Gauchos Fall to Cal Poly in Final Seconds

Jan. 28, 2010

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Meagan Williams had a season-high 23 points, but it was points Nos. 24 and 25 that she'll remember most from Thursday's game vs. Cal Poly at Mott Gym.

With 18 seconds left and the Gauchos trailing by two points, Williams drove past Rachel Clancy and made it to the hoop, her layup good as she and Cal Poly's Abby Bloetscher collided and each fell to the floor. An offensive foul was called, erasing Williams' bucket and UC Santa Barbara's chance for a victory.

The Mustangs hit three free throws in the final 16 seconds and won, 67-62, snapping a six-game losing skid to the Gauchos. It was UCSB's first loss at Mott Gym since Feb. 9 2001, a defeat that broke Santa Barbara's conference-record 49-game Big West winning streak.

UCSB falls to 6-13 overall and 3-4 in the Big West. Cal Poly improves to 13-6, 6-2.

"I was trying to go in there and draw a foul," said Williams. "By the refs' call it was an offensive foul. I feel it shouldn't have been."

That was the coup de grace in a highly-questionably officiated game.

UCSB shot 55.6% from the floor and had 17 points from Emilie Johnson to go with Williams' 23. Chris Spencer had six points off the bench as did Ariana Gnekow, who added a career-high tying nine rebounds.

The Gauchos held Cal Poly's Kristina Santiago - who leads the Big West in points and rebounds per game - fairly in check. The junior from Santa Maria scored 15 points (five below her average) and had six boards (two below her average) on 5 of 12 shooting.

However, Brittany Lange scored a career-best 16 points, as she buried 4 of 8 from 3-point range.

The game was the first between the two teams since UCSB and Cal Poly started the Blue-Green Rivalry Series for Sustainability.

The athletics rivalry between UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly has grown in recent years, and now the schools plan to put their competition to good use.

As the Gauchos and Mustangs battle it out on the field, diamond, court, and in the pool, the Big West rivals will seek to make fans and students aware of their campuses' recycling and sustainability efforts. The eco-slant to the rivalry fits the colors of sustainability (blue and green) as well as those of UCSB (blue) and Cal Poly (green).

The Blue-Green Rivalry is based on the results of the 16 common sports that the schools compete in. To see the points system and updated rivalry standings, click here.

The creative angle of using games to promote the campuses' sustainability and recycling efforts is the first of its kind in college athletics. To learn more about sustainability efforts at UCSB, click here.

UCSB returns home on Saturday to face Cal State Northridge in a 2 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.

To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.