January 6, 2009

After 3 Straight Wins at Home, Gauchos Take to Road

Jan. 6, 2009

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• The Schedule
Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (6-6, 2-0) at UC Irvine (3-11, 0-1) at UC Irvine's Bren Events Center (5,000)
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game televised on Big West TV

Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton (4-7, 1-0) at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym (4,000)
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game televised on Big West TV

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990. Steve Wendt is in his fifth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of men's and women's games, but when Ford is not available at home games, former UCSB assistant coach Kristen Koch will fill in. When Ford is not available for road games, Matt Hurst, yours truly, will handle the task.

• Eat This
UCSB has beaten UC Irvine more than any other team in its history. The Gauchos have 47 wins in their history vs. the Anteaters and have not lost to UC Irvine since Feb. 16, 2006, an 82-69 loss at home. UCSB defeated UCI 76-68 at the Thunderdome last January and again 77-69 in Irvine last February. The Gauchos have not lost in Irvine since Jan. 19, 1997, a 67-65 defeat in overtime.

• Feasting on Fullerton
The Gauchos take a 28-game winning streak - including the Big West Tournament - against Cal State Fullerton into Saturday's game. UCSB has not lost to the Titans since dropping a 97-86 decision on March 8, 1995 in the Big West Tournament.

• Biggest in the Big West
Since the 1995-96 season, UC Santa Barbara has posted a 190-18 (.913) record against league foes.

• Pedersen Goes POW
Averaging 18.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in the Gauchos' first two Big West conference games was enough for senior Lauren Pedersen to be named the Big West's Player of the Week. Pedersen led the Gauchos in scoring during both victories over Long Beach State and UC Riverside while tying her career-best in each game with seven field goals. Against UCR, Pedersen also tied a career-high with five three-pointers. It is the first Player of the Week honor for the Brea, Calif. native.

• This Defense Doesn't Rest
Through 12 games the Gauchos have allowed just 668 points, or 55.7 per game, nearly setting a school record. It is the second-lowest point total through the first dozen games in UCSB history. The last time UCSB has allowed so few points in its first 12 games came during the 1973-74 season when the Gauchos gave up 537.

• 40 and Under Only
For the third time this season the Gauchos have held an opponent to 40 or fewer points. The last time UCSB held three opponents to 40 or fewer points came in the 2002-03 season when the Gauchos prevented three teams - Cal State Fullerton, Pacific and UC Riverside - from scoring at least 40 points. Only two other times in UCSB history has a Gaucho team held a team to 40 or fewer points more than three times in a season - 1976-77 (four times) and 1973-74 (six times).

• Defensive Domination
UCSB's defense is allowing just 55.7 points per game, first in the Big West, and 38th in the nation. Kansas State leads the NCAA, allowing 49.5 ppg. Opponents are shooting just 35.8% vs. the Gauchos - the lowest mark in the Big West - which ranks 47th in the country. Duke's 31.6% defensive field goal percentage leads the nation.

• Climbing the Charts
In recent news from the NCAA, Jenna Green's statistics from the four games she played during the 2007-08 season do count towards her career totals despite receiving a medical redshirt. The sixth-year senior has accumulated 1,315 career points, putting her into 15th place all-time in UCSB history. Entering Sunday's game, Green is just three points shy of tying Kayte Christensen (1998-2002) for 14th place and 11 points away from Becky Brown (1989-1993) for 13th and 19 points from Kristen Nicholson (1982-86) for 12th place.

• On The Lam
Lauren Pedersen's 3.1 steals per game is first in the Big West and 19th in the nation.

• Green's Block Party
Jenna Green blocked two more shots vs. UC Riverside to give her 24 blocks this season and a 2.0 average per game which leads the Big West and is tied for 47th nationally. Green's 148 career blocks is 32 shy of second-place in UCSB history behind Kris Grazzini (1992-96). She is on pace for 58 blocks this year, which would be third all-time in a single season.

• Free For All
The Gauchos are shooting 75.3% from the stripe this season. Lauren Pedersen leads the Gauchos - and is second in the Big West - with an 83% mark while Emilie Johnson (13-13), Ashlee Brown (10-12), Jordan Franey (19-25) and Whitney Warren (15-20) are shooting 75% or better from the stripe. The UCSB all-time single-season free throw mark is 73.9%, set during the 2002-03 season.

• Getting Closer to 500
Soon to join the 500-point club will be senior Lauren Pedersen and junior Jordan Franey. Pedersen is 23 points away while Franey is 37 points shy of the mark.

• `Dome Sweet `Dome
UCSB has won all six of its games this season at the Thunderdome. The last Gaucho squad to do that came in 2005-06 when UCSB also won its first half-dozen games at home. UCSB's first road win that season? At UC Irvine, Thursday's opponent.

• Century Club
Courtesy of East Carolina University: once Lauren Pedersen plays her 100th game (she is three shy of the mark) the Gauchos will be one of just 10 teams nationwide to have three players with 100 career games under their belt in the starting lineup. Jenna Green (108) and Whitney Warren (101) are the others.

• Eight is Enough Having started the past eight games, Margaret Johnson has set a career-best for consecutive games started. The sophomore started seven straight games last year.

• Freshman Phenom
Emilie Johnson's consecutive start streak came to an end at 11 games when she was not part of the starting five vs. UC Riverside. Still, the Loomis, Calif. native became the first freshman to open her career as UCSB's starting point guard since LaShay Fears did it in 16 straight games in the 2005-06 season. Johnson is just the third Gaucho in the last decade to begin her career as the Gauchos' starting point guard, following Fears and Stacy Clinesmith, who started all 30 games at point during her freshman season in 1996-97.

• The Gaucho Way
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."