Strong Defensive Effort Not Enough for Gauchos

LONG BEACH, Calif. – It was cold inside the Pyramid on Thursday night and the freezing temperatures, unfortunately, seeped onto the UC Santa Barbara bench.

The Gauchos shot a frigid 27.8% on the night and though they held Long Beach to under 50 points with another strong defensive night, the shooting woes were too much to overcome in a 46-34 loss. The defeat drops UCSB to 7-9 overall and 2-3 in the Big West. The 49ers, meanwhile, improved to 8-11, 3-3.

UCSB never led and went through two prolonged scoring spells in the first half to dig a hole that proved too big to climb out of. The Gauchos didn't score their first points until 15:05 to play and then finished the first half scoreless for the final 5:18. At the break, Long Beach held a 10-point advantage.

While the second half was closer and Santa Barbara showed a lot of spirit, especially defensively, the team could not turn that into points and couldn't push the deficit into single digits.

Nicole Nesbit led the Gauchos with 11 points while Destini Mason added seven.

The Gauchos return to action on Saturday with a 4 p.m. game at Cal State Northridge. The game can be heard live in AM 990 in Santa Barbara and worldwide by clicking here with the pregame show starting a half-hour before tip-off.