March 3, 2010
IRVINE, Calif. - Chris Spencer's blocked shot with under two seconds remaining preserved the lead and ultimately gave the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team a 57-55 victory over UC Irvine on Wednesday night at the Bren Events Center.
It was also Spencer's two free throws with 1:28 remaining that gave UCSB (12-16 overall, 9-7 in the Big West) the two-point lead and some tenacious defense by the Gauchos in the final 90 seconds, helping to contribute to a 24% shooting night from the Anteaters.
A shot clock violation against UCI (9-19, 6-9) with under a minute left gave UCSB the ball back, but the Anteaters also played good defense, opting not to foul, and forcing the Gauchos into their own shot clock violation with eight seconds left.
Jade Smith Williams gathered a missed shot and her attempt with 0:02 left was blocked by Spencer and gave the Gauchos the victory.
"We played tough," a smiling head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said.
The Gauchos still have a shot at fourth place after the win. Should UC Riverside defeat Long Beach State on Saturday, UCSB clinches fourth place and a first round bye. Big West Tournament tickets are available for purchase by clicking here.
The victory was UCSB's fourth in a row - its longest winning streak of the season - and guaranteed its 20th straight winning season in conference play. Emilie Johnson, hounded all night long by UCI's Keyonna Johnson, finished with a team-best 15 points while Ariana Gnekow tied her career-high with 12 points.
Mekia Valentine, who was plagued by foul trouble in the first half, finished with 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Spencer added nine points and five rebounds while Meagan Williams and Jordan Franey each had eight points.
UCSB finishes its regular season schedule this Saturday with a non-conference game at Cal State Bakersfield. Listen to the game on AM 990 or streaming live online at UCSBgauchos.com. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. with the pregame show starting at 4:30.
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.
UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.