Jan. 24, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Maybe the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team is just getting warmed up.
In the Gauchos' ninth straight victory, a 76-54 rout over Pacific on Saturday at the Thunderdome, head coach Lindsay Gottlieb called it "our best game."
UCSB set a season-high for points and margin of victory while improving to 12-6 overall and 7-0 in the Big West. Pacific, which entered the game in second place in the conference, fell to 10-9, 4-3.
"I thought it was our best game tip to buzzer," Gottlieb said. "It wasn't that everyone had a great performance, but I think collectively we made up for things. We made our own breaks."
Jenna Green led the Gauchos with 16 points, but it may have been her work on the other end of the floor that made others take notice. The sixth-year senior held Pacific's Amber Simmons, who is the conference's leading scorer, to just six points on 2 of 12 shooting. Simmons also had three turnovers before fouling out.
"I think having the height advantage definitely helped," Green said. "I love defensive challenges. I'm definitely more of a defensive-minded person."
Green added three blocks, seven rebounds and two assists to her line. Sha'Rae Gibbons had 13 points, three rebounds and three assists while Jordan Franey had her fifth-straight game in double digits by scoring 12 points. Franey also had a game-high nine rebounds.
UCSB did much of its damage from the free throw line, despite hitting 46.8% of its shots. The Gauchos went 28 of 37 - tying a season-best for free throws made, while setting a new one for free throws attempted - from the charity stripe.
The game was plagued with fouls as there were 51 total whistles, but Pacific's 31 fouls allowed UCSB to keep the Tigers at a distance.
The Gauchos went on a 15-2 run midway through the first half and Pacific never threatened again. UCSB led by as many as 21, 39-18, in the first half before taking a 43-24 halftime lead.
The second half was much more of the same.
UCSB takes to the road next week, playing at Cal State Northridge on Wednesday and Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday.
The Gauchos return home for a Feb. 5 matchup with Cal State Fullerton for a Coke Family Pack Night, where $40 gets you four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and four T-shirts. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB, by coming to the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or by clicking here.