February 29, 2012

Gauchos Head Up North for Final Regular Season Games

• The Schedule
Thursday, March 1, 2012  at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Pacific (15-11, 8-6)
at UOP's Spanos Center (6,150)
Series record vs. the Tigers – 49-16
Streak – Lost 2
Last time out vs. the Tigers – L, 52-48 (@ UCSB, 1/28/12)
Game broadcast on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here

Saturday, March 3, 2012  at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at UC Davis (16-10, 8-6)
at UC Davis' The Pavilion (8,000)
Series record vs. the Aggies – 11-9
Streak – Lost 6
Last time out vs. the Aggies – L, 46-34 (@ LBSU, 1/19/12)
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
• at Pacific, 3/1
UCSB has dropped two consecutive games to Pacific – both at the Thunderdome – but has won eight of its past nine games in Stockton. The Tigers, who played a make-up game at Long Beach on Tuesday, are led by Kendall Rodriguez, Ashley Wakefield and Erica McKenzie, all of whom average in double figures.

• at UC Davis, 3/3
The six straight wins that UC Davis has over the Gauchos rank as the most consecutive losses UCSB has to a conference foe and the second-longest active streak (UCSB has dropped 10 straight to Stanford). The Aggies have just one player in double digits – Samantha Meggison with 11.0 per game but has three players averaging at least 8.0 points per game.


• CLASS-y Lady
Senior Emilie Johnson has been named one of 10 finalists nationwide for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award, given annually to the best senior who exemplifies hard work on the court, in the community and great character. Johnson is the first Gaucho to be chosen one of the 10 finalists. Fans can vote for Johnson by going to www.seniorclassaward.com.

• Tenacious D
UC Santa Barbara is continuing its defensive dominance this season, holding opponents to just 50.5 points per game, best in the Big West and ranking the squad fifth in the nation. The Gauchos are also allowing opponents to shoot just 35.2% from the floor, which is the best mark in the conference and 27th in the nation.

• This Defense Doesn't Rest
Should the Gauchos' points allowed per game average – or anywhere near it – hold up, it would rank as one of the best defensive seasons in school history.  The top two marks: the 1973-74 squad allowed opponents an average of 43.6 points per game, while the 2008-09 team allowed 55.5 points per game.

• For The Record
At 7-7 in Big West play, the Gauchos have dropped more games than they did all of last conference season and are in danger of becoming the first UCSB team since the 1989-90 squad to post a losing conference record. Two seasons ago, the 2009-10 Gaucho team was 5-7 at one point but finished 9-7 in the Big West and went to the semifinals of the Big West Tournament. The last UCSB team to drop more than seven conference games was the 1990-91 team which went 10-8 in Big West play.

• For The Record
At 13-14, this team could become the second squad in three seasons to post sub-.500 marks, the first time since eight teams did it from the 1982-83 through 1989-90 seasons.

• UCSB or UCS-D?
Over the past few years UCSB has been a dominant defensive force. 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. Also, since the new millennium, seven Gaucho teams rank in the single-season top-10 in opponents' points per game.

• Climbing the Charts
With 28 points last week at UC Riverside and UC Irvine, Emilie Johnson continued to move up the UCSB all-time scoring book. With 1,294 career points Johnson is 25 points away from Kayte Christensen (1998-2002) for 15th all-time. Johnson has reached double figures in nine of her last 11 games and the Loomis, Calif. native has 11 20-point games in her UCSB career.

• Top-Ten Time
It's not just points where Emilie Johnson ranks among the best in UCSB history. Johnson is third in career three-pointers made (203, 14 behind Jess Hansen), first in career three-pointers attempted (620, 19 ahead of Erin Alexander), 10th in career assists (323, 4 behind Mia Fisher and Dio Aguinaldo) and second in career free throw percentage.

