January 30, 2010

Mekia Valentine Sets School Record in Gauchos' Victory

Jan. 30, 2010

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Mekia Valentine already owned one UC Santa Barbara blocked shots record. On Saturday at the Thunderdome, she set the new standard for blocks in a single-season, surpassing Lindsay Taylor's mark, in a 69-55 victory over Cal State Northridge.

Valentine has swatted 70 shots this season, one better than Taylor's total from the 2001-02 season, and the junior center is fast approaching UCSB's top-10 career blocks mark - and this is her first season in blue and gold. The Gauchos (7-13 overall, 4-4 in the Big West) still have nine regular season games remaining.

Valentine blocked two shots against Northridge (3-16, 1-7) to go with her 18 points and 10 rebounds - her team-best fifth double-double of the season - leading a charge of three players in double figures. The 6-foot-4 Greensboro, N.C. native already has UCSB's single-game record for blocks when she swatted 11 vs. UC Irvine on Jan. 2.

Chris Spencer poured in a career-best 14 points while Meagan Williams had 11 for the Gauchos. Emilie Johnson had nine points while Jordan Franey had seven points, six rebounds and a career-high tying five assists.

Valentine scored 14 of her points and had six of her boards in the second half as UCSB turned a four-point halftime advantage into a double-digit game with 7:15 remaining and kept it that way.

Ariana Gnekow continued her improved Big West play with five points and six rebounds as the senior is now averaging 5.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Sweets Underwood also had six rebounds.

UCSB will continue its longest home stretch of the season when it faces Pacific on Thursday in the Thunderdome at 7 p.m. The game airs live on AM 990 and will stream live online at UCSBgauchos.com.

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

All men's and women's basketball games will be broadcast live on AM 1490 and AM 990 again this year, and those games will also be available online, by clicking here.. And, UCSB Athletics is proud to announce that the baseball team will have over 20 games broadcast live on the air and through our website, UCSBgauchos.com.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The ICA Ticket Office will be open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the ticket office, are already available during weekday hours, which are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.