What A Start
Jessica Wilson started the 2006-07 season with an absolute bang, scoring a career-high 30 points to lead UCSB to a 88-73 win over visting Portland State in the Gauchos' season-opener November 10. The sophomore guard was a very efficient 12-for-20 (.600) from the field, including 2-of-4 from three-point range, and also racked up six rebounds, five assists, and six steals. Not only did the 30-point effort shatter her previous personal best of 22 (vs. Cal Poly January 21, 2006), it would also stand as the most points scored by a Gaucho all season. Additionally, the Sacramento, Calif. native set new career marks for field goals made, field goals attempted, and was one shy of her career-high in steals in the win over the Vikings. As for an encore? In UCSB's next home game, Wilson treated the Thunderdome crowd to another outstanding performance a week later, scoring 28 points on 9-for-16 shooting (.563) to go with eight rebounds and five assists in Santa Barbara's 85-77 loss at the hands of Oregon. She went on to score 10 points or more in the first five games of the season and did so in all but 10 contests as a junior, finishing second behind Jenna Green averaging 13 points per game in 2006-07.
How May I Assist You?
One of the areas Wilson made the biggest strides between her sophomore and junior seasons was in the assist category. After averaging 2.6 assists in 27 games in 2005-06, she had an excellent season setting the table for her teammates a year ago, leading both the team and the Big West Conference with an average of 4.5 helpers per game. In fact, she recorded 14 more total assists than the next closer player (Cal State Fullerton's India McDaniel) and averaged nearly half an assist more per game. Wilson had 11 performances with five or more assists and set both a new career-high and the Big West's top mark for a single game in 2006-07 with 12 -- that's right 12 -- helpers in the Gauchos' 86-67 thrashing of UC Irvine January 6. Her career-high entering the season was six that came in game against Arizona December 19, 2005 -- which she had already bested by the time UCSB's home bout with UCI rolled around when she recorded seven in a losing effort at UCLA November 12. In addition to the outstanding 12-assist performance, Wilson dished out a total of nine helpers on three occasions last season: In Santa Barbara regular season wins at UC Davis and at home vs. Cal State Fullerton, as well as the Gauchos' win over the Titans in the Big West Tournament Semifinals. Wilson became the first Gaucho to lead the conference in assists since Debby Caine averaged 4.9 in 2000-01.
Wilson enters her senior season in the blue and gold a mere 226 points shy of becoming the 22nd player in program history to score 1,000 points for her career. The Sacramento, Calif. native has a total of 774 points after completing her junior season and there is no doubt, barring injury or some other unforseen circumstance, she will join teammate Jenna Green on the elite list of UCSB players in the 1,000 point club. Wilson scored a total of 402 points in 31 games in 2006-07 for an average of 13.0 points per game. If her scoring average does not increase her senior season -- and chances are it will -- Wilson will need roughly 18 games to crack quadruple digits for career scoring. If she continues to average 13 points per game, that would put her over the top right around the time the Gauchos take on Pacific for the first time in conference play January 26.
The Gauchos' best all-around athlete and most versatile player, Wilson spent most of her time at the two guard, but also ran the point last season...The All-Big West Second Team honoree kicked the year off with a bang, scoring a career-high 30 points on 12-for-20 shooting against Portland State in the opener November 10...Scored 28 and hauled in eight rebounds a week later vs. Oregon...Tallied 15 points and an unbelievable 12 assists to establish a new career mark January 6 in a win over UC Irvine...Racked up 18 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high seven steals in the win over Utah Valley State January11...Scored 16 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds vs. Cal Poly February 17...Was one rebound and one assist shy of her first-career triple-double February 22 against Cal State Fullerton, finishing with 16, 9, and 9...Had four double-double performances in 2006-07 and now has a total of seven in her career...Finished 7-for-10 from the floor for 20 points and hauled in 10 rebounds at Pacific March 1...Was tremendous against Cal State Northridge two days later, leading the team with 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting to go with seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals as the Gauchos locked up the Big West's second seed heading into the tournament with an impressive 90-79 win on the road...Scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds to help lead UCSB to victory at San Diego in the WNIT First Round March 15...Led the Big West dishing out 4.5 assists per night, while ranking fourth in steals (1.9), eighth in field goal percentage (42.9), 11th in rebounding (6.7), and 12th in scoring (13.0)...Was second on the team in scoring and rebounding behind Jenna Green...Also led the team with 58 steals in 2006-07, an average of just under two per game.
