NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – UCSB (6-12, 3-1) burst out of the gates with 31 points in the first quarter and went on to down CSUN (2-15, 0-3) 65-49 in the Matadome on Saturday night.
With a 3-1 record through the first two weekends of their conference slate, the Gauchos are off to their best start in Big West play since 2011. The win also ended the Matadors' four-game winning streak over the Gauchos that started two seasons ago.
For the second time in three games, Jasmine Ware led the Gauchos in scoring with 17 points, going 8-11 from the field. She paced a UCSB team that shot 45.8 percent from the field and 42.9 percent (6-14) from downtown.
Feeding directly into their offense, the Gauchos' stellar defense produced 15 steals. In total, CSUN turned the ball over 20 times, which turned into 16 UCSB points. The Matadors were held to a 35.8 shooting percentage and went just 3-13 from downtown. Emily Cole finished as the team's leading scorer with 14 points.
Santa Barbara's offense played unconscious in the first quarter in making 12 of its 16 shots, including 5-6 from three-point range. Miller led the team with eight points in the period and made both of her three-point attempts, including a deep buzzer beater from the right wing as the quarter expired.
CSUN initially held an edge at 6-2 after two minutes of play, but Roper's first triple of the night would give the Gauchos the lead for good at the 6:41 mark.
With UCSB on top 14-12 and 4:51 remaining in the quarter, the Gauchos took off on their largest run of the game at 17-1. Ware started things with a lay up, while Newton followed her with five straight points of her own. A Matador free throw briefly interrupted the Gauchos' scoring tear, but UCSB picked things right back up with consecutive threes from Miller and Ware. After Miller's last second three came through, the Gauchos were leading 31-13.
CSUN tied the Gauchos in second quarter scoring at 14-14 and even went on to edge them out in the third 15-10. However, as many runs as the Matadors were able to put up, UCSB came ready with a response. With three minutes left in the second quarter. Northridge tallied seven unanswered points, but Roper made sure the Gauchos had the final say in the half with a three pointer that put Santa Barbara ahead 45-27.
After a third quarter where CSUN cut into the Gauchos' lead at 55-42, UCSB's defense stifled the Matadors' offense and held them to seven points the rest of the way.
Along with their win at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night, UCSB has swept a conference road trip for the first time since February 2013.