Nov. 4, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Mekia Valentine started her senior season right where she left off her junior year - with a double-double. Unfortunately for the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team it was not enough to overcome a scrappy Cal State Monterey Bay team in an exhibition at the Thunderdome.
The Gauchos shot just 36.4 percent on Thursday night, but could not overcome the Otters, who prevailed, 53-49.
Valentine, who had 12 double-doubles last season the most by a Gaucho in five seasons, had 11 points and 17 rebounds to lead Santa Barbara. Emilie Johnson had eight points while Sweets Underwood and Melissa Zornig each had seven.
While the mood around the team was sullen following the defeat, everyone universally agreed that it would only serve as motivation for the 13-time Big West champions.
"I'm eager to see how we respond, I really am," UCSB head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "This game does not count on our (record), which is a fortunate thing. But it will go in our minds. And that's up to us to use that as a springboard to take it up - or sulk in disappointment."
UCSB trailed by as much as 15 points with 8:55 left, but the Gauchos rallied to get close again.
A 3-pointer by Melissa Zornig put the deficit into single-digits and fueled a 12-0 run to bring the Gauchos within a bucket. Underwood had five points during the run.
Yet, that was as close as Santa Barbara would get. UCSB cut it to two points again on Emilie Johnson's layup with 31 seconds left. But the Otters made their free throws down the stretch to prevent the Gauchos from the victory.
UCSB opens its season officially on Friday, Nov. 12 with a road game at Pepperdine at 6 p.m. Fans can listen locally on AM 990 KTMS and Gaucho fans worldwide can listen through our website UCSBgauchos.com.
The Gauchos open their home slate on Thurs., Nov. 18 with a 1 p.m. matinee against Portland State. Tickets are available at (805) 893-UCSB.
Get Your Tickets
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Gaucho Fund, launched as part of the Dare to Be Great strategic plan, is UCSB Athletics' annual giving program to provide vital funding support for scholarships, academic success and leadership development for Gaucho student-athletes. The Gaucho Fund is the anchor to the Dare to Be Great campaign.
GKids is the official kids club of UCSB Athletics. Members receive a free GKids t-shirt, free admittance to tons of Gaucho games, opportunities to be ball boys and girls at games, a special birthday greeting from Olie (the GKids mascot) and much, much more! For more information on GKids, or to become a member, please click here.