Jan. 8, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - It was an inspired effort from a group of reserves that led the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team to victory on Saturday afternoon in the Thunderdome.
Nicole Nesbit had all five of her steals and scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half to lead the Gauchos past Pacific, 56-47. Mekia Valentine had a double-double with 11 points and 17 rebounds while Emilie Johnson contributed 10 points and had three steals.
Nesbit had four steals and four points during a pivotal 13-0 run by the Gauchos midway through the second half, turning a 35-35 game into a Gaucho victory. UCSB has won seven of its past nine games and is 8-7 overall this season with a 2-1 mark in the Big West.
Pacific falls to 4-13, 1-3.
The Gaucho bench outscored Pacific, 23-15, as Destini Mason was also a key contributor in the second half, bringing constant energy offensively and defensively.
Valentine had her second consecutive strong rebounding performance, grabbing 17 boards after pulling down 18 during Thursday's game against UC Davis. The 6-foot-4 senior also swatted six shots, moving her into second place all-time in UCSB history with 184 blocked shots in just 45 games as a Gaucho. Valentine trails Lindsay Taylor (2000-04) by just 59 blocked shots.
"I've never played with a player this big and talented," Nesbit said of Valentine. It's refreshing to know that if you don't make a shot, she'll clean up the boards. If you get beat on defense, she'll throw it into the stands (on a blocked shot). She has your back. She was another spark in the second half, too."
Santa Barbara, ranked 28th in the nation in field goal percentage defense, held UOP to just 28.1 percent shooting while forcing 15 turnovers. The Gauchos had 18 points off the 15 turnovers, which included 10 steals.
UCSB shot 33.9 percent from the floor, the Gauchos' lowest shooting percentage in a victory this season. Santa Barbara entered Saturday leading the conference in field goal percentage.
The Gauchos will travel to UC Irvine on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tip-off and then will play at UC Riverside on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 5 p.m. All UCSB games are broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here with the pregame show starting a half-hour before tip-off.
UCSB returns home on Saturday, Jan. 22 in a 2 p.m. game with Cal State Fullerton.
Tickets to women's basketball games - and any home UCSB athletics event - can be purchased by calling (805) 893-UCSB or online by clicking here.
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Reserves Spark Gauchos in Victory
May 19, 2011 UCSB Names Carlene Mitchell New Head Coach
May 9, 2011 Women's Basketball Golf Tournament is May 19
April 29, 2011 Women's Basketball Team Adds Two More Players for 2011-12
April 25, 2011 Lindsay Gottlieb Named Head Coach at Cal
April 13, 2011 Gauchos Have League-High Four Receive All-Academic Honors
April 11, 2011 Mekia Valentine Chosen by NY Liberty in WNBA Draft
March 17, 2011 Gauchos Fall to Trojans in WNIT Opener
March 15, 2011 Gauchos Play at USC on Thursday in WNIT
March 14, 2011 UCSB Receives Bid to WNIT; Plays at USC on Thursday
March 7, 2011 Four Gauchos Honored by Big West
March 7, 2011 Emilie Johnson's not sitting still at UCSB
March 7, 2011 Mekia Valentine Named Big West Player of the Week
March 3, 2011 Gauchos Travel to SLO With Big West Title on the Line
February 28, 2011 Emilie Johnson Named Big West Player of the Week
February 26, 2011 Johnson's 27 Points Leads UCSB Past CSUN
February 24, 2011 Kristen Mann Named Legend Of The Dome
February 23, 2011 Gauchos Host Long Beach, Northridge in Final Two Home Games
