Feb. 24, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The way UC Santa Barbara played in the second half, you'd never have guessed that the majority of the group was terribly ill all week.
And, with the performance the Gauchos had in the final 20 minutes, it no doubt left Long Beach State feeling sick.
Down by eight at halftime, the Gauchos shot 51.7% in the second half and ran over the 49ers to grab their fifth victory in a row, 74-70, on Thursday night in the Thunderdome. The victory clinches a first-round home game in the Big West Tournament on Tuesday, March 8. UCSB is now 17-10, 10-4 in the Big West. Long Beach State falls to 8-20, 6-8.
The performance must have been inspired by former Gaucho star Kristen Mann, who was in the house as she was honored as a "Legend of the `Dome."
Kelsey Adrian tied her career-high with 17 points and no six seemed bigger than her pair of three-pointers she buried in a 29-second span that tied the game at 61-apiece.
From that point, it appeared that Long Beach was gassed and the Gauchos were the ones who were fit and healthy.
Sweets Underwood, one of the hardest hit by the illness surrounding the team, had one of her best games of the year with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The sophomore scored the team's final six points and played a huge relief role as starting center Mekia Valentine battled foul trouble and the flu bug.
"I'm pretty emotional," head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "It was a tremendous effort. "I'm so proud of Sweets. I told her after the game and gave her a hug. I knew she was sick. Sweets was so tough tonight. I'm overwhelmed with how proud I am of that kid."
After Adrian's treys, the Gauchos went up 66-61, but Courtney Jacob kept the 49ers in it.
Jacob, the 49ers' leading scorer, scored seven of her 17 points in the final 2:56, but her baby hook shot with her team trailing 72-70 and six seconds left rimmed off and Underwood grabbed the board.
"When I saw her go to the post, I knew she'd try to post up," said Adrian, who was guarding her. "I knew I had to play good defense and not foul her because it could be a three-point play. I stayed low, got in front of her, and made her take a tough shot."
Underwood then hit two free throws to ice the game and give UCSB its eighth win in the past 10 games.
Santa Barbara still trails Cal Poly - 78-58 winners over Cal State Fullerton - by one game in the Big West standings. The Blue-Green rivals face off on March 5 in the final regular-season game of the season.
UCSB hosts Cal State Northridge on Saturday at 2 p.m. when it will honor its seniors, Margaret Johnson and Mekia Valentine before the game. Tickets are available by clicking here or by calling (805) 893-UCSB (8272). The game will be aired live on AM 990 and online by clicking here with the pregame show starting at 1:30 p.m.
Gauchos Clinch Home Court in Big West Tournament with Win Over Long Beach State
May 19, 2011 UCSB Names Carlene Mitchell New Head Coach
May 9, 2011 Women's Basketball Golf Tournament is May 19
April 29, 2011 Women's Basketball Team Adds Two More Players for 2011-12
April 25, 2011 Lindsay Gottlieb Named Head Coach at Cal
April 13, 2011 Gauchos Have League-High Four Receive All-Academic Honors
April 11, 2011 Mekia Valentine Chosen by NY Liberty in WNBA Draft
March 17, 2011 Gauchos Fall to Trojans in WNIT Opener
March 15, 2011 Gauchos Play at USC on Thursday in WNIT
March 14, 2011 UCSB Receives Bid to WNIT; Plays at USC on Thursday
March 7, 2011 Four Gauchos Honored by Big West
March 7, 2011 Emilie Johnson's not sitting still at UCSB
March 7, 2011 Mekia Valentine Named Big West Player of the Week
March 3, 2011 Gauchos Travel to SLO With Big West Title on the Line
February 28, 2011 Emilie Johnson Named Big West Player of the Week
February 26, 2011 Johnson's 27 Points Leads UCSB Past CSUN
