January 23, 2013

Cal State Northridge, Hawaii Await the Gauchos

Weekly Release No. 13

• The Schedule
Game 18
Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 7 p.m.
UCSB (6-11, 2-3 Big West) at Cal State Northridge (10-7, 4-2 Big West)
All-time record vs. Matadors: 38-12
Last meeting: W, 61-44 (Feb. 23, 2012)
Streak: Won 11
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats

Game 19
Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 9 p.m. 
UCSB at Hawaii (8-9, 4-2 Big West)
All-time record vs. Rainbow Wahine: 12-19
Last meeting: L, 91-66 (Dec. 22, 1998)
Streak: Lost 1
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats

• Gauchos Pack Their Bags
UCSB hits the road once again this week, this time for a two-game, two-state road swing in which they will face Cal State Northridge on Thursday at 7 pm before jetting away to Hawaii for a Saturday pairing, which will be played at 9 pm Pacific Time. Both games will be broadcast online only at UCSBgauchos.com and a video stream can be watched on BigWest.tv.  

• For The Record
The Gauchos enter this week with a 6-11 overall record and a 2-3 mark in Big West Conference play.  

• Familiar Territory
UCSB also opened league play with an 2-3 record during its 2011-12 campaign. In fact, the Gauchos went 3-5 during their first round of games against Big West competition last year before going 5-3 during their second swing through conference play to finish with an even 8-8 league mark. The Gauchos then went on to win the Big West Tournament crown.  

• On The Road Again
The Gauchos, who have yet to play more than two consecutive home games this season, continue a three-game road swing this week. UCSB has gone 3-4 on opposing courts and three of its last four victories were outside the Thunderdome.  

• Due For A Run?
UCSB has only strung together consecutive wins at one point this season: against Loyola Marymount (Dec. 5) and Washington (Dec. 15). The Gauchos found themselves in a similar situation last year when they didn't post a run of more than two victories until February. Once they got rolling, however, they won 10 of their last 12 games, which included a seven-game streak. 

• Tenacious D
For the second consecutive season, the Gauchos are pacing the league by limiting their opposition to a conference-low 55.8 points per game, which ranks 54th nationally. In league games, they are limiting their opponents to an average of 54.2 points per game, which ties Cal State Northridge for second.  

• Charity Work
As a team, the Gauchos continue to impress from the free-throw line as they have made 151-of-203 attempts this season for a 74.4% percentage, which is first in the Big West and ranks 31st nationally. Junior Nicole Nesbit is second in the Big West in free-throw shooting (86.5%) and is 26th nationally having sank 45-of-52 attempts this season.  

• How Sweets It Is
Senior Sweets Underwood continues to lead the Gauchos in scoring (10.9 points per game) – which ranks 13th in the Big West – and rebounding (8.6 per game) – which ranks third. She also boasts a team-leading 50.7% field goal percentage, which is the fourth-best among league players. If she continues at her current clip, Underwood could become the first Gaucho to lead the team in points, rebounds and field goal percentage since Jenna Green did during the 2006-07 season.  

• Top-10 Bound
Speaking of Underwood, the senior is on-pace to finish her career among the Gauchos' all-time rebounders and shooters. She currently has 711 career rebounds, just 51 shy of making the UCSB top-10. She also has a career field goal percentage of 49.5%, which currently ties her for ninth all-time with Christa Gannon.  

• The Class Of 2014
While Underwood leads the team for the season, juniors Nicole Nesbit and Melissa Zornig have led the Gauchos thus far in league games averaging 11.4 and 10.8 points per game, respectively. Nesbit ranks 15th in points per game and is tied for third in Big West games for assists (3.4 per game). Zornig, meanwhile, is second in three-point field goal percentage (40.7%) and fourth in three-pointers made with an average of 2.2 against Big West opponents.  

• The Flip Side
While UCSB is the top team in the league defensively, the Gauchos are last in scoring, averaging a league-low 50.4 points per game. It's also notable that the Gauchos have taken the fewest shot attempts of any Big West team, attempting a league-low 857 from the field, 140 from the three-point range and 203 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 (8.6 rpg) and Kirsten Tilleman (6.7 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, despite ranking 10th as a team with an average of 33.2 boards per game.  

• Early Lead Leads To Wins
The Gauchos have posted a 6-1 record in games that they have led at halftime. Oregon State (Nov. 20) is the only team this season to come from behind to beat UCSB.  

• Matching Up With The Matadors
Cal State Northridge enters Thursday's game with a 10-7 mark and a 6-1 record on its home court. The Matadors had a four-game win streak – their longest of the season – snapped on the road last week as they fell to UC Davis and Pacific. Ashlee Guay leads the team with an average of 13.5 points per game and 3.9 assists. Marta Masoni is second with 13.4 points per game. The Gauchos have won their last 11 pairings with the Matadors.  

• Catching The Rainbow Wahine
Hawaii – which will play Cal Poly on Thursday – enters the week with an 8-9 record and an even 6-6 mark at home. The Rainbow Wahine have won four of their last five games. Kamilah Martin leads the team with 16.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. She is also shooting an impressive 51.1% from the field. Saturday's meeting marks the first between the teams since the 1998-99 season.  

• 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 23-27.  

• Mondays With Mitchell
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. 

 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.