UCSB Heads North for Two Conference Games

UCSB Heads North for Two Conference Games

Jan. 5, 2010

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• The Schedule
Thursday, Januray 7, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at UC Davis (8-6, 1-1)
at UC Davis' The Pavilion (8,000)
Series record vs. the Aggies - 11-3
Streak - Won 3
Last time out vs. the Aggies - W, 69-50 (2/21/09)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

Saturday, Januray 9, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Pacific (3-9, 1-1)
at UOP's Alex G. Spanos Center (6,150)
Series record vs. the Tigers - 47-14
Streak - Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Tigers - L, 59-50 (2/19/09)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

• Legends Of The Dome
For years, the Gauchos have been exciting crowds in the Thunderdome. Through the years, legends were made in the 'Dome. Now, five former UCSB standouts are being saluted as "Legends of the Dome." The first legendary womens volleyball star, Roberta Gehlke, was unveiled Oct. 19, 2009. The first men's basketball legend will be unveiled on Jan. 23 before a 7:00 p.m. game against Cal State Fullerton. Three other legends will be introduced this year. The second men,s hoops legend will be unveiled prior to UCSB,s 4:00 p.m. Feb. 13 game against Long Beach State. Women's basketball legends will be honored on Feb. 11 before a 7:00 p.m. game against UC Riverside, and on Feb. 27 before a 2:00 p.m. Blue-Green Rivalry Series game against Cal Poly.

• Single Game Tickets Available
Men's and women's basketball single game tickets are now on sale. You can purchase tickets by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus or to buy online and print at home, click here.

• Purchasing Tickets Has Never Been Easier
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The ICA Ticket Office will be open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the ticket office, are already available during weekday hours, which are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

• The Opponents

• at UC Davis, 1/7
UCSB will head back to the road to face UC Davis on Thursday, a team that the Gauchos hold an 11-3 all-time advantage against. UCSB has won three straight vs. the Aggies (and five of the past six), including the Big West Tournament title in 2008. Last season the Gauchos beat the Aggies, 64-51 on Jan. 22 in the Thunderdome and then 69-50 on Feb. 21 at Davis. UCD is led by Paige Mintun, who is averaging 12.8 points per game. Davis dropped its conference opener, 68-57, to Fullerton, but Mintun scored 19 points in an 82-56 win at Northridge.

• at Pacific, 1/9
UCSB is 47-14 all-time against the Tigers, which is the third-most wins vs. any program in school history. Last season at UOP, the Tigers handed the Gauchos their only conference loss, 59-50. UCSB had won its previous 12 games against the Tigers until that defeat, which dated back to Jan. 18, 2003 in Stockton. Cristina Thompson, who is this week's Big West Player of the Week, leads UOP with her 11.0 points per game average. Thompson scored 23 points, five assists and three blocks in the Tigers' 76-70 win over Cal State Northridge, then had 30 points in an 82-65 defeat to Fullerton.

Probable Starters

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
10 Emilie Johnson G Leads in all offensive categories but rebounds
14 Jordan Franey F Averaging 8.8 ppg - 3rd on team
21 Meagan Williams G 1 of 2 to start all 13 games
32 Margaret Johnson F Has started 8 of 11 games this year
44 Mekia Valentine C 55 blocks is 5th in single-season history

Possible Reserves

0 Bree Richardson G Avg. 9.9 min per game in 10 games
1 Sweets Underwood F One of just 5 on team to play all 13 games
3 Megan Kritscher F/C Has played in 6 games, avg. 6.5 min per
11 Stefanie Corgel G 3 points, 2 assists in 12 min @ Gonzaga
12 Ariana Gnekow G Avg. 2.8 ppg & 3.8 rpg in 19.9 min per game
22 Chris Spencer G Third on team with 4.6 reb. per game
25 Jessie Goble F/C 2 points, 3 rebounds in 5 min at Gonzaga

• Broken Record
With 11 blocked shots vs. UC Irvine, Mekia Valentine broke a 15-year-old UCSB record and now holds the school's single-game mark for blocked shots. Valentine broke Kris Grazzini's mark of eight, which came on Feb. 10, 1995 vs. Nevada.

• Mak Attack
Valentine, whose nickname is Mak, is third in the nation with her 4.6 blocks per game and has swatted away 55 shots already this season, which ties her for fifth all-time in UCSB single-season history. Valentine is tied with Grazzini (1994-95) and Jenna Green (2006-07). Valentine needs three blocks to move into third all-time in a single season. Lindsay Taylor's 69 blocks in 2001-02 is the school's top mark. Valentine is close to breaking into the top-10 for career blocks at UCSB. Currently Brandy Richardson (2001-05) is 10th with 74.

• Under .500? No Problem
UCSB entered Big West play with a record under .500 for the sixth straight season. But, in that time, Big West play has proved to be the elixir for any woes - UCSB is 67-12 in conference play over that stretch.

