Washington, BYU Next Up for Gauchos

Destini Mason (Photo by Vince Agapito)
Destini Mason (Photo by Vince Agapito)

Weekly Release No. 7

• The Schedule
Game 9
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 1 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (3-5) at Washington (6-1)
at Alaska Airlines Arena
All-time record vs. Huskies: 0-2
Last meeting: L, 46-37 (Nov. 23, 2011)
Radio: KZSB AM 1290
Online Audio

Game 10
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 1 p.m. (PT)
UC Santa Barbara at BYU (5-4)
at Marriot Center
All-time record vs. Cougars: 4-3
Last meeting: L, 61-50 (Nov. 9, 2007)
Radio: KZSB AM 1290
Online Audio

• Gauchos Head North For Pair
Santa isn't the only one traveling this holiday season as the Gauchos will pack their bags for a two-game, two-state road trip. UCSB will visit Washington on Saturday, Dec. 15 to take-on the Huskies of the Pac-12 before hopping over to Utah a few days later to play BYU of the West Coast Conference on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Both games are slated for 1 p.m. starts and can be heard live online here

• Listen Live
The majority of UC Santa Barbara basketball games will be broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB, including Saturday and Tuesday's games, which will also be streamed online at UCSBgauchos.com. Mitchell Clements will serve as the play-by-play voice for the Gauchos. 

• For The Record
UCSB enters Saturday's game with a 3-5 overall record and an even 1-1 road mark. The Gauchos are coming off of a win at Loyola Marymount last Wednesday, which snapped a three-game losing skid. 

Caging The Lions
The Gauchos had the pleasure of snapping another streak last week as they handed LMU its first home loss of the season after it had won four straight. As a team, UCSB had its best offensive performance of the year with 76 points, a 15-point improvement upon their previous best against Missouri State (Nov. 22). The Gauchos opened the game with six unanswered points to take the early lead, which they never relinquished. UCSB shot 48.1% from the field and an impressive 84% (21-for-25) from the free-throw line.  

• Career And Season Highs Abound
Senior Sweets Underwood's career-best performance helped lead UCSB to its win over LMU as she posted 22 points, surpassing her previous career-high by four points. Junior Nicole Nesbit had a career-best eight assists in the victory while sophomore Madeline Campbell had a career-high seven rebounds and tied her career-high of five points. Senior Destini Mason chipped in a career-best three steals. Junior Melissa Zornig, meanwhile, tallied a season-best 13 points for the Gauchos. 

• Underwood Garners Big West Player of the Week 
For her career performance on Wednesday, Sweets Underwood garnered Big West Women's Basketball Player of the Week honors. In addition to her 22 points, she also chipped in 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season and the 11th of her career. Underwood shot 8-for-12 from the field and made 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. She also tallied an assist, a block and two steals. The senior currently leads the Gauchos with an average of 11.8 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game. She is second among all Big West players with her 55.2% shooting from the field, fourth in rebounding, sixth with her 80% free-throw shooting, and 11th in scoring. 

• Tenacious D
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 54.9 points per game – which leads the conference – 36.3% shooting from the field and just 29.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Additionally, the Gauchos are tops in the league in rebounding defense as they have limited their opposition to a league-low 34.2 rebounds per game. 

• Holding On
UCSB ranks 31st nationally and tops the Big West for fewest turnovers per game as it currently averages 14.6. The Gauchos also lead the league in assists to turnovers with a ratio of .90 to 1.0. 

• Charity Work
The Gauchos have been impressive from the free-throw line as they have made 69-of-92 this season for a 75% percentage, which is second in the Big West and 28th nationally. Against LMU, the Gauchos made 21-of-25 free-throw attempts, shooting 84% from the line, marking its best performance from the charity stripe this season and the most free-throws made by the team during Carlene Mitchell's tenure. 

• And She's Back In The Game
Senior Kirsten Tilleman is cleared to rejoin the Gauchos on the court during this road swing after sitting out the last three games with a foot injury. Prior to her leave, Tilleman had started all five games for the Gauchos, was averaging 7.4 rebounds per game, 1.2 blocks and 4.0 points. 

• 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.

• 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 20-21. 

• 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.

• 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. 

• Gauchos vs. Huskies
Saturday will mark the third meeting between UCSB and Washington. The Huskies have won both of the previous meetings, most recently defeating the Gauchos, 46-37, in the Thunderdome last season on Nov. 23, 2011. The teams first met on Dec. 21, 1993 in Seattle. Washington won that pairing, 75-49. 

• What's Up With Washington?
Washington has gotten off to a 6-1 start to the season and will carry a four-game winning streak and an undefeated home mark of 3-0 into Saturday's game. The Huskies' lone loss of the season came at the hands of the Gauchos' Big West foe Long Beach State on Nov. 18 when Washington fell, 71-62, to the 49ers. The Huskies most recently defeated San Diego State, 59-58, on Dec. 5. UCSB and Washington have one common opponent thus far: Saint Mary's. The Huskies posted a 70-68 victory over the Gaels (Nov. 9) while the Gauchos fell, 49-39 (Dec. 1). 

• The Washington Who's Who
Washington currently boasts three players who are averaging double-digit points: Jazmine Davis (18.6), Talia Walton (13.6) and Kristi Kingma (12.9). Aminah Williams leads the team with an average of 11.7 boards per game. As a team, the Huskies are averaging 66 points per game, shooting 39.1% from the field, 35% from the three-point range and 62.5% from the charity stripe. 

• Gauchos vs. Cougars
UCSB will be facing BYU for the eighth time on Tuesday. The Gauchos have lost two straight to the Cougars, most recently suffering a 61-50 setback on Nov. 9, 2007 in the Thunderdome. UCSB's last win against BYU was by way of a 65-51 score on Jan. 2, 2003.  

• Catching Up With The Cougars
BYU enters its Friday game with Tulsa with a 5-4 record and a two-game winning streak. The Cougars have won their two previous home contests and their most recent result was a 53-48 victory on the road at Utah. UCSB and BYU have not faced any common opponents thus far. 

• Breaking Down BYU
BYU has three players averaging double-digit points: Lexi Eaton (15.6), Jennifer Hamson (14) and Kim Beeston (10.4). Hamson leads the team with 9.5 rebounds per game. As a team, the Cougars average 63.2 points per game and are shooting 39.2% from the field, 31.8% from beyond the arc and 73.5% from the free-throw line.  

• Gauchos Give
UCSB Athletics, in partnership with the Santa Barbara News-Press, will host a Gauchos Give Youth Night during the Dec. 21 home game against Kentucky. All kids high school age and younger will receive free admission to the game. Tickets can be picked up at the game at the Thunderdome Ticket Booth. 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