Trailing by 15 after making just one field goal in the first quarter, UCSB (1-2) steadily worked their way back in to the game. The Gauchos took the lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn't hang on in the final minutes, falling 58-53 to the Seattle University Redhawks Friday night at the Connolly Complex.
"Take pride in that we got back in it and didn't give in, and then own we've got to communicate at a higher level, a championship level, so we don't give up uncontested shots," said Head Coach Bonnie Henrickson.
After shooting just 20.7% from the field in the first half, the Gauchos connected on 48.0% of their shots in the second half to turn the early hole in to a four-point lead with 5:40 remaining in the fourth quarter. Edelman had 13 points in the second half, going four-for-four from the field and connecting on five of eight free throws. She and Miller combined to score the final nine UCSB points of the game.
With the teams a shot apart heading in to the final frame, Onome Jemerigbe's layup kicked off a 7-2 spurt to give the Gauchos a lead. A Taylor Farris jumper answered a Seattle make to put UCSB back in front, then Edelman and Miller went to work.
But it was pair of free throws by Kamira Sanders after she grabbed an offensive rebound, then a layup by game-high scorer Alexis Montgomery after two offensive rebounds that put the hosts ahead with 1:52 remaining. Montgomery, who finished with 19 points, got free after a pair of Miller free throws for a jumper from the left elbow, and knocked it down to put Seattle ahead for good.
"We don't communicate on two switches and they get wide open shots because we don't talk, we don't call a switch. That's disappointing, but that's a lesson we have to learn," Henrickson said.
The first quarter saw Seattle jump out to an 8-0 lead before a pair of Miller free throws got the Gauchos on the board 4:02 in. After a Miller steal and layup, UCSB wouldn't score for the final 5:35 of the quarter, making just one field goal on 16 attempts. Seattle ended the opening session on a 11-0 run.
"You have to check yourself why we didn't show up and it's 19-4. That's on us; no effort, no energy, no discipline, no focus," said Henrickson.
Chaya Durr opened scoring in the second quarter with a jumper, starting a 10-2 run over a 2:46 stretch in the second quarter to cut the Redhawk lead to 21-14. Nine of the Gauchos 15 points in the quarter came on second chance opportunities, and at the half they chased a 27-19 deficit. Durr finished with seven points, four rebounds and two assists, good for second-most on the team in each category.
Eight points from Edelman and all four of Sarah Porter's points helped spark a 20-14 third quarter edge for UCSB. The Gauchos created four of their six fast break points for the game in the third, while making 63.6% of their shots to take the lead for the first time with 2:18 remaining, and ending the period trailing 41-39.
The Gauchos fell for the second time this season on the road, losing for the third time in UCSB's third trip to Seattle University in program history.
"There's not a lot of room for error down the stretch in a tie game, and certainly they made the most of their opportunities and we didn't," Henrickson said.
UCSB returns home to face the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on Sunday at 2PM.