UCSB Set to Host USC, St. Mary's this Week

UCSB Set to Host USC, St. Mary's this Week

Weekly Release No. 5

• The Schedule

Game 6
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 7 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (2-3) vs. USC (2-2)
at The Thunderdome
All-time record vs. Trojans: 13-13
Last meeting: L, 50-39 (Jan. 31, 2012)
Radio: KZSB AM 1290
Online Audio • Live Video • Live Stats

Game 7
Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 2 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (2-3) vs. St. Mary's (3-2)
at The Thunderdome
All-time record vs. Gaels: 7-3
Last meeting: W, 61-52 (Nov. 17, 2011)
Radio: KZSB AM 1290
Online Audio • Live Video • Live Stats

UCSB Returns Home for Pair
After spending its Thanksgiving week competing in the Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the UCSB women's basketball team returns to Santa Barbara this week for a pair of home contests against USC and St. Mary's on Tuesday and Saturday, respectively. 

• Listen Live
The majority of UC Santa Barbara basketball games – including both of this week's – will be broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB and all will stream live online here and NewsPress.com. Mitchell Clements will serve as the play-by-play voice for the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford will handle the color commentary.

• Season Tickets Still Available
Season tickets and single game tickets for women's basketball are available at the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here

• Gauchos Finish Sixth In Mexico
UCSB went 1-2 at last week's Hardwood Tournament of Hope, which was good for a sixth-place finish in the eight-team tournament field. The Gauchos opened with a narrow loss to Oregon State, which came from behind to capture the 49-46 victory. In the tournament's second game, UCSB handily defeated Mississippi State, 60-43. In the tournament's fifth-place game, the Gauchos were able to post a season-best 61 points, but it was not enough to overcome Missouri State as they fell, 68-61. 

For The Record
UCSB enters Tuesday's game at 2-3 overall and is 1-0 at home after defeating New Mexico State, 43-41, on Nov. 14. 

• Two-Year Thunderdome Celebration Begins
In 2012-13, UC Santa Barbara will begin a two-year 35th anniversary celebration of the Thunderdome. The #thunderdome35 celebration includes commemorative 2012-13 season tickets that feature some of the greatest players to ever compete on the Thunderdome court. The players will also be remembered during Gaucho men's and women's basketball home broadcasts as well as on the Gauchos in Thirty television show and online at UCSBgauchos.com. 

• A Formidable Defense
Last season, UCSB limited its opposition to an average of 52.5 points, which led the Big West and ranked ninth nationally. This season, the Gauchos are once again displaying their defensive prowess by limiting their opponents to an average of 51.8 points per game – which leads the conference – 35.3% shooting from the field and just 20.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Nationally, the Gauchos' scoring defense ranks 32nd among all Division I programs and its three-point defense is 20th. Additionally, UCSB's average of 34.6 defensive rebounds per game is tops in the Big West. 

• Holding On
UCSB currently ranks 21st in the nation for fewest turnovers per game with an average of 13.6. The Gauchos had a season-low seven turnovers in the loss to Missouri State on Thursday. 

• The Sweets Life
Senior Sweets Underwood posted consecutive double-doubles for the first time in her career against Mississippi State and Missouri State last week. After posting 13 points and a season-best 12 rebounds to help lead the Gauchos to a win over the Bulldogs, she topped herself in the tournament finale. Against the Lady Bears, she put up a career-high tying 18 points to go along with 11 boards in just 28 minutes of work. Underwood currently ranks third in the Big West with her 55% shooting from the field and leads the Gauchos with an average of 7.8 rebounds per game. She averages 11.6 points. 

The Mitchell File
Head coach Carlene Mitchell is looking to build upon a great ending to her first season at the helm of the Gauchos – which included the aforementioned Big West Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth – in 2012-13. In addition to compiling a 17-16 record in her first campaign, she was also named one of three finalists for the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award, which is presented by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Her career record with the Gauchos currently stands at 19-19. 

• Mondays With Mitchell
Speaking of Coach Mitchell, she can be heard every Monday on a special KZSB 1290 AM segment with the Baron Ron Herron, appropriately titled "Mondays With Mitchell" at 8:50 a.m.

• We Are The (Defending) Champions
The 2011-12 Gauchos captured the program's 14th Big West crown after a stunning run through the league's tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time. UCSB returns eight of its letterwinners from last year's championship team, including three starters. Among the returners are Big West Tournament MVP, Kirsten Tilleman, and Honorable Mention All-Big West honoree, Nicole Nesbit

• Making Excellence A Habit
UCSB will be aiming for its 22nd winning season in the last 23 years. Dating back to the 1990-91 season, the Gauchos have finished the season with a sub-.500 record just once: in 2009-10 (15-17). UCSB has won the Big West regular season title 14 of the past 17 seasons and has captured the tournament crown 14 times.

• Gauchos vs. Women of Troy
Tuesday will mark the 27th meeting between the Gauchos and USC in a series that dates back to the 1971-72 season. The teams are currently even with a 13-13 all-time series record. The Women of Troy have dominated as of late, winning the last three pairings, including a 50-39 victory last season in Los Angeles. The Gauchos' last win over USC was a 69-63 overtime victory at the Thunderdome on Nov. 11, 2007. 

• Scouting Southern California
USC enters Tuesday's contest with a 2-2 overall record. The Women of Troy, who are making their first jaunt out of the Galen Center this season, have defeated Pepperdine (65-56) and Arkansas State (72-58). Their losses have come against Gonzaga (63-52) and, most recently, Nebraska (74-65). USC is led by Cassie  Harberts, who is averaging 17.5 points per game and 9.5 rebounds. Ariya Crook is a close second with a 16 points per game average. 

• Gauchos vs. Gaels
Saturday will mark the 11th meeting between UCSB and St. Mary's. The Gauchos lead the all-time series, 7-3, and won the last pairing, 61-52, on Nov. 17, 2011. That victory was a special one as it marked head coach Carlene Mitchell's first at the helm of the program. 

• Scouting St. Mary's
St. Mary's has opened the season 3-2 and has most recently defeated Butler, 85-74, and Chattanooga, 70-67. The Gaels will play UCSB's Blue-Green rival Cal Poly on Thursday before facing the Gauchos on Saturday afternoon. The Gaels are currently led by Jackie Nared, who is averaging 18.6 points per game and 10.2 rebounds. Danielle Mauldin, meanwhile, is averaging 12.8 points per game while shooting 47.6% from the field. 

• The Dome Is Where The Heart Is
UCSB will carry a five-game winning streak into this week's home action, which dates back to the 2011-12 campaign. Last year, the Gauchos went 9-6 in the Thunderdome. All-time UCSB has gone 295-127 (.699) at home and has accumulated winning home records during 21 of the last 23 seasons.

• Talk'n Gauchos
UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show, Talk'n Gauchos, airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from The Beachside Café, located on Goleta Beach and it features UCSB coaches and athletes.  The show is hosted by Gerry Fall, the Voice of the Gauchos.