UCSB to Finish Road Schedule this Week

Nicole Nesbit (Photo by Vince Agapito)
Nicole Nesbit (Photo by Vince Agapito)

Game 27
Thursday, February 28, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (12-14, 8-6 Big West) at Cal State Fullerton (8-18, 4-10 Big West)
All-time record vs. Titans: 49-21
Last meeting: W, 60-50 (Feb. 2, 2013)
Streak: Won 40
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats 

Game 28
Saturday, March 2, 2012 at 1 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara at UC Riverside (11-14, 4-10 Big West)
All-time record vs. Highlanders: 31-15
Last meeting: L, 45-42 (Jan. 31, 2013)
Streak: Lose 1
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats  

• Gauchos Embark on Final Road Trip

UC Santa Barbara will look to continue their 4 road game win streak as they visit Cal State
Fullerton on Thursday at 5:30pm and UC Riverside on Saturday at 1 pm. While most games air
live in Santa Barbara on KZSB 1290 AM, the Santa Barbara News-Press radio station, Thursday's
game at Cal State Fullerton will be online only at UCSBgauchos.com. Saturday's game at UC
Riverside will be featured on AM 1290. A live video stream is available at BigWest.tv.   

• For The Record
The Gauchos carry an 12-14 overall record into this week's games and are now 8-6 in the Big West Conference.  

• The Wild, Wild (Big) West
With two weeks of Big West regular season play remaining, the Gauchos are currently in fourth place. Pacific is currently on top of the standings with an 11-4 record. Hawaii is in second at 10-4, while Cal Poly is a half game behind them with a 10-5 record. UCSB has gone 2-2 against its remaining four league opponents.  

• On The Road Again
The Gauchos, coming off their only win in their past three-game home stand, will hit the road for the last time in the regular season with visits to Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside. UCSB has gone 7-4 on opposing courts and are on a four-game wins streak as the away team.  

• RPI Report
The Gauchos currently rank 158th in the NCAA's latest RPI rankings. They are down 10 spots from last week's ranking and are fifth among Big West teams. Pacific leads the pack ranked 44th.

• In Our Defense
For the second consecutive season, the Gauchos are pacing the league by limiting their opposition to a conference-low 54 points per game – which ranks 32nd nationally – and is 6.2 points fewer than No. 2 ranked Hawaii. In league play, the Gauchos are holding opponents to 51.9 points on average, 4.9 points fewer than second-ranked Hawai'i.  

• Where We Rank
In addition to ranking among the nation's top-100 teams in scoring defense, the Gauchos are 46th in free-throw percentage (73.6%), 77th in three-point field goal defense (28.4%), 75th in field-goal percentage defense (36.8%) and 66th in turnovers per game (15.4).  

• Charity Work 
Junior Nicole Nesbit ranks second in the Big West in free-throw shooting (85.4%) and is 37th nationally having sank 76-of-89 attempts this season. The Gauchos had the top free-throw shooting performance of any Big West team this year against UC Davis (Feb. 7) when they sank 13-of-13.  

• The Board Game
The Gauchos are tops in the league in rebounding defense as they have limited their opposition to a league-low 32.9 rebounds per game and their 68.7% defensive rebounding percentage is also second in the league behind Hawai'i (69.9%). UCSB has two players ranked in the conference top-10 in boards with Sweets Underwood ranking fourth (9.3 per game) and Kirsten Tilleman ranking ninth (7.1).  

• Living The Sweets Life
Sweets Underwood continues to lead the Gauchos with an average of 12.3 points per game, which ranks 9th in the Big West. She also boasts a team-leading 49.6% field goal percentage, which is the third-best among league players. At her current clip, Underwood will become the first Gaucho to lead the team in points, rebounds and field goal percentage since Jenna Green did in 2006-07. The senior recorded her 11th double-double of the season against Cal State Northridge. She scored 19 points and had a career-high 20 rebounds.  

• The Class of 2014
Juniors Nicole Nesbit and Melissa Zornig are second and third on the team, respectively, in points per game. Nesbit is averaging 9.9 points and leads the team in assists (2.9). Zornig is averaging 8.8 points and leads the team in three-point shooting (33%).

• Taking on the Titans
Fullerton enters this week tied for 10th place in the Big West with UC Riverside. Since falling to the Gauchos on Feb. 2 the Titans have lost five of their last six. Fullerton is coming off their lone win of the stretch at UC Davis (60-42). The Titans carry a 6-6 home record into this Thursday's game. Fullerton is led by Chante Miles, who averages 10.5 points and 3 assists per game.  

• Last Time vs. Fullerton
The last time the Gauchos and the Titans met, UCSB was won in the Thunderdome 60-50, which kicked off a three-game win streak for the Gauchos. Senior Kirsten Tilleman led UCSB with her highest offensive output of the season with 16 points and added 8 rebounds. She also shot a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. Fellow senior Sweets Underwood was the only other Gaucho to hit double digit scoring figures with 10 points and lead the floor with 4 steals.  

• Handling the Highlanders
The Highlanders are entering this week on a four-game losing streak. Since downing the Gauchos on Jan. 31, the Highlanders have won just one of their last six games. Riverside was swept on their road trip in Northern California where they lost to UC Davis (70-56) before falling to Pacific (74-66). TreShonti Nottingham paces the squad with a conference-high 18.2 points and also adds 2.4 assists per game.  

• Last Time vs. Riverside
During their Jan. 31 meeting, UCSB were limited to their lowest point total in Big West play in the 45-42 loss to the Highlanders in the Thunderdome. Sweets Underwood recorded a double-double in the loss, compiling 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Gauchos. Kirsten Tilleman, meanwhile, led the floor in both rebounds (12) and steals (3). In the six games the Gauchos have played since the loss, they have averaged 57.5 points 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 28-29.  

• On The Horizon
Following this week's pair of road contests, the Gauchos will return to the Thunderdome for their final regular season home stand. UCSB will host Long Beach State on Thursday, Mar. 7 at 3 p.m. and then will take on UC Irvine in their regular season finale on Saturday, Mar. 9 at 2 p.m.