Gauchos Could Not Keep Up with CSUN in 64-46 Loss

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara led early, but the team could not hold back the Cal State Northridge offense in the second half as they lost 64-46 in the Thunderdome.

The Matadors mainly operated in the paint during the final 20 minutes and ended up outscoring UCSB 34-10 in that category.

Santa Barbara falls to 0-3 in conference play, while their overall record is 5-11. CSUN improves to 3-1 in the Big West and are now 7-11 on the year.

In the first half, Santa Barbara shot a perfect 4-4 from three-point range as the teams exchanged the lead four times and were tied on five occasions.

With 13:44 left in the first, Nicole Nesbit found the basket after going on a hard drive through the lane and put UCSB up 10-7.

Nesbit finished the game with team-highs of 13 points and six rebounds.

CSUN then put up four unanswered points from Bernadette Fong to retake the lead, which would only prove to be short lived. 

Nesbit responded quickly for UCSB by drilling a three-pointer off a pass from Melissa Zornig

On the Gauchos' next possession, Nesbit took the ball up the floor herself and finished on a midrange jumper to move UCSB ahead 15-13.

CSUN would tie the score one minute later and went on a 22-7 run to end the half. 

The Gauchos tried to keep the score close with another three, this time with Nesbit finding Zornig from the right wing, making it a 30-20 game at the 3:06 mark. 

After CSUN's leading scorer Janae Sharpe hit a three-pointer with 1:02 left, the Gauchos went into the locker room down 35-22.

While not finding the scoreboard in the first half, Onome Jemerigbe did finish with the second-highest point total on the team with seven.

The freshman picked up three of those points after attacking her way to the basket with 6:19 remaining in the contest.

Jemerigbe took the ball herself across the paint and used the high glass to make the lay up after picking up contact on her way through the key. The point guard completed the ensuing free throw, and she went 3-3 from the charity stripe overall.

The Matadors committed a game-high 18 turnovers, including four Gaucho steals, which led to 17 points for UCSB.

Melissa Maragnes's pair of second half steals yielded three points for UCSB on the offensive end.

With her first swipe, the freshman jumped in front of a pass intended for Camille Mahlknecht in the paint at the 11:48 mark. Mi'Chael Wright would later make one of two from the free-throw line on the following possession.

Three minutes later, Maragnes stripped Mahlknecht of the ball in the low post and passed the ball to Nesbit who took care of the rest by connecting on a midrange shot.

UCSB will continue its three-game home stand on Thursday when it hosts UC Riverside at 7 p.m. in the Thunderdome. Tickets are available at the Ticketing Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), or online here

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