Seniors Emilie Johnson & Kelsey Adrian Help Gauchos Throttle Northridge
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Even though the official Senior Game won't be played until Saturday, the two UC Santa Barbara seniors celebrated a little bit early on Thursday night in the Thunderdome.
The Gauchos shot 51.0% from the floor and held CSUN to just 34.0% while setting a season-high in assists with 20 and a season-low in turnovers with seven. The latter was especially important for UCSB (12-14 overall, 6-7 in the Big West) since the Matadors entered the game forcing nearly 20 turnovers per game and averaging almost 11 steals per game. Northridge (16-11, 10-4) had just two steals on Thursday.
UCSB made seven of its first nine shots and got rolling early thanks to both Johnson and Adrian. The duo had 15 of the team's 31 points at halftime and continued to light it up in the second half.
Johnson finished with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists and put the cherry on top of her night when she drained a 25-foot three-pointer to beat the shot clock and give UCSB a 52-40 lead with 6:37 left.
That helped distance the Gauchos from the Matadors and seemed to break the backs of CSUN, which trailed 31-21 at halftime and had whittled a 16-point deficit to nine before Johnson's trey.
Adrian helped finish off CSUN with a bonus bomb with 4:17 remaining to give UCSB a 57-40 lead. The Langley, B.C. native finished with 14 points, three rebounds and a career-high six assists. She hit a season-best four three-pointers and moved into eighth place all-time in UCSB history in three-pointers made.
Johnson, meanwhile, hit three three-pointers to give her 202 in her career, as she trails Jess Hansen by 13 for third place all-time in Gaucho history. As a team UCSB was 8 of 15 from downtown, 53.3%.
Kirsten Tilleman and Sweets Underwood each finished with nine points and seven rebounds for UCSB and helped limit the inside game of Jasmine Erving. The Northridge senior had 13 points and six rebounds, below her season averages of 16.0 and 8.5. Erving shot just 5 of 15 from the floor.
The Gauchos got six points and three rebounds from Angelei Aguirre and four points, four rebounds and three assists from Destini Mason in its most complete game of the season. Northridge, which shot nearly 40 free throws the last time the two teams played in a 71-67 double overtime victory by UCSB, shot just 12 from the charity stripe and made only six.
UCSB is the only team to beat Northridge twice this season and will look to carry that momentum into Saturday's game vs. Long Beach State. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. at the Thunderdome and Johnson and Adrian will be honored in a pregame ceremony. Tickets are available by calling 893-UCSB or by clicking here.
Listen to the game live online by clicking here and in Santa Barbara on AM 990. The pregame show starts a half-hour prior to tip-off.