• Biggest in the Big West
And speaking of UCSB's success in conference play ... Since the 1995-96 season, UCSB is 206-19 (.916) in Big West games. Following the victory over UC Irvine, the Gauchos have won their conference opener each of the past three seasons and 14 of the past 15 seasons. The lone loss came on Dec. 28, 2006 at UC Riverside.

• Slow Start
At 4-9, this marks UC Santa Barbara's toughest start since the 1986-87 season when UCSB went 4-22 overall in Darla Wilson's final season as head coach.

• Leading Lady
Emilie Johnson leads the Gauchos in nearly every statistical category this season. The sophomore guard leads UCSB in points, assists, steals, minutes played, field goals attempted, free throw percentage and three-pointers made and attempted. The Loomis, Calif. native averages also rank her in the top-10 throughout the Big West including points per game (eighth), assists per game (10th), free throw percentage (first) and minutes played (first).

• Swat Team
UCSB is averaging 6.5 blocks per game, which ranks the team seventh in the nation. UCSB has blocked 85 shots already this season and the team is closing in on the school's top-10 in single-season block totals. Currently, the 1981-82 team is 10th with 101 blocks. The Gauchos are on pace to shatter the school's single-season record of 140 (set in 2003-04).

• Mushroom or Apple, It's Still a Turnover
The Gauchos turn the ball over, on average, 21.5 times per game and have had just five games this season where they had fewer than 20 turnovers (UCSB is 2-3 in those games). In UCSB's past three games, the Gauchos have turned the ball over 78 times for an average of 26.0 per game. UCSB's -5.85 turnover margin is 314th out of 332 teams nationally.

• Valentine's Gift
Valentine is shooting a robust 57.9% from the floor, ranking her 15th in the country. The 6-foot-4 junior from Greensboro, N.C. is on pace to challenge the school's single-season record. The current top spot is occupied by Kira Anthofer, who shot 59.6% from the field in 1985-86.

• Scoring Spencer
Following her career-high tying 11 points against Gonzaga, senior Chris Spencer scored eight against UC Irvine, giving the Traverse City, Mich. native her most points in any two-game stretch in her career. Her 4.0 points per game is the best of any season in her career, as are her 4.6 rebounds per game.

• Sweets Tooth
Freshman forward Sweets Underwood is one of just five players on the team to have played in all 13 of the Gauchos' games, while making two starts. Underwood, a 6-foot Compton, Calif. native, is averaging 3.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 43.8%, which ranks as third-best on the team. Her 72.2% clip from the charity stripe is also third on the team.

• Wiping the Glass Clean
Six Gauchos are averaging more than 3.5 rebounds per game, led by Mekia Valentine's 7.3 mark, which also leads the Big West. UCSB is averaging 39.0 rebounds per game - second in the conference - and the team has outrebounded its opponents in eight of their 13 games.

• Not Necessarily "Free"
Last season UCSB set a school record by shooting 75.7% from the free throw line. This season the Gauchos' 63.8% from the charity stripe is eighth in the nine-team Big West.

• Meagan a Difference
Meagan Williams is one of two Gauchos who is able to fill up a stat sheet across the board (along with Emilie Johnson). The senior guard is second on the team with 17 blocked shots, 33 assists, 15 steals and a 48.5 shooting percentage from the field. Williams is averaging 8.6 points, fourth-best on the team, and 3.7 rebounds per game, while playing 32.2 minutes per game.

• Let's Go For Two
UCSB is shooting just 23.3% from 3-point range (37 of 159) this season and has had three games this season without making a trey for the first time since the 1993-94 season. However, the Gauchos are shooting 40.7% overall, which means Santa Barbara is making 46.0% of its shots inside the arc.

• Stay in Touch With the Gauchos
Three people will keep fans abreast of all things related to the women's basketball team this year through UCSBgauchos.com. Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb has her own Twitter page at twitter.com/UCSBCoachG and Emilie Johnson and Margaret Johnson both write for the blog "Johnsons' Journal." Each social networking tool can be found on the women's basketball page at UCSBgauchos.com.

• The Lindsay Gottlieb File
Lindsay Gottlieb is in her second season as the Gauchos' head coach, and she is just the fourth head coach in UCSB women's basketball history. Last season Gottlieb guided the Gauchos to a 22-10 overall mark (15-1 in the Big West) and the Big West regular-season and tournament championships. Named the Big West Coach of the Year, Gottlieb became the first coach in Gaucho history to win at least 20 games and the Coach of the Year award in her first season - and one of only seven coaches nationwide to do so. Gottlieb led the Gauchos to their 14th consecutive postseason appearance and the team won 20 games for the 12th time in the past 14 years. In her first season at the helm of the program, Gottlieb guided the Gauchos to national prominence, ranking in the top-10 in field goal percentage defense, a top-20 finish in points allowed per game while watching her team set a school record for free throw percentage. No stranger to success, Gottlieb was formerly the associate head coach at Cal, helping the team to a 68-28 (.708) overall mark in her time there. Prior to that, Gottlieb was an assistant at the University of Richmond, where she helped the Spiders to three straight 20-win seasons.