December 3, 2010

Gauchos Fall to Saint Mary's, 77-53

Dec. 3, 2010

Box Score

MORAGA, Calif. - Saint Mary's Jasmine Smith poured in a career-high 27 points against the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team on Friday night, leading the Gaels to a 77-53 victory in McKeon Pavilion.

The highly-touted matchup between 6-foot-4 shot-blocking sensations Mekia Valentine and Louella Tomlinson was overshadowed by Smith, who was 9 of 12 from the field, including 6 of 9 from three-point land. She led four Gaels players in double digits.

Kelsey Adrian had a career-high 17 points for the Gauchos while Sweets Underwood had 10 and Destini Mason had nine, the latter two giving solid minutes off the bench.

UCSB, which had been holding opponents to a 34.1 shooting percentage entering the game, watched Saint Mary's shoot 52.9 percent from the floor. The Gauchos shot just 35.1 percent and committed 19 turnovers.

The battle between Valentine, who entered the game second in the nation in blocked shots, and Tomlinson, who recently set the NCAA all-time blocked shots record, was more of an undercard. Valentine finished with seven points, four rebounds and three blocked shots, while Tomlinson had 11 points, five rebounds and five blocked shots.

Saint Mary's sprinted out to a 20-8 lead but Adrian made four successive shots and brought UCSB close, as the Gauchos trailed 24-18 with 8:06 left in the first half. However the Gaels went on an 18-2 run before the half ended, essentially ending the Gauchos' evening.

"It felt like we were a little flat defensively to start," UCSB head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "Then when a team feels good, the basket gets bigger. They made a lot of plays. This is a good team, a top-25, mid-major team. I respect them a ton. But I'm still disappointed in our defensive effort."

The victory was No. 300 in the career of Saint Mary's coach Paul Thomas.

UCSB continues its two-game road trip at San Francisco on Sunday in a 2 p.m. game. The Gauchos won't return home until Dec. 11 when they host UTEP. All UCSB games can be heard on AM 990 in Santa Barbara or streaming live online by clicking here
. Tickets to women's basketball games - and any home UCSB athletics event - can be purchased by calling (805) 893-UCSB or online 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.