Gauchos Open the Lindsay Gottlieb Era With a Victory

Nov. 5, 2008

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - No nerves. No worries. No problem.

The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team ushered in the Lindsay Gottlieb era with a 65-48 victory over Westmont in an exhibition game on Wednesday night in the Thunderdome, giving the team's new coach a win in her head coaching debut.

"I was excited," said Gottlieb, who took over for Mark French when he retired from coaching after leading the Gauchos for 21 seasons. "To get out on the floor and feel that Gaucho spirit that so many people have talked about and to feel the support from the community was a lot of fun."

She may have been singing a different tune following the first 20 minutes of her coaching career. The Gauchos went into halftime down a point, 30-29, to Westmont despite shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half. That's because the Warriors hit four first-half three-pointers.

Given her first chance to make a halftime speech - and necessary adjustments - Gottlieb certainly rallied her troops in the second half as the Gauchos scored 36 points and were buoyed by a 30-7 run to open the second stanza.

"I was really happy with our defensive adjustments and execution in the second half," Gottlieb said.

She also must have been happy with her team hitting 58.6 percent of their shots.

The Gauchos were led by senior Kat Suderman, who finished with 15 points and five rebounds, and senior Lauren Pedersen, who had 11 points and seven assists.

Ashlee Brown chipped in eight points, as did Margaret Johnson.

Much of the crowd of 923 gave Jenna Green a standing ovation as she entered the game three minutes into the game. Green, granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, finished the night with six points and three rebounds in 19 minutes.

The entire men's and women's basketball teams - including the coaches - will be available during a meet-and-greet session on Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion downtown. There, Coach Gottlieb and three players will hold a press conference for the assembled media and the community is welcome to come and enjoy free food and meet the players.

Admission is free and fans can buy tickets with the "Cinco Pack" as well as win UCSB merchandise. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Gauchos' next tune-up before the season-opener will be on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. vs. Vanguard in the Thunderdome. Since it is Veteran's Day, all military personnel and veterans will receive two free tickets with military ID as part of Operation "Thank You."

Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB or by clicking here.