January 13, 2010

Gauchos Host Long Beach State on Thursday

Jan. 13, 2010

• The Schedule

Thursday, Januray 14, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Long Beach State (5-9, 1-1)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the 49ers - 40-29
Streak - Won 7
Last time out vs. the 49ers - W, 74-62 (3/7/09)
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 16, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at UC Riverside (3-12, 0-2)
at UCR's Student Rec Center (3,200)
Series record vs. the Highlanders - 18-11
Streak - Won 4
Last time out vs. the Highlanders - W, 65-59 (3/5/09)
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 women's 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.

• See The Legends in Person!
To commemorate the "Legends of the Dome" UCSB Athletics recently announced its "Legends Pack" ticket offer. For just $40 fans will receive four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas to the game. Please click here for men's "Legends of the 'Dome" games and please click here for women's "Legends of the 'Dome" games. Should fans wish to purchase one "Legends Pack" ticket offer to see all four games, please call (805) 893-UCSB.

• No Tourniquet for Turnovers
UCSB ranks last in the Big West with its 337 total turnovers, averaging 22.5 per game. In fact, that is so high it ranks 307th out of 332 teams in the nation and only two other west coast schools average more - Cal State Northridge with 22.8 per game and St. Mary's with 24.4 per game. Just twice this season has UCSB had fewer turnovers than its opponent - winning both games - and only five times have the Gauchos turned the ball over less than 20 times in a game (going 2-3). Over the Gauchos' past five games the team is averaging 27.2 turnovers per game.

• A TO Needed for the TO's
Santa Barbara's 31 turnovers in Saturday's victory at Pacific were the program's most since Dec. 30, 2006 when the Gauchos also had 31 at Cal State Fullerton in a 73-71 win. The last time a UCSB team had more than 31 turnovers in a game was on Nov. 24, 2000 when the Gauchos committed 35 turnovers at USC as part of a 60-56 loss.

• The L Word
UCSB's loss to UC Davis last week equaled its Big West loss total from each of the past two seasons. The last time the Gauchos had a defeat this early in conference play was in the 2006-07 season, a year when Santa Barbara finished 10-4 in the Big West. UCSB hasn't had a losing record more than one game into conference play since a 7-8 mark as of Feb. 20, 1991.

• Slow Start
UC Santa Barbara's five victories in its first 15 games is the program's toughest start since the 1986-87 season when UCSB went 4-22 overall in Darla Wilson's final season as head coach (The 1988-89 team started 6-10 in Mark French's first season as head coach). Including this year, UCSB has had double-digit losses over an entire season just four times in the past 16 years.

The Opponents
• vs. Long Beach State, 1/14
UCSB has won seven straight games against Long Beach State, dating back to Jan. 7, 2006 when the Gauchos lost, 58-52, at The Pyramid. UCSB has not lost to the 49ers at home since Jan. 19, 1991, a stretch of 18 straight wins at the Thunderdome and UCSB holds a 40-3 mark vs. LBSU since the 1991-92 season. Last season the Gauchos had three players in double-digits in the win over LBSU in the final conference match of the season. Long Beach State is tied with the Gauchos with a 2-1 Big West mark after defeating UC Irvine last week. The 49ers are led by Karina Figueroa's 17.6 points per game average, which is second in the Big West.

• at UC Riverside, 1/16
UCSB is 18-11 all-time vs. UCR, including four straight victories. The Highlanders' last win over the Gauchos was in the Big West Tournament title game in 2007, which marked five straight wins by UCR over UCSB (including the 2006 Big West tourney title game, too). Riverside has three players averaging double digit points - led by Alyssa Morris' 11.7 points per game - but UCR allows its opponents to shoot 43% and score 70 points per game. UCR has dropped its first two conference games to Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton.

Probable Starters

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
10 Emilie Johnson G Leads BW in steals, min played & FT pct.
12 Ariana Gnekow G Averaging 4.2 rpg & 3.4 ppg in her starts
14 Jordan Franey F Her 4.8 rpg is second on the team
21 Meagan Williams G Avg. 15 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.0 apg last week
44 Mekia Valentine C Leads BW in blocks, reb and FG pct.
Possible Reserves

0 Bree Richardson G Avg. 9.5 min per game in 11 games
1 Sweets Underwood F Second on team with 75% FT shooting
3 Megan Kritscher F/C Avg. 1.7 ppg, 0.9 rpg in 7 games this year
11 Stefanie Corgel G Played 5 min in first half at Pacific
22 Chris Spencer G Avg. 6.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg in last 4 games
25 Jessie Goble F/C Has seen action in four games this year
32 Margaret Johnson F Held scoreless in 4 of past 6 games

• She's Our Valentine
Mekia Valentine ranks third in the nation with her 4.4 blocks per game and has swatted away 62 shots already this season, which is third all-time in UCSB single-season history. 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. In that time Big West play has proved to be the elixir for any woes - UCSB is 68-13 in conference play over that stretch.

• Biggest in the Big West
Speaking of UCSB's success in conference play ... Since the 1995-96 season, UCSB is 207-20 (.912) in Big West games.

• Watch Out for Williams
After averaging 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.5 blocks and 2.0 steals per game last week, senior Meagan Williams is making an impact across the board. The Sacramento native is third on the team with her 9.5 points per game and ranks second in minutes played (32.7 per game), field goal percentage (48.8%), assists (2.7 per), blocked shots (1.5 per) and steals (1.3 per).

• Swat Team
UCSB is averaging 6.7 blocks per game, which ranks the team fifth in the nation. UCSB has blocked 100 shots this season placing them 11th in school single-season history. Currently, the 1981-82 team is 10th with 101 blocks. The Gauchos are on pace for 194 blocks, which would shatter the school's single-season record of 140 (set in 2003-04).

• Leading Ladies
Not only do Mekia Valentine and Emilie Johnson lead the Gauchos in every statistical category, the duo rank at the top of the conference in several areas. Valentine leads the Big West with her 4.4 blocks per game, 7.7 rebounds per game and her 60.3% field goal mark (which is 11th in the nation). Johnson paces the conference with her 1.7 steals per game, her 86.4% free throw percentage and her 35.5 minutes per contest. The duo have accounted for 38% of the shots the entire team has attempted and has either led or tied for the team-high in scoring in nine of the Gauchos' 15 games.

• The Windex Crew
With a +4.2 rebound margin, UCSB leads the Big West by a healthy margin (Cal Poly's +0.4 is the only other school with a positive rebounding differential). UCSB has equaled or outrebounded its opponent in 11 of the team's 15 games and brings in an average of 39.8 boards per contest. Seven Gauchos average at least 3.5 rebounds per game.

• No Advantage at Home
UCSB has dropped five of its seven games at the Thunderdome this season, already surpassing the number of losses from last year when the Gauchos went 13-2 at home. The last UCSB team to drop more than five home games was the 2006-07 squad, which lost nine games at home.

• Not Necessarily "Free"
Last season UCSB set a school record by shooting 75.7% from the free throw line. This season the Gauchos' 65.7% from the charity stripe is eighth in the nine-team Big West.

• Sure Shot
Valentine's 60.3% field goal clip is 11th in the country and the 6-foot-4 junior from Greensboro, N.C. is on pace to break 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.

• 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.

• Talk'n Gauchos
UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.

• Listen Up!
All men's and women's basketball games will be broadcast live on AM 1490 and AM 990 again this year, and those games will also be available online, by clicking here.. And, UCSB Athletics is proud to announce that the baseball team will have over 20 games broadcast live on the air and through our website, UCSBgauchos.com.

• 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.