Jan. 8, 2009
IRVINE, Calif. - Using its trademark stingy defense, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team won its first game away from the Thunderdome this season and remained perfect in the Big West with a 50-38 victory over UC Irvine on Thursday night at the Bren Events Center.
UCSB improves to 7-6 overall and 3-0 in the Big West while Irvine falls to 3-12, 0-2.
The Gauchos had previously won all six of their games this season at home, something a UCSB team hadn't done since the 2005-06 season. That year the Gauchos broke their road losing streak at the same place they did on Thursday.
The Bren Events Center has been kind to UCSB teams lately. The Gauchos have not lost in Irvine since 1997 and now hold a five-game winning streak overall vs. the Anteaters.
Lauren Pedersen, the reigning Big West Player of the Week, led the Gauchos with 13 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Jordan Franey and Ashlee Brown came off the bench and gave UCSB a quick spark, as UC Irvine took a 14-4 lead early on.
Behind Franey and Brown, the Gauchos rallied to take a 21-20 halftime lead.
Franey finished with eight points and a season-high nine rebounds while Brown had nine points and five boards.
UCSB's vaunted defense held UC Irvine to just 26% shooting from the floor and the Anteaters were the fourth team this season that UCSB has held to 40 points or less. That already ranks second in UCSB history for most teams to 40 or fewer points in a season, tying the 1976-77 squad.
The 1973-74 team had six games where they held teams to 40 or fewer points.
UCI's Rebecca Maessen, who entered the game averaging 12.8 points per game, led all scorers with 17 points while Mary Has finished with 14.
The Gauchos shot 38.6% from the floor, but outrebounded the Anteaters 39-30 while also going 15-for-21 from the free throw line.
UCSB continues its Orange County tour on Saturday when the Gauchos play at Cal State Fullerton at 5 p.m. The game can be seen on BigWest.tv and listened to in Santa Barbara on KTMS 990 AM.
The Gauchos return home on Jan. 14 against Portland State at the Thunderdome at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office located on campus in the Intercollegiate Athletics Office or by clicking here.