Dec. 18, 2006
MALIBU, Calif. - Junior center Jenna Green scored a game-high 21 points and sophomore point guard LaShay Fears chipped in with 16 as the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team came from behind to defeat Pepperdine 78-67 Monday night at Firestone Fieldhouse. Junior transfer Chisa Ononiwu provided a spark off the bench with 11 points.
With the win, the Gauchos improve to 4-6 this season, while the Waves lost for the third time in the last four games and fell to 7-5.
Green's 21 points came on 5-for-9 shooting. She made 11 of her 15 free throw attempts and finished with seven rebounds. Fears finished 4-for-10 and had a game-high five assists, while junior guard Jessica Wilson tallied 13 points and seven rebounds. In her first game as a Gaucho after transferring to UCSB in January, Ononiwu made an immediate impact with a driving three-point play along the baseline with 13:26 left to play in the first half. She finished with five rebounds, two rebounds, and two steals in 29 minutes.
Junior guard Daphanie Kennedy led Pepperdine with 19 points to go with seven rebounds.
After nine days off, Santa Barbara was slow to get things going early and Pepperdine raced out to a 12-4 run capped off by a three-point hit by guard Jessica Ross at the 14:16 mark. UCSB made just two of its first seven shots and had seven turnovers in the game's first five minutes. The Waves' lead increased to 20-10 following Sherriel Boyd's three-point play at 11:13 and her baseline three pointer two minutes later gave the home team a 27-14 advantage. Forward Miranda Ayim hit a jumper in the paint to give Pepperdine its biggest lead of the evening, 31-16 at 7:58.
The Gauchos responded with a 16-4 run in the final seven minutes of the period to pull within three, 35-32 at the break. Green led the charge with eight points during the spurt, six of which came from the free-throw line, while Wilson also scored eight in her first game back since suffering an ankle injury Dec. 7 against Weber State. Fears added seven points in the first.
After Fears stole the inbounds pass and scored to trim the deficit to just one, the Waves scored 11 of the next 13 points out of the locker room -- including two lay-ups and a three pointer from Kennedy -- to pull ahead by 10, 46-36.
Tailing 51-42 with 15:12 on the clock, Wilson scored on a fast break, sophomore guard Whitney Warren stole the ball and drove the length of the court for the lay-up, and freshman forward Ariana Gnekow knocked down a pair of free throws to bring the Gauchos to within three, 51-48. Green's turn-around jumper at 9:39 tied the score at 53-53 and Gnekow's put back 30 seconds later gave UCSB its first lead, 57-55.
The Gauchos' run continued as they scored the next eight points of the contest, capped by freshman forward Jordan Franey's lay-up, to take a 65-55 advantage with 4:42 left. UCSB was in control from that point forward and won for the second time on the road this season.
UCSB returns to the Thunderdome this Wednesday, Dec. 20 when No. 18 Michigan State comes to town. The Gauchos and Spartans will tip-off at 7:00 p.m.