Feb. 8, 2007
IRVINE, Calif. - Junior center Jenna Green tied a season-high with 23 points and recorded a game-high seven rebounds and two blocks leading the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team to 81-71 Big West Conference victory over host UC Irvine Thursday night at the Bren Events Center. The Gauchos also got a solid performance from Jessica Wilson who chipped in with 16 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in their ninth win in the last 11 games.
With the victory, UCSB improves to 13-10 overall and moves into second place in the conference standings at 6-2. The Gauchos leaped past Cal State Northridge after the Matadors (6-3) fell 81-70 at the hands of league-leading UC Riverside (8-1) Thursday night. UC Irvine lost for the fifth time in its last six and falls to 6-18 overall (3-7 Big West).
Green and Wilson led the way for a Gaucho team that shot 49.2% for the second game in a row. Santa Barbara finished 32-of-65 from the floor and continued to stroke the ball well at the free-throw line, making 17-of-21 shots (81%). Green made an impressive 9-of-14 shots from the field to lead all scorers. She also netted 23 points, which is just one shy of her career-high, earlier this season at Cal State Fullerton. Wilson shot the ball well, hitting seven of her 11 attempts from the field. Whitney Warren overcame a rough start and scored 13 on 5-of-11 shooting and Jordan Franey made half of her eight shots for 10 points.
Angie Ned, Annie Mai, and Miranda Forry all scored 11 points apiece to lead the Anteaters. UCI finished 23-of-62 from the floor, 37.1%.
UCSB dominated UCI on the boards, posting a 48-30 rebounding advantage. 17 of the Gauchos' 48 came on the offensive end of the floor, which led to a 19-9 advantage in second chance points. Santa Barbara owned the paint as well, outscoring Irvine 50-20.
After the Gauchos and Anteaters battled neck and neck for much of the first half, Irvine closed to within three at 30-27 on a Klinta Lisnere basket with 2:28 remaining. UCSB closed the half strong, outscoring UCI 10-1 in the waning moments to take a 40-28 into the locker room at the break. Eight of the Gauchos' final 10 first half points came at the free-throw line.
Santa Barbara led by as many as 26 in the second at 81-55 before a furious defensive effort by the Anteater bench held the Gauchos scoreless for the final 3:40. Irvine recorded the final 16 points of the game for the 81-71 final score.
The Gauchos will take on Big West co-defending champion Saturday afternoon at the Walter Pyramid with tip-off scheduled for 5:00 p.m.