UCSB Travels to Hawai'i, Will Host Senior Day vs. Cal Poly

UCSB Travels to Hawai'i, Will Host Senior Day vs. Cal Poly

Thursday, Mar. 6, 2014 at 9pm (PST)
UC Santa Barbara vs. Hawai'i (15-11, 9-5)
at Stan Sheriff Center
All-time Record vs. Rainbow Wahine: 17-44
Last Time: L, 63-60 (2/6/14)
Radio: KZSB 1290AM
Online Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Live Stats: UCSBgauchos.com 

Saturday, Mar. 8, 2014 at 2pm
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal Poly (16-12, 10-5)
at The Thunderdome
All-time Record vs. Mustangs: 48-50
Last Time: L, 88-70 (1/11/14)
Radio: KZSB 1290AM
Online Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Live Stats: UCSBgauchos.com

Week in Review
The Gauchos dropped both games last week to UC Irvine then UC Davis. UCSB led through the majority of its game behind the performances of Nicole Nesbit (20 points), Melissa Zornig (16 points, nine rebounds), and Onome Jemerigbe (13 points). The Anteaters took the lead with 6:47 remaining and closed the 77-73 win at the free throw line. Against UC Davis, the Gauchos fell 65-47 after shooting just 32 percent from the field. The two loses moved UCSB's conference record to 3-11, which places it in the eighth place in the Big West.  

Senior Day
Saturday's regular season finale against Cal Poly will be the final game for Nicole Nesbit, Destini Mason, and Melissa Zornig. The three will be honored before the start of the game during the Senior Day Ceremonies. All at the guard position, the trio has led the Gauchos in various categories this season and currently all occupy the top three spots in minutes played, field goals, three-pointers, and points.    

From the Outside
After not attempting a three-point shot against Cal State Fullerton, Melissa Zornig went a combined 6-of-12 from downtown last week. The senior currently leads the Big West with her 54 percent three-point shooting percentage in conference play. She is also fifth in triples made (34) and has netted a career-high 48 threes this season.  The Coto de Caza native even had a streak of eight games in which she hit two or more three-pointers. 

Walk the Line
Aside from her performance at the three-point line, Zornig has also found success at the free throw line. She leads all Big West players with a 87.1 percent shooting clip and has reached the foul line 62 times (third most on the team). Overall, UCSB is owns a 73.3 percent shooting percentage at the charity stripe, which ranks second in the league. Zornig's fellow senior Nicole Nesbit has been to the foul line more than any other Gaucho (95).   

Hold and Control
The Gauchos are second in the league in averaging 13.9 turnovers per game. In the past four games, Santa Barbara has committed 14 or less giveaways en route to a pair of wins. The Gauchos have also shown a knack for forcing the opposition in giving up possessions. UCSB has forced its opponents into 16.6 turnovers a game, which ranks third in the Big West. 

Defense Comes First
The Gauchos played tenacious first-half defense versus last week's competition. First at UC Riverside, UCSB held the Highlanders to 22.2 percent from the field and just 19 points. Aginst the Titans, the Gauchos limited Fullerton's offense to 26.9 percent shooting and 22 points. Overall, Santa Barbara's defense allowed an average 20.5 points and 24.5 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes.  

Margin of Victory
Though UCSB has only three Big West victories under its belt, the team won those contests by a convincing average of 11.3 points. In those victories, the Gauchos averaged 44.5 percent from the field. which is four marks higher than its average in league play. UCSB has only lost two conference games in which they scored 64 or more points. In the nonconference schedule, Santa Barbara won its matchups with Division I programs by an average margin of five points. 

Board Game
For UCSB, rebounding has made all the difference between games won and games lost. During the Gauchos' eight wins, they have averaged 39.9 rebounds per game, while they only pull down an average of 32 in their losses. UCSB's 41-rebound performance against UC Irvine was the only game it lost after pulling down 40 or more boards. Against UC Riverside, the team collected a season-high 55 rebounds, which is the most since Nov. 20, 2010 when the team pulled down 59 against Idaho. 

Senior Leadership
The three Gaucho seniors have led the team in most major categories this season. In fact, the trio makes up the roster's top-three leaders in minutes, field goals, three-pointers, and points. The seniors make up nearly 64 percent of UCSB's total points this season, as they all rank among the Big West's top-20 in points per game. 

Zornig Joins 1,000-Point Club
Melissa Zornig's 17 point-performance at Cal State Fullerton stamped her ticket into the UCSB's 1000-point club. She is just the 26th Gaucho to hit the milestone and the second to do it this year. Nicole Nesbit joined netted career 1000 on Dec. 19 against Utah State and has since become the program's 17th all-time leading scorer with 1,229 points. The last time two or more Gauchos joined the 1,000-point club in the same year was in the 1998-99 season when Erin Buescher, Stacey Clinesmith, and Kristi Rohr accomplished the feat. 

Handling Hawai'i
Last time the Gauchos faced Hawai'i, the Rainbow Wahine pulled out the narrow 63-60 win at the Thunderdome. UCSB has ahead in the in the second half until Kamilah Jackson made consecutive layups to put her team up 57-56 with 2:31 remaining. Jackson is the Rainbow Wahine's leading scorer (15.5 ppg), while Shawna-Lei Kuehu (10.9) and Ashleigh Karaitiana (10.2) also average double figures. Last season, UCSB was the only Big West team to take down the Rainbow Wahine in Hawai'i, as Nicole Nesbit made the go-ahead layup with 14 seconds left, making the 510-50 final score.

Meet the Mustangs
Cal Poly enters this week in second place in the conference and aims to nab a share of the conference title with Cal State Northridge. The Mustangs were the preseason favorites to defend their Big West crown, but they have struggled in recent weeks and dropped four of their past six contests. Molly Schlemer leads the team in points and rebounds (17.7ppg and 10.4 rpg).