Jan. 11, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (8-6, 3-0) vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans (2-11, 1-1)
The Thunderdome (6,000)
For the Record
The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team enters Saturday's meeting with Cal State Fullerton with an overall record of 8-6 after defeating UC Irvine 76-68 Thursday night in the Thunderdome. The first place Gauchos improved to 3-0 in Big West play and have won a season-best four straight overall to improve to two-games over the .500 mark for the first time in 2007-08. Santa Barbara won six in a row a year ago from Dec. 30 through Jan. 20, with five of the victories coming against league opponents.
Gauchos on the Air & Web
Saturday's contest with the Titans, along with every other UCSB women's basketball game in 2007-08, will be broadcast live on KIST 1340 AM in Santa Barbara. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his fourth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos' men's team and he will have the call live from the Thunderdome, filling in for Steve Wendt. Fans can also watch all games live via the internet by going to www.bigwest.tv and purchasing the UCSB season package. For the third straight year the Big West Conference and CSTV are partnering to bring exclusive Big West Gaucho events to fans online. BigWest.TV offers on-demand access to LIVE coverage of Big West contests as well as press conferences, features, and Big West Championships.
UCSB Closes Strong To Finish Off UC Irvine
After taking a 15-point lead with 9:07 remaining in the first half, it looked as though the Gauchos were going to cruise to an easy victory over the Anteaters on Thursday. But Irvine refused to roll over and used a 19-4 run over the next 5:50 to tie the game at 32-32 with 1:40 left until halftime. UCSB's 39-34 lead at the break was cut to just one less than two minutes into the second and UCI managed to keep it close until Annie Mai and Stephanie Duda combined to score six unanswered points to knot the game once again with just over five minutes to play. The Gauchos took over from there however, as Sha'Rae Gibbons knocked down her second triple of the game and Meagan Williams scored on back-to-back possessions to ignite a Gaucho flurry. Santa Barbara also benefited from seven straight points from Jessica Wilson during a decisive 18-4 run to put the game out of reach. The Gauchos pulled off the 76-68 victory despite 58.7% shooting from UCI, which was a high for a UCSB opponent this season. Santa Barbara shot 51.4% in the first half and just 36.4% in the second to finish at 44.1% for the game. The difference came on the glass, where the Gauchos held a 35-28 edge, with 21 of their rebounds coming on the offensive end of the floor. Santa Barbara also forced Irvine into 28 turnovers, which led to 29 points. Kat Suderman led the way with 16 points, while Gibbons scored 15 and Wilson added 13.
Scouting the Titans
UCSB will look to keep rolling Saturday when Cal State Fullerton comes to town. The Gauchos and Titans have clashed 56 times over the years in an all-times series that Santa Barbara leads 35-21. UCSB swept two regular season meetings with CSUF in 2006-07, edging the Titans 73-71 in Fullerton Dec. 30 and posting a 70-64 home win on Feb. 22. The Gauchos also defeated the Titans 57-52 in the Big West Tournament Semifinals on Mar. 9, led by Jenna Green's 27 points. Santa Barbara has not lost to Cal State Fullerton since 1995, winning the last 28 meetings.
Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah is in her 12th year as head coach of the Titans and has the services of just five total letterwinners from last year's squad that finished with an overall record of 16-16 and placed fifth in the Big West standings at 7-7.
Fullerton enters Saturday's match-up with an overall record of 2-11 (1-1 Big West) after dropping a narrow 55-54 decision at Cal Poly Thursday night despite a game-high 20 points from junior forward Toni Thomas. Thomas leads the Big West in scoring at 18.1 points per game and ranks seventh in rebounding hauling in 6.8 per contest. She is also shooting a team-high 48.1% from the field this season and is Fullerton's leading shot-blocker with a total of 10. Freshman guard Lauren Chow has been impressive so far, averaging 13.4 points per game and leads the squad dishing out 3.2 assists, a figure that ranks fourth in the conference. She has also knocked down a league-best 31 three-pointers. As a team, CSUF averages 61.5 points per game and allows 76.3.