Gauchos, Feeling Pink, Will Honor Legend on Thursday vs. UCR

Gauchos, Feeling Pink, Will Honor Legend on Thursday vs. UCR

Feb. 9, 2010

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• The Schedule
Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Riverside (10-13, 7-3)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Highlanders - 18-12
Streak - Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Highlanders - L, 77-60 (1/16/10)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV
*UCSB's Pink Zone Event* *First women's basketball "Legend of the `Dome" revealed*

Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Long Beach State (9-13, 5-4)
at Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid (5,000)
Series record vs. the 49ers - 42-19
Streak - Lost 1
Last time out vs. the 49ers - L, 78-63 (1/14/10)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

• Gauchos Feeling Pink
UCSB's women's basketball team will hold its annual Pink Zone game this Thursday vs. UC Riverside. The first 250 fans in the Thunderdome doors will receive a free T-shirt. Fans will also be able to purchase a player-designed pink warm-up shirt. Click here for more information.

• A Legend Will Be Unveiled
Thursday's game will also be a women's "Legends of the 'Dome" event, unveiling the first legend from the women's basketball program. The legends ceremony will honor UCSB's first women's basketball legend and the third in the inaugural class. Click here to find out more about previous legends Roberta Gehlke of women's volleyball and Carrick DeHart of men's basketball.

The UCSB Athletics Ticket Office is also offering The Legends Pack. For $40 fans will receive four tickets to the legends game, along with four hot dogs and four sodas. Please click here to purchase or call (805) 893-UCSB.

• Swat Team
UC Santa Barbara averages 6.0 blocks per game, ranking the team first in the Big West (Cal State Northridge is second with 4.1 blocks per game) and ninth overall in the nation. As a team, the Gauchos have blocked 132 total shots this season already ranking the squad third all-time in school single-season history. The 2000-01 team is second with 136 total blocks and the 2003-04 team is first with 140. This year's team is on pace for 174 blocked shots.

• Happy Valentine's Day
Mekia Valentine already holds UCSB's single-season record for blocked shots (her 78 are nine more than Lindsay Taylor's 2001-02 total) and the 6-foot-4 junior ranks third in the country with her 3.7 blocks per game average. Valentine also ranks 10th all-time in the program's career for blocked shots and is 10 swats away from tying Kristi Rohr (1996-2000) for ninth place all-time in career blocks.

• Spencer Fills It Up
Senior Chris Spencer has poured in 40 points over her last three games for a 13.3 per game average and has twice scored 14 points in that time, equaling her career high. Over her past eight games - all conference games, mind you - Spencer is averaging 8.8 points per game. Over that same stretch the Traverse City, Mich. native is hitting 52.6% of her 3-point attempts (10 of 19) and is shooting 48.1% from downtown on the season.

• Lock `Em Down
Following up last season's 34.4% that UCSB allowed opponents to shoot - which was best in the conference - this year's team is holding opponents to a 37.4% clip, which is also the lowest mark in the Big West. The Gauchos allow opponents an average of just 61.4 points per game, which is second-best in the conference, and would rank sixth all-time in school history.

The Opponents

• vs. UC Riverside, 2/11
UCSB had its four-game win streak vs. UCR snapped on Jan. 16 when the Highlanders beat the Gauchos, 77-60, which counted as Riverside's biggest margin of victory over UCSB. The Gauchos are 18-12 all-time vs. UCR. Riverside has four players averaging double digit points - led by Rhaya Neabors' 12.8 ppg and Alyssa Morris' 12.6 points per game - but UCR allows its opponents to shoot 41.4% and score 66 points per game. UCR has won six of its past seven games and is 6-3 in the Big West, good for third.

• at Long Beach State, 2/13
Long Beach State snapped an 18-game losing streak to the Gauchos in the Thunderdome the last time the two teams met, besting the Gauchos, 78-63. It was LBSU's first win in Santa Barbara since January, 1991. The 15-point victory was Long Beach's largest over the Gauchos since an 89-59 drubbing in the Big West Tournament on March 8, 1990. UCSB, however, has won 40 of its past 44 meetings with the 49ers. Long Beach State is led by Karina Figueroa's 17.0 points per game (second in the Big West) and her 5.6 assists per game (first in conference). Lauren Sims leads the conference with her 2.5 made 3-pointers per game.

