February 11, 2012

Second Half Run Sends Gauchos Past Bakersfield, 57-49

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A 13-0 run by the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team turned around Saturday afternoon's game and gave the Gauchos their second win in a row.

Trailing by nine to Cal State Bakersfield midway through the second half, Emilie Johnson hit consecutive three-pointers and Kirsten Tilleman added a three-point play before Sweets Underwood and Melissa Zornig added baskets to propel the Gauchos to a 57-49 victory. UCSB has now won two games in a row for just the second time this season – and the first since Nov. 17-19 – to improve to 10-13 overall. CSU Bakersfield falls to 4-21.

The Gauchos had three players score in double digits for the first time since a Jan. 21 double overtime win over Cal State Northridge. Sweets Underwood and Kirsten Tilleman each turned in double-doubles as the duo combined for 25 points and 22 rebounds.

Bakersfield, which was playing with just seven players due to a rash of injuries, led for most of the game. After Underwood's jumper opened the scoring, CSUB led until the Gauchos' 13-0 run, a total of 30 minutes, 20 seconds.

But it was Johnson's two treys, the first of which banked in from the left arc and the second which came from the corner in front of UCSB's bench, that turned the tide. Santa Barbara led by as many as eight, 52-44, with 3:18 remaining on Johnson's 10-foot jumper and then held off the Roadrunners the rest of the way.

Tilleman finished with her second consecutive double-double as she posted 15 points and 10 rebounds while Underwood had 10 points and 12 boards. Emilie Johnson had a game-high 16 points to go with two assists and three rebounds.

The Gauchos got balanced scoring throughout the lineup as Madeline Campbell had a season-best five points. Melissa Zornig added four points while Nicole Nesbit had three points and three assists. UCSB dished out 19 helpers, led by Kelsey Adrian, who tied her career-high with five assists.

Meanwhile, Angelei Aguirre played 18 extremely solid minutes as she finished with two points, four rebounds and three assists.

As a team the Gauchos shot 41.4% from the floor and limited the Roadrunners to just 27.9% from the field, while UCSB outrebounded CSUB 45-39.

UCSB celebrated its annual Pink Zone game in the "Play for Kay" event to raise breast cancer awareness. The UCSB players decorated pink shooting shirts which were made available to the public and the benefits went to breast cancer research.

The Gauchos play at UC Riverside on Thursday at 7 p.m. and return home on Feb. 23 to face Cal State Northridge. Tickets are available by calling 893-UCSB or by clicking here. All UCSB basketball games are broadcast live on AM 990 and online by clicking this link. The pregame show starts a half-hour prior to tip-off.