Jan. 22, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A week after suffering its worst loss in 18 years, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team took out their frustrations on Cal State Fullerton, and in doing so, etched their names in the program's history books.
With a week to let a 33-point loss marinate in their minds, the Gauchos came out blazing hot and destroyed Cal State Fullerton, 69-32 on Saturday afternoon at the Thunderdome.
The 32 points allowed are the 10th-fewest ever in school history; the 14 first-half points the Gauchos allowed are the sixth-fewest in the first half ever at UCSB; and the 18 second-half points count as the fifth fewest ever in program annals.
"That was better than I planned," said UCSB head coach Lindsay Gottlieb, whose team has won 36 in a row over CSUF. "I was really impressed with our defensive energy. That's what kicked started it. Then we got to run in transition and some really good things happened."
Santa Barbara (10-8 overall, 4-2 in the Big West) held the Titans to a meager 17.5 shooting percentage for the game and jumped out to a 33-2 lead. By the time Fullerton made it 33-4 at the 5:08 mark of the first half - the Titans' first field goal of the game - the Thunderdome crowd gave CSUF an ovation.
Melissa Zornig led the Gauchos with 15 points while Mekia Valentine had her sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Every player in uniform on Saturday scored at least one basket.
"Practice wasn't too fun," Zornig said. "We picked it up. We realized (last week's performance) is not our team. From the start of the game, our starters set the tone of the game. That got us going.
"I still don't think our job is done. We got the frustration out. But we need to do that to every team in conference."
The 37-point victory marked the largest in the Gottlieb era and was UCSB's largest win since an 88-44 thumping of Cal State Northridge on Jan. 5, 2008.
Angelei Aguirre had six points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Gauchos while Sweets Underwood added seven points and nine rebounds. As a team the Gauchos shot 51.9 percent from the floor.
UCSB outscored CSUF 26-2 in the paint, scored 25 points off 21 Titans turnovers and outrebounded Fullerton 46-31.
The Gauchos will host Blue-Green rival Cal Poly on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tip-off. All UCSB games are broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online online by clicking here with the pregame show starting a half-hour before tip-off.
Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB or online by clicking here