Probable Starters

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
10 Emilie Johnson G Double-digit scoring in 7 of last 8 games
12 Ariana Gnekow G Avg. 7.2 ppg and 8.0 rpg over past 5 games
14 Jordan Franey F Has started all but one game this year
21 Meagan Williams G Leads team with 13.2 ppg in BW games
44 Mekia Valentine C Has posted 6 double-doubles this year

Possible Reserves

0 Bree Richardson G Remains out with foot stress fracture
1 Sweets Underwood F Avg. just 11.4 min over past 5 games
3 Megan Kritscher F/C Avg. 2.6 rpg in conference action
11 Stefanie Corgel G Played career-high 15 minutes last Thurs.
22 Chris Spencer G Avg. 13.3 ppg over her past 3 games
25 Jessie Goble F/C Missed last seven games with back injury
32 Margaret Johnson F Missed last four games with ankle injury

• For the Record
UCSB's record of 8-14 is the program's toughest start since going 4-22 in the 1986-87 season, which was Darla Wilson's final season as head coach. The Gauchos' five losses in conference play are the program's most since the 1994-95 season when UCSB finished 13-5 in the Big West. The Gauchos, who will play 29 regular-season games before the Big West Tournament, are in danger of recording their first losing season since 1989-90 when they were 13-15 overall and 8-10 in the Big West. Including this year, UCSB has had double-digit losses over an entire season just four times in the past 16 years.

• Biggest in the Big West
Despite the Gauchos' 5-5 mark in conference play this year, UCSB is 210-24 (.897) in Big West games since the 1995-96 season.

• By The Numbers
Some trends to know about this year's Gaucho team: when UCSB allows 60 or more points, it is 1-10; when UCSB scores 60 or more points, it is 6-4; when the Gauchos are leading at halftime, they are 8-2 and 0-12 when trailing or tied at the break; when an opponent shoots over 40% in a game, the Gauchos are 0-10; and when UCSB has fewer turnovers than its opponent, it is 4-0.

• Triple Threats
Over the past four games UCSB is shooting a robust 45.8% from beyond the 3-point line (hitting 22 of 48 in that span) and established a new season-high with 10 made vs. UC Davis on Saturday. In this hot-shooting stretch, the Gauchos have raised their overall 3-point shooting clip by 3.8 percentage points. In doing so, currently the team would no longer be on pace for the program's lowest-ever 3-point shooting output since the NCAA introduced the bonus bomb in the 1987-88 season. (see chart, below).

Lowest 3-Point Pct. by Year
Year	Total
1. 2005-06	26.2
2. 1993-94	26.8
3. 1987-88	27.8
4. 2009-10	27.9
5. 1990-91	28.0
6. 1988-89	28.1
7. 2007-08	30.4
8. 1989-90	31.1
9. 2008-09	32.2
10. 1991-92	33.0

• Mekia the Marksman
Valentine's 59.2% field goal clip leads the Big West and would rank ninth in the nation if she qualified for the category (the NCAA minimum is 5.0 field goals made per game and Valentine averages 4.9 per game). The Greensboro, N.C. native 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. Valentine is hitting 61.3% of her shots in conference action.

• Neato For Gnekow
In her past five games, senior guard Ariana Gnekow has established new career-highs and is playing the best basketball of her career. On Saturday vs. UC Davis, she scored a career-best 12 points, following up the career-high 11 rebounds she had last Thursday vs. Pacific. Over the last five games Gnekow is averaging 7.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. On the season, the 5-foot-9 senior is averaging a career-high 4.1 ppg and 4.5 rpg and has been even better in conference play, averaging 5.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

• Watch For Williams
Senior Meagan Williams leads the Gauchos with 13.2 points per Big West game and has reached double digits in seven of 10 conference games (and 10 overall this year, eclipsing her combined total of six games through her previous three years at UCSB). The Sacramento native is second on the team with her 3.2 assists and 2.1 steals per conference game.

• Leading Lady
Aside from leading UCSB with her 12.9 points per game, sophomore Emilie Johnson paces the Gauchos with her 3.3 assists per game, 1.8 steals per game, her 43 three-pointers made and her 36.6 minutes per game.

• Watch Our New YouTube Video
UCSB Athletics just created a new video featuring Mekia Valentine, Jessie Goble and our mascot, Olé. Watch it by clicking here.

• Listen To All UCSB Games On AM-990 KTMS
All women's basketball games are broadcast live on 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,

• Get Your Tickets!
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.

• Follow the Gauchos
Want a chance to win free tickets to home basketball games and other events? Want to win free gear? Of course you do! Follow UCSB Athletics through Twitter ( click here to do so) or become a fan of UCSB Athletics on Facebook ( where we are constantly giving away tickets and UCSB gear. And, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube page ( where we update videos several times a week!

• 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.