November 12, 2010

Gauchos Drop Opener to Pepperdine

Nov. 12, 2010

Box Score

MALIBU, Calif. - Despite 15 points from Emilie Johnson and a near double-double from Kelsey Adrian, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team dropped its season opener, 68-56, against Pepperdine on Friday night.

The Gauchos hung tough with the fast-paced Waves for the majority of the game, however Pepperdine went on a quick 10-0 run midway through the second half to pull away. UCSB dropped its season opener for the third time in the past four seasons.

"It really was that run that hurt us," Emilie Johnson said. "Those are the areas that we have to learn to respond to the pace of the game. We can't let that happen. We need to get more stops and convert on the other end."

UCSB shot 32.8 percent from the field as Pepperdine hit 45.3 percent of its shots. The Gauchos were just 3 of 18 from beyond the 3-point line.

Adrian, in her first game in a UCSB uniform after sitting out last season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, scored 11 points, although she did it on 4 of 16 shooting, including just 1 of 7 from downtown. She did grab nine rebounds to go with two assists and three steals.

Johnson had 15 points to go with two assists and two steals.

Mekia Valentine, though, was held in check by an aggressive Pepperdine defense that constantly double-teamed her every time she touched the ball. The 6-foot-4 senior had three points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes.

Trailing by just three points, 46-43 with 10:58 remaining in the game, Pepperdine scored 10 fast points in under four minutes as Lauren Bell had five of those points and finished with 15 on the night. Jazmine Jackson led the Waves with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The Gauchos shot just 31.3 percent in the first half despite getting plenty of good looks at the basket, but trailed by just three points at the half because UCSB held Pepperdine's offense to just 35.7 percent shooting.

Margaret Johnson had six points and six rebounds for the Gauchos while a pair of freshman made their collegiate debuts. Melissa Zornig had nine points, three assists and three steals and Nicole Nesbit played 14 solid minutes for the Gauchos.

UCSB plays at No. 15 UCLA on Sunday at 2 p.m. Fans can listen to the game on AM 990 KTMS in Santa Barbara or streaming live online by clicking here.

The Gauchos open their 2010-11 home slate on Thursday with a 1 p.m. game vs. Portland State, the first of three straight games at the Thunderdome. Tickets for UCSB home matches are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB or by clicking here.

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.