November 25, 2009

Despite 14 Points from Valentine and Johnson, UCSB Falls to Kentucky

Nov. 25, 2009

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team broke out of its shooting slump, yet it wasn't enough for the Gauchos to earn their first win of the season as Kentucky defeated UCSB 68-54 on Wednesday afternoon at the Thunderdome.

Coming off of consecutive shooting performances of under 30 percent, the Gauchos hit 48.8 percent of their shots from the floor, but it was for naught as they turned the ball over 25 times. UCSB falls to 0-4 overall while Kentucky improves to 5-0.

Mekia Valentine and Emilie Johnson each scored 14 points to lead the Gauchos while Meagan Williams added 11. Valentine nearly had a triple-double as she pulled down nine rebounds and also blocked seven shots. It was the second time in her three games this season that the junior blocked seven shots - which ranks as second-best in school single-game history.

Despite making nearly half of their field goals, the Gauchos weren't able to connect from downtown, missing all 10 of their three-point attempts. It is the second game this season that UCSB has gone 0-for-downtown as the Gauchos misfired on all 17 of their three-pointers in a loss to Nevada.

"It's a journey, a process," head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "No one wants to get used to losing."

It appeared early on that the Gauchos would break out of their early-season slumber as UCSB opened the game to a 14-8 advantage. However, Kentucky soon went on a 15-0 run to take a 25-16 lead.

In the second half the Wildcats outscored UCSB 12-2 early on and kept their lead at double-digits for the remainder of the affair.

The last time a UCSB team dropped three consecutively schedule games by double-digits was during the 1989-90 season.

The Gauchos will have a shot at redemption this Sunday when they travel to face San Diego on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the first of three straight road contests. All women's basketball games can be heard on AM 990 in Santa Barbara or streaming online here.

UCSB doesn't return home until Sunday, Dec. 13 when the Gauchos host Cal State Bakersfield at 2 p.m. in the Thunderdome. To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.

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.