February 24, 2011 Kristen Mann Named Legend Of The Dome
February 23, 2011 Gauchos Host Long Beach, Northridge in Final Two Home Games
February 22, 2011 Mekia Valentine Named Golden 1/UCSBgauchos.com Athlete of the Week
February 21, 2011 Valentine Named Big West Player of the Week
February 20, 2011 UCSB Tops Seattle University During Annual Pink Zone Game
February 17, 2011 Gauchos Outlast Fullerton, 73-70
February 16, 2011 Gauchos Go For Win No. 37 in a Row vs. Fullerton on Thursday
February 12, 2011 Four Score in Double Figures as UCSB Buries UCR
February 11, 2011 Nicole Nesbit: Against Tall Odds
February 10, 2011 UCSB Shoots Past Anteaters, 70-56
February 9, 2011 Gauchos Host UC Irvine on Thursday, UC Riverside on Saturday
February 9, 2011 UCSB Announces Pink Zone Event for Feb. 20
February 5, 2011 Sharp-Shooting UC Davis Tops Gauchos
February 3, 2011 Johnson's Career Night Leads Gauchos Past Tigers
February 1, 2011 Gauchos Head North to Battle Pacific, UC Davis
January 29, 2011 Gauchos Use Big Second Half to Defeat Cal State Northridge, 71-48
January 27, 2011 Gauchos Unable to Blemish Mustangs' Perfect Mark in Narrow Defeat
January 27, 2011 Sweets Underwood: A Great Example
January 26, 2011 UCSB Hosts First-Place Cal Poly on Thursday
January 24, 2011 Underwood a Sweet option for UCSB
January 22, 2011 UCSB Annihilates Fullerton, 69-32
January 21, 2011 The Gauchos' floor general
January 21, 2011 Tickets On Sale for 2011 ampm Big West Tournament at Honda Center
January 20, 2011 Gauchos Host Fullerton on Saturday
January 15, 2011 Gauchos Unable to Stop UC Riverside
January 13, 2011 Gauchos Topple Irvine Behind Great Defensive Play
January 12, 2011 Transfer Finds Family in Gaucho Gold
January 12, 2011 Gauchos Face Stiff Road Test This Week
January 8, 2011 Reserves Spark Gauchos in Victory
January 6, 2011 Gauchos Fall to UC Davis, 63-55
January 5, 2011 UCSB Returns Home to Face UC Davis, Pacific
December 30, 2010 Gauchos Open Big West Play by Throttling Long Beach State
December 28, 2010 Gauchos Open Conference Play at Long Beach on Thursday
December 22, 2010 Gauchos Blow Past Siena for Sixth Win in Eight Games
December 21, 2010 Have Breakfast With the Gauchos on Wednesday as UCSB Faces Siena
December 19, 2010 UCSB Hangs Tough with No. 18 St. John's, but Unable to Pull Off Upset
December 18, 2010 Johnson Continues Hot Streak to Help Gauchos Win
December 17, 2010 Gauchos Head to East Coast for Three
December 14, 2010 Adrian Helps Gauchos Win Overtime Thriller
December 13, 2010 Gauchos Begin 5-Game Road Trip on Tuesday at Bakersfield
December 11, 2010 Underwood, Gauchos Roll Past UTEP
December 9, 2010 Gauchos Get a Rare Dose of Home Cooking
December 8, 2010 Join the Gauchos for a New York Women's Basketball Huddle
December 5, 2010 UCSB Dominates USF, 71-38
December 4, 2010 UCSB Looks to Get Back on Track at USF on Sunday
December 3, 2010 Gauchos Fall to Saint Mary's, 77-53
December 1, 2010 UCSB Heads North for Two Tough Tests
November 29, 2010 Valentine Named Big West Player of the Week
November 28, 2010 Mekia Valentine Records School's First Triple-Double in Victory
November 24, 2010 Gauchos Finish Homestand on Sunday vs. Northern Colorado
November 20, 2010 Idaho Outlasts Gauchos in Double Overtime
November 18, 2010 Portland State Needs OT to Top Gauchos
November 17, 2010 Gauchos Host Portland State on Thursday in 1 p.m. Game at Thunderdome
November 17, 2010 Women's Hoops Team Inks Two Top Players
November 14, 2010 No. 15 Bruins Too Much for Gauchos
November 12, 2010 Gauchos Drop Opener to Pepperdine
November 10, 2010 UCSB Starts 2010-11 Campaign With Two Road Tests
November 4, 2010 Valentine's Double-Double Not Enough for Gauchos in Exhibition
November 3, 2010 UCSB Women's Hoops Opens 2010-11 Season on Thursday
October 28, 2010 Valentine Tabbed as Preseason First Team Pick; Gauchos Picked Fourth
October 27, 2010 Josh Suchon Added to UCSB Broadcast Team