Underwood, Gauchos Roll Past UTEP

Dec. 11, 2010

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sweets Underwood powered a huge second-half run and the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team used it to run away from UTEP in a 68-50 victory on Saturday night at the Thunderdome.

Underwood scored 12 of her 14 points in a decisive 23-8 run which turned a one-point deficit into a 61-47 lead. The sophomore forward was one of four Gauchos in double figures as Emilie Johnson had 18 points, Mekia Valentine added 15 and Kelsey Adrian chipped in 10.

The win was the Gauchos' second big victory in a week after the team dominated USF last Sunday, 71-38.

"Winning two straight games is a confidence booster," Underwood said. "That's something we needed. We're at our best when we're confident. We're focused and we're just going to keep going from here."

Things didn't look so bright for the Gauchos at the outset. The Miners (5-3) scored the first seven points and took a 15-4 lead with 14:00 remaining in the first half.

But UCSB came firing back. Literally.

Adrian and Johnson each hit a pair of 3-pointers during an 18-3 run and the Gauchos, who entered the game shooting an icy 22.6 percent from downtown, finished with six treys for the game.

"The main thing that I'm really proud of is it was a great team effort," UCSB head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "We took a punch to the nose and we fought back. From that point I thought we dominated."

Overall the team shot 47.2 percent from the floor, which was improved by a red-hot 57.7 percent clip in the second half. Santa Barbara outscored the Miners 38-17 in the final 20 minutes.

Underwood finished with 14 points and nine rebounds while Valentine added six board and six blocked shots. Johnson had five assists while Adrian, Angelei Aguirre and Destini Mason each chipped in three assists apiece.

The Gauchos play at Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Josh Suchon will broadcast live on AM 990 with the pregame show starting a half-hour before tip-off. Listen to the broadcast streaming live online by clicking here
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