December 7, 2006

Gauchos Win Second Straight, Outlast Weber State 62-57

Dec. 7, 2006

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Freshman forward Jordan Franey had a career night with 22 points and 12 rebounds, leading the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team to a 62-57 victory over visiting Weber State Thursday in the Thunderdome. Junior center Jenna Green added 15 points, 11 of which came in the second half, as the Gauchos won for the second time in four days.

The Gauchos, who have now won two straight since last Saturday's devastating loss at top-ranked Maryland, improve to 3-5 this season. The Wildcats fall to 4-4 after their third loss in a row.

Franey led all scorers and recorded her first career double-double. Her 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting eclipsed her previous best of 12 that came in the Gauchos' 87-62 loss at UCLA Nov. 12. The San Diego native has started all eight games for Santa Barbara and has now scored in double figures five times.

"I thought Jordan had an excellent all-around game tonight," head coach Mark French said. "Her stat line speaks for itself and I'm really happy for her. We have been working really hard with Jordan as one of the freshman on our squad that we are counting on to do some things for us this year and all of her hard work and effort is definitely paying off."

The only other player to score in double figures for the Gauchos was Green, who made all four of her shots in the second half after battling a constant Weber State double team in the first. Junior guard Jessica Wilson chipped in with nine points and three steals, while freshman forward Ariana Gnekow also scored nine.

Center Janie Rayback led the Wildcats with 16 points off the bench, while forward Tashina Taylor and guard Sara Tuomi each had 10.

The Gauchos held their biggest lead of 45-34 at the 12:34 mark in the second half, but the visitors used a 17-6 run to tie the game at 51-51 with 5:06 to play, capped off with a driving lay-up from Taylor. Franey responded with one of her four three point baskets on the evening the next time down, as UCSB regained the lead for good, 54-51.

After a Green free throw, the Wildcats pulled within two when Rayback scored inside, but the Gauchos countered with consecutive hoops from sophomore guard Whitney Warren and Green to take a 59-53 advantage with 2:49 left on the clock.

Weber State would not go away quietly however, and made it a one possession game once again following a jumper from the right side by guard Laura Porter and two free throws from Rayback, but that is as close as they would get. Green was fouled on the Gauchos' ensuing possession and made both shots to give the Gauchos a 61-57 advantage with 25 seconds left. Warren then stole the inbounds pass following a Wildcat timeout and UCSB won its third game of 2006-07.

For the game, Santa Barbara shot an impressive 47.8%, finishing an identical 11-for-23 in each half. Weber State shot just 35.6%, but held a 37-34 advantage on the rebounds. The Gauchos turned the ball over 21 times to just 15 for the Wildcats.

UCSB shot 47.1% percent from beyond the three-point arc, including a torrid 6-for-10 in the first half to build 32-28 lead at halftime. Weber State led by as many as two at 21-19 in a very close opening period that featured six ties and eight lead changes.

Santa Barbara returns to the court this Saturday, Dec. 9 for a showdown with Loyola Marymount. The Gauchos and Lions will tip-off at 3:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.