Gauchos Begin Road Swing at Loyola Marymount

Weekly Release No. 6

• The Schedule
Game 8
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (2-5) at Loyola Marymount (5-4)
at Gersten Pavilion
All-time record vs. Lions: 11-5
Last meeting: W, 66-49 (Nov. 19, 2011)
Radio: KZSB AM 1290
Online Audio

UCSB Packs Its Bags, Opens Three-Game Road Swing at LMU
UCSB begins a three-game road swing this week when it heads to Loyola Marymount on Wednesday to take on the Lions in a 7 p.m. pairing. The game can be listened to live in Santa Barbara on KZSB AM 1290 or online here. Following Wednesday's game, the Gauchos will take a 10-day hiatus as they complete finals before returning to action against Washington on Dec. 15. 

• Listen Live
The majority of UC Santa Barbara basketball games – including Wednesday's game – 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.

• 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.

For The Record
UCSB enters Wednesday's game at 2-5 overall and is 0-1 on opposing courts. The Gauchos will be looking to snap their current three-game losing skid, which is the longest since the team suffered four consecutive losses between Jan. 16 and Feb. 4 of last season. Coming out of that four-game losing streak, UCSB won nine of its following 12 games to finish the season. 

• Last Time Out
UCSB had a rough go of it last week as it dropped a pair of home contests to USC and St. Mary's, respectively. The Gauchos faced USC at home on Tuesday night and despite roaring back from an 18-point deficit to trail by just six with 1:15 to go, UCSB fell to the Trojans, 62-51. The Gauchos got career-best performances from senior Angelei Aguirre, who had 13 points, and freshman Kendra Morrison, who contributed 11 points in just 19 minutes of play during the second half. On Saturday, UCSB once again staged a second-half comeback against St. Mary's, but a late run by the Gaels fueled them to the 49-39 victory. Sweets Underwood led the team with 14 points in the loss while Aguirre posted a career-best nine rebounds. 

• Defensive Behavior
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 52.9 points per game – which leads the conference – 36.5% shooting from the field and just 27.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Nationally, the Gauchos rank 39th among all Division I programs for scoring defense. St. Mary's marked the third team this season that UCSB has held to under 50 points. 

• Holding On
UCSB ranks 29th nationally and tops the Big West for fewest turnovers per game as it currently averages 14.3. The Gauchos also lead the league in assists to turnovers with a ratio of .85 to 1.0. 

• Suddenly Seeking Scoring
While UCSB is solid on the defensive end of the ball, the Gauchos are struggling offensively this year as they average a league-low 50.3 points per game with an average of 2.29 three-pointers and just 9.43 offensive boards per game. Some bright points in the Gauchos' offense include their free throw percentage (71.6%) and field goal percentage (39.5%), which both rank third in the Big West. 

• The Sweets Life
Senior Sweets Underwood once again led the Gauchos in scoring on Saturday in the loss to St. Mary's. Underwood has led the team in points in three of the last four games and has led in rebounds in five of the Gauchos' seven games this season. She has had two double-doubles already this season against Mississippi State (13 points, 12 rebounds) and Missouri State (18 points, and 11 rebounds) and has had double-digit points on four occasions. For her career, she has recorded 30 double-digit point performances and 10 double-doubles. Six of her 10 double-doubles have come during the month of November. Among Big West players, she currently ranks second in field goal percentage (52.7%); fifth in rebounding (7.7 per game); seventh in offensive rebounds (2.56 per game), defensive rebounds (5.14 per game) and minutes played (32); 10th in free throw percentage (77.8%); and 14th in scoring (10.3 points per game). 

• All About Angelei
Senior Angelei Aguirre is ensuring that she ends her career at UCSB with a bang. After posting a career-high 11 points in the Gauchos' win over Mississippi State in Puerto Vallarta, she topped herself on Tuesday against USC with a team-leading 13 points. Then, against St. Mary's on Saturday, she surpassed her previous career-high of eight rebounds, set in a Nov. 2010 game against Portland State, with nine against the Gaels. She currently leads UCSB with nine blocked shots and her 1.29 per game average ranks sixth in the Big West. 

• Gauchos vs. Lions
Wednesday will mark the 17th meeting between UCSB and Loyola Marymount. The Gauchos lead the series with the Lions, 11-5, and won the last pairing on Nov. 19, 2011 by way of a 66-49 score. 

• Looking At Loyola Marymount
Loyola Marymount has opened the season with a 5-4 record. The Lions split last week's games, defeating Colorado State, 69-52, before falling to No. 19 UCLA, 86-66. LMU has already posted wins over two Big West teams: Long Beach State, 58-52, (Nov. 15) and Cal State Fullerton, 85-73, (Nov. 20). The Gauchos and Lions have both played New Mexico State this season. The Gauchos captured a 43-41 win on Nov. 14 while the Lions fell, 77-76, to the Aggies two days prior. 

• Take Me To Your Leaders
Alex Cowling currently leads the Lions with her 15.8 points per game average and she also averages 7.1 rebounds. She is shooting 42.7% from the field and 82.4% from the free-throw line. Hazel Ramirez is second on the team with an average of 10.2 points per game and leads the squad with 57 assists. As a team, the Lions are averaging 67.9 points per game, 43 rebounds, 12.6 steals and are shooting 38% from the field. 

• 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 a 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 19-21. 

• 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 is 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.

• Two-Year Thunderdome Celebration Begins
UC Santa Barbara has begun 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. 

• 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