SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After forcing Long Beach Stat into 22 turnovers, UC Santa Barbara scored a season-high 80 points to trump Long Beach State's 69 in a convincing victory at the Thunderdome.
The Gauchos are now 2-7 in league and improve to 7-15 overall, while Long Beach State is 5-5 in the Big West and 13-11 on the season.
"We had an attacking mentality from the get-go," UCSB Head Coach Carlene Mitchell said. "Our offense played selfless tonight and everyone came out with energy on the defensive end, which led to some of our easier baskets."
For the first time in Mitchell's tenure, five Gauchos finished with double digit scoring figures, as Melissa Zornig led the floor with 18. The senior also pulled down seven boards and picked up three assists.
Nicole Nesbit was second on the team with 17 points and was tied for the game-high of six assists. Freshman Onome Jemerigbe had a career-performance, as she hit personal-bests of 13 points and six helpers.
The Gauchos stormed out of the gate and dropped 11 unanswered points on the 49ers in the game's opening two minutes.
After UCSB went up 5-0, 49ers Head Coach Jody Wynn burned her first timeout just 40 seconds into the game. However, the timeout would be immediately followed by a Jade Wilson turnover, the team's second in less than a minute.
Long Beach State would turn the ball over six times before getting their first field goal at the 16:37 mark.
The Gauchos made sure their lead was never in danger as they maintained their suffocating defense and forced Long Beach State into 18 turnovers by halftime, scoring 17 points off them.
UCSB pushed its lead by as many as 20 points on a two occasions, with the first coming after Nesbit knocked down a jumper with 7:52 left in the first.
Holding a 16-point lead, the Gauchos started the second half with the same attacking game from the first and rattled off five unanswered points in the first 31 seconds.
Mason sunk a pair of free throws, while Zornig hit her second three pointer of the night. The senior finished with three makes from downtown, which marks the seventh game in a row that she has made at least two triples.
Long Beach State was more efficient in the second half, only giving the ball up four times and improving their shooting from 38.1 to 48.4 percent.
The teams went basket-for-basket throughout the half and UCSB rose to the occasion with 41 total points. The team made 14 of those from jump shots and picked up 15 more from the charity stripe.
UCSB's ability to penetrate put it in a commanding position to close out the game, as the team was in the bonus with 13:52 left in the game. In fact, the Gauchos drew five fouls from Long Beach State before committing their first.
Santa Barbara finished with a collective 18-25 from the foul line, compared to the 49ers' 14-24.
The Gauchos will hit the hardwood again on Saturday when they visit Cal State Northridge at 4 p.m. An audio broadcast of the game will be featured on UCSBgauchos.com with the pregame show starting at 3:30 p.m.