Jan. 2, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Mekia Valentine broke a 15-year-old UC Santa Barbara women's basketball record when she blocked 11 shots during Saturday's 54-48 victory over UC Irvine in both teams Big West opener.
"I don't know without Mekia's efforts, if we win that game," UCSB head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said.
Valentine nearly finished with a triple-double as she led the Gauchos with 16 points and eight rebounds, helping UCSB snap a four-game losing streak. UCSB improves to 4-9 and 1-0 in conference while UCI is 3-10, 0-1.
Valentine now has blocked 55 shots already this season, good enough for fifth all-time in school single-season history. Her 11 swats on Saturday set the new standard at UCSB, breaking Kris Grazzini's previous mark of eight which came on Feb. 10, 1995 vs. Nevada.
Three other times this season Valentine blocked seven shots, including vs. UCLA earlier this season when the Gauchos set a team record with 13 total blocks.
UCSB needed every one of Valentine's blocks vs. UC Irvine as the Anteaters led by eight points with 6:08 remaining. However, Meagan Williams' jumper, a layup by Valentine and a pair of free throws from the 6-foot-4 junior center pulled the Gauchos to 45-43 with 3:28 left.
Emilie Johnson's jumper tied things up and Williams knocked down a free throw for a 46-45 advantage before Valentine blocked another shot then sank a pair of free throws, ending any hopes Irvine had of upsetting the Gauchos in the Thunderdome. UCSB has now won seven straight vs. the Anteaters.
Johnson finished with nine points, five rebounds and three steals while Williams had eight points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals. Chris Spencer had eight points off the bench.
UCSB will get back on the road to face UC Davis this Thursday at 7 p.m. and play at Pacific on Saturday. The Gauchos return home on Jan. 14 vs. Long Beach State.
All men's and women's basketball games will be broadcast live on AM 1490 and AM 990 again this year, and those games will also be available online, by clicking here.. And, UCSB Athletics is proud to announce that the baseball team will have over 20 games broadcast live on the air and through our website, UCSBgauchos.com.
Men's and women's basketball single game tickets are now on sale. You can purchase tickets by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus or to buy online and print at home, click here.
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The ICA Ticket Office will be open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the ticket office, are already available during weekday hours, which are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.