 behind Jess Hansen (1999-2003) for 19th place in school history. Johnson has 10 20-point games in her UCSB career.

• Nice Start
After sitting out all of last season due to NCAA transfer rules, junior forward/center Kirsten Tilleman had two solid showings in her first games in the blue and gold. Against Seattle she had five points and 10 rebounds and vs. Portland State she had six points and seven boards. Through the team's first two games, Tilleman is averaging 8.5 rebounds per contest, second behind Underwood's 10.0 per game.

• Historically, it's OK
Head coach Carlene Mitchell, the fifth head coach in women's basketball program history, may have started the season 0-2, but she should not fear.  All but one coach – Mark French in 1987-88 – had a few speedbumps to start their Gaucho careers. Bobbi Bonace lost seven of her first eight games on the sidelines in 1972-73; Darla Wilson dropped 21 of her first 22 games in the 1983-84 season and Lindsay Gottlieb lost three of her first four games in 2008-09. That means that only French, who won his first eight games as coach, all had losing first months. Mitchell, who served the previous 10 seasons at Rutgers, and the Gauchos have four more games in the month of November.

• Filling Up the Box Score
Sophomore guard Nicole Nesbit has done a little bit of everything in the team's first two games. She has totaled 13 points, four rebounds, six assists, two steals and a blocked shot. In fact, her five assists on Sunday at Portland State were just one shy of her career-high, set last year when she passed out six on Feb. 24 vs. Long Beach State.

• Oh, Say Can You See?
Senior guard Emilie Johnson recently returned from the United States National Team as part of the 12-person roster for the Pan-American Games. Johnson, the Gauchos' fourth Team USA representative, helped the squad to a seventh-place finish at the games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The native of Loomis, Calif. started all four games for Team USA and averaged 5.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. She shot 44.0 percent from the field and her 22.8 minutes per game were fourth on the team.

Johnson was recently named one of the 30 nominees for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award, given annually to a senior who exhibits high standards on the court, in the classroom and in the community. Both Emilie and Orlando Johnson were nominated from UCSB, just three players from the same school to be nominated this year.

• Rank and File
In the second Mid-Major poll, released on Nov. 15, UC Santa Barbara dropped out of the "receiving votes" section after losing its first two games. Last week UCSB received 63 votes, but garnered none this week. Moving into the Top-25 are Big West foe UC Davis (No. 21) and Portland State (No. 25).

• At the Polls
In the preseason media poll, UCSB was picked to finish second in the Big West behind Cal Poly despite receiving the same number of first place votes (11) as the Mustangs. Cal Poly had 200 total points to UCSB's 191 followed by UC Davis (169 points, two first place votes) and UC Riverside (120).

• Putting the Biscuit in the Basket
UCSB returns five of its top six scorers from last season's squad, giving the team an average of 44.2 points per game returning to the team.

• Big West Champs
The Gauchos have won 14 of the last 16 Big West titles, including last year's regular-season title and the third time in the past four years they have captured a title.

• Biggest in the Big West
The Gauchos have dominated the conference for more than a decade. Since the 1995-96 season, UCSB is 226-31 (.883) in Big West games.

• Top-10 Time
Entering her senior season Emilie Johnson ranks in the school's all-time Top-10 in three-pointers made (169, 4th), three-pointers attempted (504, 3rd) and free throw pct. (.827, 2nd).

• Moving on Up
Emilie Johnson became the 23rd member of UCSB's 1,000 point club last season and has already moved to the 20th spot all-time in school history with 1,060 career points.  At her current average of 354 points per year, it's possible Johnson could move into 12th place by the end of the season.

• First Class
Last Wednesday UCSB officially signed three players to National Letters of Intent. Joining the team for next season will be guard Jasmine Ware, ranked as the No. 85 guard in the nation according to ESPN, from Sacramento, post player Kendra Morrison from Sammamish, Wash. and forward Jessica Pino from Temecula, Calif.  This is the first class signed by new coach Carlene Mitchell and her staff.

• Leading Lady
Emilie Johnson, whose 13.7 points per game led the team in 2010-11, also paced the Gauchos in total points, assists and tied for the team lead in steals with Kelsey Adrian. Johnson led the team in those three categories two straight seasons, which would be the third year in a row after Lauren Pedersen did it in the 2008-09 season.

• They're Outta Here
The Gauchos lost three players from last year's roster, including two starters. Gone are Margaret Johnson and Mekia Valentine, both mainstays in Santa Barbara's starting lineup. Valentine averaged a double-double last season – 11.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game – the first by a Gaucho since Erika Kienast in 1991-92. Valentine also finished third in the nation in blocked shots per game with 3.7. Stefanie Corgel also left from last year's roster.


• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
G     3    Nicole Nesbit - 5 assists at Portland State just one off her career high
G    10    Emilie Johnson - Has hoisted a team-high 29 shots (31.0 percent) in 2 games
G    33    Destini Mason - Made her first career start as a Gaucho vs. Portland State
F     1    Sweets Underwood - Leads the team with 26 points, 20 rebounds
F/C    32    Kirsten Tilleman - Has 17 rebounds in 1st 2 games as a Gaucho

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
F    2    Kelsey Adrian - Came off the bench on Sun. for 1st time at UCSB
G    5    Madeline Campbell - Totaled 10 minutes in team's first games
F    15    Adaeze Okolie - DNP - injury
F    21    Jackie Luna-Castro - Made her UCSB debut on Sunday – 4 minutes
G     22    Melissa Zornig - Is 1-4 from downtown, 2-5 from inside the arc
G    24  Angelei Aguirre - DNP - injury


The Carlene Mitchell File
  Carlene Mitchell was hired as UC Santa Barbara's head coach on May 19, 2011 after a very successful tenure at Rutgers. Mitchell, the fifth head coach in program history, is in her first head coaching job.
  Prior to joining UCSB, Mitchell served 10 years as an assistant coach at Rutgers, with the final three years spent as the team's associate head coach.
  Under the tutelage of Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer, Mitchell has helped direct the Scarlet Knights to an NCAA berth in nine straight seasons and a spot in the NCAA Regional Semifinals in five of the past seven seasons. Mitchell, who served as the program's recruiting coordinator since 2004, consistently landed the top talent in the nation, including four top-15 recruiting classes and the nation's top recruiting class in 2006-07.
  Prior to Rutgers, Mitchell spent the 2000-01 season as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State. Prior to her stop in Stillwater, Mitchell coached for two seasons at Western Illinois University.  Mitchell started her coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1997.
Mitchell was the starting point guard as a senior at Kansas State during the 1995-96 season. She received a bachelor's degree in social science from the school in 1996.