• Three, It's the Magic Number
In just 57 games at UCSB, senior Kelsey Adrian ranks in UCSB's top-10 in career three-pointers. Adrian has nailed 90 three-pointers in her Gaucho career, tying her for eighth all-time with Lisa Willett (2000-04). Adrian, who hails from Langley, B.C., needs three more three-pointers to surpass Erin O'Bryan (2003-06) for seventh all-time in school annals. Adrian's 35.8% from downtown leads the team and is ninth in the Big West and her average of 1.44 made per game ranks her sixth in the conference.


• Hang Ten
With Emilie Johnson and Nicole Nesbit as the Gauchos' two leading scorers at 9.3 and 8.5 points per game, respectively, the team does not have a scorer averaging 10.0 or more points per game. Only once in UCSB program history has a team not had at least one player average double digits. That came in 1982-83 when Thyra Ladyman led the way with 9.7 points per game, a team that averaged 61.7 points per game.

• Wake Me Up Before You Score, Girl
UCSB is at the bottom of the Big West's scoring average – just 52.1 points per game – and rank 317 out of 336 teams ranked nationally in that category, one of just three teams in the bottom 20 with double figures in wins (the others are Savannah State and Fordham).  Yet, the Gauchos are still not on pace to set a school record for futility. The lowest per game average by a UCSB team was 45.2 in the 1973-74 season. This year's team is on pace for the third-lowest point total in school history.

• 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. Tilleman ranks second in the conference with 8.4 rebounds per game and Underwood is sixth with 7.1 per game. There has been just two games this season where one of the two didn't grab at least seven rebounds.

• The Low Post
It's not just on the rebounding side of things that Kirsten Tilleman and Sweets Underwood have been dominant for the Gauchos. In conference play the duo averages nearly 17 combined points per game and over the past six games, each has reached double figures in scoring three times apiece.

• Turning Things Around
As a team, UCSB is averaging just 14.7 turnovers per game, ranking it 35th in the nation. In an odd twist, UCSB is averaging 16.7 turnovers in each of its wins and 12.9 in its losses. It's a far cry from just two seasons ago when the Gauchos committed 649 total turnovers (20.3 per game) in the 2009-10 season, the eighth-highest mark in program history.

• No Points for You!
UCSB has allowed just one opponent to score more than 70 points in a game this season and has not given up more than 49 points in 14 games this year, going 10-4 in those contests. Santa Barbara set a new school record earlier this year when the team did not allow six straight opponents to break the 50-point plateau.

• Big West Woes
Two weeks ago, UCSB stood at 3-6 in Big West play, becoming the first Gaucho team to be three games under .500 during the conference season since February, 1990 a Gaucho team that held a 6-9 mark. That was the last UCSB team to finish the conference season with a sub-.500 record as they went 8-10. UCSB has finished above .500 in conference play in 21 consecutive seasons.

• Tilleman's Top Ten
It's not just in total rebounds where Kirsten Tilleman ranks as one of the best in the Big West. The junior from Bozeman, Montana is seventh in blocked shots per game (0.93), fourth in offensive rebounds (2.63), second in defensive rebounds (5.74) and seventh in minutes played (31.81).

 

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F     1    Sweets Underwood - Has scored at least 8 points in 6 of last 7 starts
F    2    Kelsey Adrian - Matched season-high with 4 three-pointers vs. CSUN
G    10    Emilie Johnson - Has hit double figures in nine of last 11 games
G    33    Destini Mason - Started 19 of her 26 games this season – & 6 in a row
F/C    32    Kirsten Tilleman - Second in the conference in rebounding at 8.4 per game

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G     3    Nicole Nesbit - 10 pts vs LBSU snapped 5-game streak not in double figures
G    5    Madeline Campbell - 5 points vs. Bakersfield were a season-high
F    15    Adaeze Okolie - Only action of the season came on Jan. 19 @ Long Beach
F    21    Jackie Luna-Castro - 1.4 points, 1.0 rebounds in 5.5 minutes during conference
G     22    Melissa Zornig - Has not had 20 or more minutes in 5 straight games
G    24  Angelei Aguirre - Pulled in season-high 7 rebounds in win over Long Beach