February 22, 2011 Mekia Valentine Named Golden 1/UCSBgauchos.com Athlete of the Week
February 21, 2011 Valentine Named Big West Player of the Week
February 20, 2011 UCSB Tops Seattle University During Annual Pink Zone Game
February 17, 2011 Gauchos Outlast Fullerton, 73-70
February 16, 2011 Gauchos Go For Win No. 37 in a Row vs. Fullerton on Thursday
February 12, 2011 Four Score in Double Figures as UCSB Buries UCR
February 11, 2011 Nicole Nesbit: Against Tall Odds
February 10, 2011 UCSB Shoots Past Anteaters, 70-56
February 9, 2011 Gauchos Host UC Irvine on Thursday, UC Riverside on Saturday
February 9, 2011 UCSB Announces Pink Zone Event for Feb. 20
February 5, 2011 Sharp-Shooting UC Davis Tops Gauchos
February 3, 2011 Johnson's Career Night Leads Gauchos Past Tigers
February 1, 2011 Gauchos Head North to Battle Pacific, UC Davis
January 29, 2011 Gauchos Use Big Second Half to Defeat Cal State Northridge, 71-48
January 27, 2011 Gauchos Unable to Blemish Mustangs' Perfect Mark in Narrow Defeat
January 27, 2011 Sweets Underwood: A Great Example
January 26, 2011 UCSB Hosts First-Place Cal Poly on Thursday
January 24, 2011 Underwood a Sweet option for UCSB
January 22, 2011 UCSB Annihilates Fullerton, 69-32
January 21, 2011 The Gauchos' floor general
January 21, 2011 Tickets On Sale for 2011 ampm Big West Tournament at Honda Center
January 20, 2011 Gauchos Host Fullerton on Saturday
January 15, 2011 Gauchos Unable to Stop UC Riverside
January 13, 2011 Gauchos Topple Irvine Behind Great Defensive Play
January 12, 2011 Transfer Finds Family in Gaucho Gold
January 12, 2011 Gauchos Face Stiff Road Test This Week
January 8, 2011 Reserves Spark Gauchos in Victory
January 6, 2011 Gauchos Fall to UC Davis, 63-55
January 5, 2011 UCSB Returns Home to Face UC Davis, Pacific
December 30, 2010 Gauchos Open Big West Play by Throttling Long Beach State
December 28, 2010 Gauchos Open Conference Play at Long Beach on Thursday
December 22, 2010 Gauchos Blow Past Siena for Sixth Win in Eight Games
December 21, 2010 Have Breakfast With the Gauchos on Wednesday as UCSB Faces Siena
December 19, 2010 UCSB Hangs Tough with No. 18 St. John's, but Unable to Pull Off Upset
December 18, 2010 Johnson Continues Hot Streak to Help Gauchos Win
December 17, 2010 Gauchos Head to East Coast for Three
December 14, 2010 Adrian Helps Gauchos Win Overtime Thriller
December 13, 2010 Gauchos Begin 5-Game Road Trip on Tuesday at Bakersfield
December 11, 2010 Underwood, Gauchos Roll Past UTEP
December 9, 2010 Gauchos Get a Rare Dose of Home Cooking
December 8, 2010 Join the Gauchos for a New York Women's Basketball Huddle
December 5, 2010 UCSB Dominates USF, 71-38
December 4, 2010 UCSB Looks to Get Back on Track at USF on Sunday
December 3, 2010 Gauchos Fall to Saint Mary's, 77-53
December 1, 2010 UCSB Heads North for Two Tough Tests
November 29, 2010 Valentine Named Big West Player of the Week
November 28, 2010 Mekia Valentine Records School's First Triple-Double in Victory
November 24, 2010 Gauchos Finish Homestand on Sunday vs. Northern Colorado
November 20, 2010 Idaho Outlasts Gauchos in Double Overtime
November 18, 2010 Portland State Needs OT to Top Gauchos
November 17, 2010 Gauchos Host Portland State on Thursday in 1 p.m. Game at Thunderdome
November 17, 2010 Women's Hoops Team Inks Two Top Players
November 14, 2010 No. 15 Bruins Too Much for Gauchos
November 12, 2010 Gauchos Drop Opener to Pepperdine
November 10, 2010 UCSB Starts 2010-11 Campaign With Two Road Tests
November 4, 2010 Valentine's Double-Double Not Enough for Gauchos in Exhibition
November 3, 2010 UCSB Women's Hoops Opens 2010-11 Season on Thursday
October 28, 2010 Valentine Tabbed as Preseason First Team Pick; Gauchos Picked Fourth
October 27, 2010 Josh Suchon Added to UCSB Broadcast Team