UCSB Hosts Pepperdine on Friday to Close Homestand

UCSB Hosts Pepperdine on Friday to Close Homestand

• The Schedule
Friday, December 16, 2011,  at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Pepperdine (5-4)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Waves – 13-13
Streak – Lost 3
Last time out vs. the Waves – L, 68-56 (@ Pepperdine, 11/12/10)
Game broadcast on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here
Live stats available here
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

Monday, December 19, 2011,  at 6:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at New Mexico State (1-7)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Aggies – 13-4
Streak – Won 7
Last time out vs. the Aggies – W, 86-65 (@ NMSU, 1/29/00)
Game broadcast 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.

The Opponents
• Pepperdine, 12/16
The Waves are 5-4 thus far, coming off their first home loss of the season to Oregon State, and hold a 2-1 edge over Big West foes. Pepperdine is just 2-2 on the road and is led by Jazmine Jackson's 17.5 points per game. The Waves, who have defeated UCSB three straight times, are also paced by Lauren Bell (13.6 points per game) and Katie Menton (13.4 points per game). Julie Rousseau is in her eighth season at the helm.

• New Mexico State, 12/19
The Aggies, formerly of the Big West Conference, are 1-7 which includes an 0-5 mark at home. Tabytha Wampler is the lone NMSU player who scores in double figures with a 13.5 points per game average and she carries a 9.4 rebound per game mark. The Aggies average 53.4 points and allow 64.9 points to opponents. The Aggies are coached by former USC head coach, Mark Trakh, who is in his first season.

• Tenacious D
UC Santa Barbara is continuing its defensive dominance this season, holding opponents to just 50.4 points per game, ranking the squad 12th in the nation. The Gauchos are also allowing opponents to shoot just 35.7% from the floor, which is the best mark in the conference.  This shouldn't be a surprise because last year UCSB led the conference in field goal percentage defense (18th in the nation) at 35.5%. In 2009-10, UCSB allowed opponents to shoot 36.3%, which was 31st in the nation, and in 2008-09, the Gauchos allowed opponents to hit 34.6% of their shots, ranking eighth in the country.

• Under 50 is Nifty
Over the past five games, UCSB has not allowed any of its opponents to reach the 50-point plateau, the first time in school history that has happened. The team is allowing just 45.2 points per game, but stands just 2-3 in those games because the Gauchos are averaging just 49.0 points in that span.

• Z is for Zornig
Sophomore guard Melissa Zornig has led the Gauchos in scoring in each of the team's past two games, the first time in her career she's done that. She has poured in 30 points in the two games, including canning six three-pointers. Zornig is averaging 7.1 points per game – fourth on the team – and her nine treys are second-most on the team.

• Downtown Girl
Senior guard Kelsey Adrian has reached double figures in three of the team's past four games, and has been doing a lot of her damage from beyond the arc. Adrian is shooting 44% from downtown, which leads the team and ranks her fourth in the Big West. The Langley, B.C. native is averaging 6.3 points per game.

• Three-Cola!
Speaking of three-pointers, Kelsey Adrian and Emilie Johnson are each tied for eighth in the conference with their 1.38 three-pointers made per game.

• Movin' On Up
With seven more points last week, Emilie Johnson is closing in on a top-20 mark in the school's all-time scoring book. Johnson needs just 18 more points to surpass Jess Hansen (1999-2003) for 19th place in school history and she is 21 away from overtaking Jessica Wilson (2004-08) for 18th all-time. Johnson has 11 20-point games in her UCSB career and her 9.5 points per game lead the team.

• Turning Things Around
In an odd twist, UCSB is averaging 16.7 turnovers in each of its wins and 13.4 in its losses. As a team the Gauchos turn the ball over just 14.6 times per game – the 27th lowest mark in the nation. It's a far cry from just two seasons ago when the Gauchos committed 649 total turnovers in the 2009-10 season, the eighth-highest mark in program history.

