UCSB Heads North For Big West Pair

Weekly Release No. 14

Game 22
Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 7 p.m. 
UCSB (9-12, 5-4 Big West) at UC Davis (9-11, 4-5 Big West)
All-time record vs. Aggies: 13-9
Last meeting: W, 58-43 (Jan. 12, 2013)
Streak: Won 2
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats 

Game 23
Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4 p.m. 
UCSB at Pacific (18-3, 8-1 Big West)
All-time record vs. Tigers: 50-18
Last meeting: L, 64-52
Streak: Lost 1
Radio: KZSB 1290 AM
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats  

• Gauchos Ready For Round Two
Having reached the halfway point in its Big West Conference schedule, UCSB will begin its second swing through league opponents this week beginning in Northern California. The Gauchos will face UC Davis on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 pm before meeting league-leader Pacific on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 4 pm. Broadcasts of both games will be available online at UCSBgauchos.com and a live video stream is available at BigWest.tv. Saturday's game will air live in Santa Barbara on KZSB 1290 AM, the Santa Barbara News-Press radio station. 

For The Record
The Gauchos carry an 8-12 overall record and a 5-4 mark in Big West Conference play into this week's games. UCSB split a pair of home contests last week, falling to UC Riverside, 45-42, before downing Cal State Fullerton, 60-50. The Gauchos have won four of their last six games and their last two on the road. They have gone 5-4 on opponent's courts this season.  

• In Our Defense
For the second consecutive season, the Gauchos are pacing the league by limiting their opposition to a conference-low 53.9 points per game, which ranks 35th nationally. In league games, they are limiting their opponents to an average of 50.3 points per game, which is also tops in the league.  

• Where We Rank
In addition to ranking among the nation's top-100 teams in scoring defense, the Gauchos are 63rd in field-goal percentage defense (36.3%), 65th in three-point field goal defense (27.7%), 78th in turnovers per game (15.7) and 84th in free-throw percentage (71.5%). 

• The Swinging 60's
When UCSB holds opponents below 60 points this season, it has gone 8-5. When teams score 60 or more, UCSB is just 1-7.  

• Early Lead Leads To Wins
The Gauchos have posted an 8-1 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. Their win against Hawai'i marked the first time that the Gauchos have come back from a halftime deficit.  

• Nic From The Line
Gaucho junior Nicole Nesbit is second in the Big West in free-throw shooting (83.8%) and is 50th nationally having sank 57-of-68 attempts this season.  

• The Sweets Life
Senior Sweets Underwood continues to lead the Gauchos with an average of 11.4 points per game  – which ranks 12th in the Big West – and rebounding (8.3 per game) – which ranks third. She also boasts a team-leading 50% 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. She has had double-digit points in 13 games this season, including the last four. She has also had seven double-doubles, with two coming in the last four games.  

• Tilleman's Sweet 16
Senior Kirsten Tilleman tallied a season-best 16 points in Saturday's win over Cal State Fullerton. The point total topped her previous season-high by seven points and she nearly had a double-double in the first half alone as she scored eight points and had eight rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. Against UC Riverside two days prior, she tied her season-best with 12 rebounds. The last time she scored double-digit points was against Long Beach State in the 2012 Big West Championship game, in which she also scored 16. Tilleman currently ranks seventh among Big West players with her 7.3 rebound per game average.  

• The Class Of 2014
While Underwood leads the team for the season, juniors Nicole Nesbit and Melissa Zornig are pacing right behind her in Big West games, averaging 10.3 and 10.1 points per game, respectively. Nesbit ranks eighth in league games with a team-best 3.1 assists per game. Zornig, meanwhile, is third in three-point field goal percentage (38.5%) having hit 9-of-15 attempts against league opponents. She is also seventh in three-pointers made.   

• The Board Game
The Gauchos are tops in the league in rebounding defense as they have limited their opposition to a league-low 33.4 rebounds per game. Their 43 rebounds against UC Riverside marked the most by the team against a Big West opponent this season.  

• About The Aggies
UC Davis enters this week's contest with a 9-11 overall record and a 3-6 record on its home court. Since their Jan. 12 loss at UCSB, the Aggies have won four of their last six. Last week they split, defeating Long Beach State, 68-62, before falling 70-57 to UC Irvine. Sydnee Fipps leads the squad with 17.1 points per game while also averaging 4.5 rebounds. In the team's previous meeting, Melissa Zornig scored a career-high 24 points to help lead UCSB to the 58-43 victory in the Thunderdome on Jan. 12.  

• Taming The Tigers
Pacific enters this week with an 18-3 mark and a flawless 11-0 record at home. The Tigers, who are 8-1 in league games, faced their lone Big West loss in triple overtime at Cal Poly, 96-95. They have won six-straight since then. Kendall Rodriguez leads the squad with her 12 points per game while Kendall Kenyon is averaging 12.3 points and a team-leading 11.1 rebounds per game.  

• 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 26-28.  

• 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.

• What Lies Ahead
Following this week's road trip, the Gauchos will return home to host Blue-Green rival Cal Poly on Saturday, Feb. 16. The game will also serve as the annual Play 4Kay contest, which is held to help raise breast cancer awareness. 

 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.