January 9, 2013

UCSB Hosts Pacific and UC Davis

Weekly Release No. 11

• The Schedule
Game 15
Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (5-9, 1-1 Big West) vs. Pacific (11-2, 1-0 Big West)
at The Thunderdome
All-time record vs. Tigers: 50-17
Last meeting: W, 84-66
Streak: Won 1
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats 

Game 16
Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 2 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Davis (5-7, 0-1 Big West)
at The Thunderdome
All-time record vs. Aggies: 12-9
Last meeting: W, 60-56
Streak: Won 1
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats 

 Get Your Tickets
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.  

• Listen Live
The majority of UCSB basketball games will be broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB, but Thursday's will be streamed online only at UCSBgauchos.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.

• Bringing Home The Big West
UCSB will return home this week to host its first pair of 2013 Big West home contests. The Gauchos will welcome Pacific on Thursday at 7 p.m. before hosting UC Davis on Saturday at 2 p.m. 

• UCSB Welcomes The Bren School
On Thursday evening, UCSB will host Bren School Night at the Thunderdome as the Gauchos will welcome and celebrate the students, faculty and staff from the University's school of environmental science and management. Gaucho senior Kirsten Tilleman is currently receiving her master's degree at Bren School.

• For The Record
The Gauchos enter this week with a 5-9 overall record and an even 1-1 mark in the league. 

• Bringing The Thunder Back To The Dome
After facing a tough non-conference home schedule with the likes of USC, Kentucky and Kansas State swinging by the Thunderdome in November and December, UCSB now holds a home mark of 1-4. For the first time since the 1987-88 season, the Gauchos have dropped four-straight at home, a skid they will be looking to snap on Thursday. The last time UCSB fell in five consecutive home games was the 1986-87 season. 

• History At Home
All-time, UCSB has gone 295-131 (.694) in the Thunderdome and has accumulated a winning home record during 21 of the last 23 seasons. Last year, UCSB went 9-6 on its home court. 

• Charity Work
As a team, the Gauchos continue to impress from the free-throw line as they have made 119-of-158 attempts this season for a 75.3% percentage, which is first in the Big West and ranks 22nd nationally. Junior Nicole Nesbit is second in the Big West in free-throw shooting (89.4%) and is 13th nationally having sank 42-of-47 attempts this season. In last week's pair of league openers, she made 12-of-13 (92.3%). 

• Tenacious D
For the second consecutive season, the Gauchos are pacing the league by limiting their opposition to a conference-low 55.4 points per game, which ranks 51st nationally. UCSB is holding its opposition to just 37.0% shooting, which is third in the league. 

• The Flip Side
While UCSB is the top team in the league defensively, the Gauchos are last in scoring, averaging a league-low 50 points per game. UCSB is also last in offensive rebounds, averaging 33.9 per game. It's also notable that the Gauchos have taken the fewest shot attempts of any Big West team, attempting a league-low 712 from the field, 113 from the three-point range and 158 from the charity stripe.

• The Board Game
The Gauchos are tops in the league in rebounding defense as they have limited their opposition to a league-low 33.2 rebounds per game. Sweets Underwood (8.9 rpg) and Kirsten Tilleman (6.5 rpg) pace the team and rank third and ninth, respectively, in the BWC. UCSB is the only Big West team with two players ranked in the top-10 in rebounding. 

• Living The Sweets Life
Speaking of Sweets Underwood, in addition to leading the squad in rebounding, she is also tops with her 11.4 points per game average, which ranks 14th in the BWC. Her 51.2 field goal percentage is second among all Big West players behind Pacific's Kendall Kenyon (56.8%). If she continues at her current clip, Underwood could become the first Gaucho to lead the team in points and rebounds in a season since Jessica Wilson did during the 2007-08 campaign. 

• Coming On Strong
2012 All-Big West Honorable Mention Nicole Nesbit opened Big West play in strong fashion by leading the team in both of last week's games. The junior had 14 points in the victory at Irvine and topped that with 15 points and five assists at Long Beach State. Nesbit – who is averaging 9.8 points per game – has averaged 14.5 so far in league play, which ranks eighth among Big West players. She is fifth in league in helpers during conference games (4.0 apg). 

• RPI Report
In the latest RPI report, which was released this week, the Gauchos ranked 148th nationally among all Division I teams. UCSB is fourth in the Big West in RPI behind Pacific (23), Cal State Northridge (56) and Long Beach State (114). 

• Battle For The Big West
The Gauchos are seeking to claim their 15th Big West regular season title in the past 21 years and to defend their 2012 tournament title. In a preseason poll of the media, UCSB was picked to finish third in the conference receiving 153 points and three of 16 first-place votes. Cal State Northridge was picked first with 161 points and six first-place votes and Pacific was picked second with 159 points and five first-place votes. 

• Tiger Taming
Pacific enters Thursday's game with an 11-2 record and has won its last four games, including a 78-64 victory over UC Davis in its Big West opener last Saturday. The Tigers are led by Kendall Rodriguez, who is averaging 12.5 points per game. Not far behind are Gena Johnson (11.9 ppg) and Kendall Kenyon (11.8 ppg), the latter leads the squad with 10.3 boards per game. The Tigers are fourth in the nation in three-point defense, 38th in scoring offense (72 ppg), and 42nd in three-point percentage (34.5). 

• Anticipating The Aggies
The Aggies are 5-7 on the year and are 0-1 in Big West play after the aforementioned loss to Pacific. UC Davis has lost its last three-straight. Sydnee Fipps paces the Aggies with an average of 18.2 points per game while Cortney French is second on the squad with a 12.1 ppg average. The Aggies are 19th in the nation in steals per game (12.8) and rank 36th in three-pointers (7.0 pg). 

• 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 22-25. 

 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
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.