Roper Leads Gauchos to 79-49 Blowout Win Over Cal State Fullerton

Makala Roper (Photo by Gary Breedlove)
Makala Roper (Photo by Gary Breedlove)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB (8-14, 5-3) completed a season sweep of Cal State Fullerton (2-20, 0-8) with a dominant 79-49 victory in the Thunderdome on Wednesday night. With Makala Roper's team-high 25 points and career-best six assists, the Gauchos finished the game with their largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent this season.

Behind Roper's outstanding performance – which included five three pointers – UCSB shot 48.5 percent from the field with three players netting double digit scores. Coco Miller ended the night with 13 points after shooting exclusively from three-point range where she drained four of her nine shots. Off the bench, Jasmine Ware finished with 12 points and picked up five rebounds in her 16 minutes of play. 

Onome Jemerigbe had career night with her personal-best 11 assists, while she came up just shy of double-double with eight points. The junior was also busy on defense with a team-leading three steals.

The Gauchos also commanded the rebounding game with 44 boards compared to the Titans' 27. Miller paced the team with six rebounds, while Roper, Ware, and Mi'Chael Wright had five apiece.

Playing in their first home game in two weeks, UCSB didn't wait long to put on a show for its fans, as they opened the game on an 18-5 run. While Jemerigbe laid in the first basket, it was Roper who did most of the damage with 10 points, including seven unanswered on her own. The outside shot carried the Gauchos on the run, as the team combined for four triples with two coming from Roper.

UCSB went on to pour in 10 more points before the opening period was over. And fittingly, Roper provided the team's final basket with another triple, putting her first quarter total to 15 points.

Carrying a 28-11 lead into the second quarter, the Gauchos started off the period flat, but picked up their offensive rhythm at the 6:03 mark starting with a jumper made by Ware. The shot triggered a 13-4 run with Ware netting six of the points. And just as she did in the first, Roper drained a last minute three-pointer to give the Gauchos a 46-26 lead heading into halftime.

The Gauchos maintained their momentum from the first half with Miller providing UCSB with a hot start to the third. The freshman accounted for seven of the team's first nine points of the period, as she made a triple in transition following a steal by Jemerigbe.

In that quarter, the Gauchos made nine field goals which all came from assists. Jemerigbe was responsible for five of them – including the first three – while Roper recorded three and Miller had one.

UCSB will be back in the Thunderdome this Saturday to take on Hawai'i for the first time this season. The game will tip-off at 2 p.m. and will be the first game of a doubleheader, as the men's basketball team will later host Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. Tickets for both games are available at the Ticketing Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, over the phone at 805-893-UCSB (8272), or online.