November 26, 2006

UCSB Struggles In Second Half, Drops 64-55 Decision to NC State

Nov. 26, 2006

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After taking a 30-23 lead into the locker room at halftime, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team was outscored 19-5 to open the second half and lost to North Carolina State 64-55 Sunday afternoon in the Thunderdome. Junior center Jenna Green led the Gauchos with a game-high 21 points in the loss.

Khadijah Whittington scored a team-high 15 points for NC State and the Wolfpack improve to 4-2 this season with the victory. UCSB falls to 1-4 after losing its fourth straight.

Sophomore guard Whitney Warren turned in another solid performance with 13 points for the Gauchos after registering a career-high 18 Friday night in the loss to 24th-ranked Louisville. Junior guard Jessica Wilson added 11 for the second consecutive game.

Marquetta Dickens, Shayla Fields, and Nakitta Gartrell all put in 10 points for NC State.

After Dickens hit a jumper to give the Wolfpack a 9-8 advantage at the 14:19 mark, Warren scored on a driving layup, Wilson hit a jumper and Warren came right back with another basket to give the Gauchos a 14-9 lead. UCSB led for the duration of the opening half after that point and took its biggest lead at 30-21, following a pair of free throws from freshman Ariana Gnekow with 51 seconds remaining in the first.

Green finished with 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting in the first half, while Warren added eight, and Gnekow chipped in with four points and four rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench. Santa Barbara made 50% (14-for-18) of its shots in the opening period and led by seven at halftime.

NC State shot just 33.3% in the first half, but came out of the gates firing in the second. The Wolfpack scored the first six points and out-scored the Gauchos 10-3 in the first 3:15 of the half to tie the game at 33-33. Dickens' layup gave the visitors their biggest cushion of 11 at 50-39, with 7:51 left on the clock.

UCSB climbed back to within three with 4:57 to play when Wilson knocked down a turn-around jumper, was fouled, and converted the free throw. Fields converted a three-point play of her own the Wolfpack's next trip, and Gartrell sank two free throws to put North Carolina State on top 56-48.

The Gauchos made one final push following a three pointer from freshman Jordan Franey to cut the deficit to just three once again at 57-54, with 3:41 left but that was as close as they would get.

Whittington answered with a baseline jumper and Fields knocked down a shot from the block to give the Wolfpack a seven-point advantage with 1:45 remaining. North Carolina State shot 54.8% in the second half and outscored UCSB 41-25.

In addition to making just 8-of-21 shots after halftime, second chance points and turnovers proved to be the Gauchos' Achilles heel. North Carolina State out-rebounded Santa Barbara 36-25 for the game, including 15 on the offensive glass, leading to a 10-2 advantage in second chance points. The Wolfpack also outscored the Gauchos 20-6 in the paint. Santa Barbara turned the ball over 19 times.

UCSB will now head to No. 1 Maryland next Saturday, December 2. The Gauchos will square off with the top-ranked Terrapins at 4:00 p.m. (PST) and then face Richmond Monday during their East Coast swing.