Developed into arguably the Gauchos' most explosive offensive player and disruptive defender as a sophomore...Named to the All-Big West Second Team after scoring in double-figures 12 times, with three games of 20 points or more...Led the conference in steals with 2.44 per contest...Breakout performance was a 21-point, 11-rebound effort while spearheading Santa Barbara's rally from 16 points down in the second half against UCLA on December 17...Hit a buzzer-beating shot to send that game into overtime before exploding for 11 points in the extra period, as UCSB pulled away from the 24th-ranked Bruins...Followed that with 20 points and nine boards in the December 19 win over Arizona, leading to her first career Big West Player of the Week award...Second career double-double was a 15-point, 13-rebound effort as UCSB avenged an earlier loss to Cal Poly February 4...That equaled the most boards by a Gaucho in any game on the season...In a January 26 win at Cal State Northridge, Wilson amassed seven steals, the most by a Gaucho since Erin Buescher nabbed nine on January 17, 1999...Paced the UCSB offense six times - including 17 points in Big West Tournament title game vs. UC Riverside - leading to a spot on the all-tourney team...Had the ball in the waning seconds of that contest, but just missed a layup that would have sent Santa Barbara to the Big Dance...Missed a total of three games, including the Postseason WNIT game due to a left hand injury.
Wilson became the thirteenth player in Gaucho history to earn a spot on the Big West's All-Freshman Team...Amount of floor time and level of play both rose dramatically down the stretch...Averaged 6.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 57.1% shooting (28-of-49) over the season's last 11 contests...Earned a starting nod in four of UCSB's last seven games...In 12 appearances prior to Santa Barbara's 10-game winning streak, Wilson posted just 1.8 points and 11.1 minutes while only reaching the scoring column in four different contests...Sat out six games in late December-early January while sorting out academic eligibility issues...Missed season-opener at Saint Mary's due to knee soreness...Her 18 points and eight rebounds in the win at UC Riverside were both the highest single-game totals by a Gaucho rookie on the season...14 of those points came in the first half, when she buried five-of-six shots, including both of her three-point attempts...Her other double-digit scoring effort was 10 points on five-of-six shooting in a home win over Cal State Northridge...Nailed a pair of acrobatic, driving layups late in the second half of the Big West Tournament final vs. Idaho to help preserve Gaucho lead.
A three-year varsity letterwinner at Laguna Creek High school in Elk Grove, Calif....Capped outstanding prep career by earning Second Team All-State honors from Cal-Hi Sports and was a McDonald's All-American honorable mention as a senior...Also selected as the Sacramento Bee's All-Metro Player of the Year in 2003-04 while leading the Cardinals to the Northern California Finals of the CIF Division I State Tournament...Named Delta League MVP as Laguna Creek captured its third straight title under head coach Glen Mayol...Also part of two sectional championship teams...Scoring and rebounding averages increased each season, culminating with 19.3 points and 5.0 boards per game in her final campaign...Before moving to shooting guard for her senior year, averaged 7.3 assists per contest in 2002-03...Dropped in a career-high 31 points on Sheldon High School during her senior season...Club basketball team was Sacramento Girls with Skills.
Jessica O'Neal Wilson was born on August 6, 1986 in Sacramento, Calif. to Karen Nesbit and Reginald Wilson...Has two older siblings, Nakeaii and Tyana, and two younger brothers, Reginald Jr. and Myshala...A teammate of Tyana's - as well as two of her cousins - while at Laguna Creek...Is in her fourth year at UCSB and is a black studies major...Aspires to play in the WNBA or coach at the Division I level...Enjoys reading, especially the works of Valerie Wilson Wesley and Eric Jerome Dickey...Favorite movies are "The Queens of Comedy" and "The Color Purple"...Dawn Staley and Jason Kidd are the athletes she most admires...Lists the "Real World" and "Golden Girls" among her favorite TV shows...Chose the Gauchos over such programs as Kansas State and Mississippi State.