• On The Line
When it comes to free throw shooting, the Gauchos are one of the best in the Big West as they sport a 71.9% clip from the charity stripe, which is second in the conference and 80th in the country. That number would rank the team in the program's single-season top-10. However, getting to the foul line is a completely different story. UCSB has only attempted 96 total free throws this season – an average of just 12 per game – ranking them last in the conference. Every other Big West school has taken at least 115 free throws this year.

• Board Games
Santa Barbara's two frontcourt stalwarts – Kirsten Tilleman and Sweets Underwood – are two of the best rebounders in relation to their Big West peers. Underwood is third in the conference (and 88th in the nation) with her 8.8 rebounds per game mark and Tilleman is right behind her, with 8.3 boards per game. There has been just one game this season where one of the two didn't grab at least seven rebounds. As a team the Gauchos are pulling in 35.5 rebounds per game.

• Dishing It Out
Sophomore guard Nicole Nesbit, an All-Big West Freshman Team selection a season ago, leads the team with her 2.9 assists per game mark. While also ranking second on the team in scoring with 9.3 points per game, Nesbit paces the squad with  her 1.21 assist-to-turnover ratio.

• Making It Rain
At her current pace, Kelsey Adrian will likely break into UCSB's top-10 in career three-pointers. The senior, who has played in just 38 games as a Gaucho has knocked down 63 total treys in the blue and gold and is just 17 away from the school's top-10.

• How Sweets It Is!
Junior forward Sweets Underwood opened the season with four straight double-digit games, but has not cracked the 10-point barrier in her past four games. Despite that, the Compton, Calif. native is averaging 8.6 points per game, ranking her third on the team.

• Looking Back
At this point last season UCSB's record was an identical 3-5. UCSB finished the season 16-7 and won its 14th Big West title in the past 16 seasons.

• Score-Bored
While the Gauchos are at the bottom of the Big West's scoring average – just 51.6 points per game – and rank 315th out of 336 teams ranked nationally in that category, they still are not on pace to set a school record. The lowest points per game a UCSB team scored was 45.2 in the 1973-74 season.

• 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.

• 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).

• 30 For 30
In UCSB's losses to Washington and Northern Colorado, the Gauchos tied a dubious feat in program history. By not breaking the 40-point barrier in either defeat, it marked the first time since 1976-77 that a Gaucho team lost consecutively-scheduled games without scoring at least 40 points.

• Baby, It's Cold Outside
In both losses, UCSB failed to make at least 30% of its shots, hitting just 22.6% against Washington and 28.8% at Northern Colorado. The last time a Gaucho team failed to hit at least 30% was Nov. 22, 2009 vs. LMU when the team shot 29.8%.

• Dubious Accomplishments
It's not something to be known for, but unfortunately it must be noted. Each of the previous two games have left a mark on the UCSB program's record books. In the defeat to Washington, UCSB's 11 first-half points were the second fewest in a first half in school history. The 22.6 shooting percentage tied for the second-lowest in single-game history and the team's 12 field goals were second-fewest in program history. In the loss at Northern Colorado, the Gauchos scored just 14 second-half points, tying it for the lowest second-half point total in history (also 14 at UNLV on Feb. 17, 1990). The 15 field goals at Northern Colorado also tied the team for 10th fewest in school history (also 15 at UC Irvine, Feb. 7, 2009).

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F     1    Sweets Underwood - Has not reached double digits in 4 straight games
F    2    Kelsey Adrian - Leads team with 44.0% from downtown
G    10    Emilie Johnson - Leads all Big West players with her 35.38 minutes per game
G     22    Melissa Zornig - Has 30 points in last two games
F/C    32    Kirsten Tilleman - Has at least 7 rebounds in all but two games this year

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G     3    Nicole Nesbit - Her 23 assists paces all Gaucho players
G    5    Madeline Campbell - 12 minutes in win over LMU was a season-high
F    15    Adaeze Okolie - Injury has kept her sidelined thus far
F    21    Jackie Luna-Castro - 20 of her 38 total minutes have come in her last 3 games
G    24  Angelei Aguirre - Has two quick fouls in just 4 minutes vs. UNLV
G    33    Destini Mason - Had 2 steals in 6 minutes vs. USF