February 22, 2008

UCSB Aims To Stay Perfect In League Against Third Place UC Davis

Feb. 22, 2008

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The Schedule
Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (18-6, 12-0) vs. UC Davis Aggies (16-9, 10-3)
The Thunderdome (6,000)

For the Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's showdown with third place UC Davis sporting an overall record of 18-6 after defeating Pacific 62-51 Thursday night in the Thunderdome. The first place Gauchos have now won 14 straight overall -- the program's longest unbeaten streak since the 2001-02 season -- and will put their perfect 12-0 mark in Big West play on the line against an Aggie squad that has won its last six. Santa Barbara has not lost since dropping an 88-70 decision at the University of Montana on Dec. 28 and will look to close out its second consecutive month undefeated.

Gauchos on the Air & Web
Saturday's tilt with UC Davis 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. Former UCSB and Los Angeles Lakers star Don Ford will offer his infinite wisdom while handling the color commentary duties. KCSB, UCSB's student radio station, will also have the game and their broadcast can be heard live on 91.9 FM or online at www.kcsb.org. Fans can also watch the contest live via the internet by going to www.bigwest.tv and purchasing the UCSB season package or track the action with CSTV's GameTracker at www.UCSBgauchos.com.

UCSB Gets Defensive In Win Over Pacific
The Big West's top offense scored just 62 points against Pacific Thursday night, but it didn't matter as the Gauchos turned in one of their best performances of the season defensively. UCSB held the Tigers to just 20 points in the decisive second half and a total of 51 for the game, which was the second-lowest total for a Santa Barbara opponent this season (UCSB held Cal State Northridge to 44 points on Jan. 5). While the Gauchos shot 40% and failed to score 70 points for the first time since Jan. 24, they held UOP to just 35.3% shooting and limited the Tigers to a mere 12 points in the paint. Santa Barbara finished with 17 steals in the game -- one shy of the team's season high -- and forced a total of 23 turnovers. Sha'Rae Gibbons scored 14 points and Jessica Wilson finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, and a career-best eight steals to lead the Gauchos to their 14th consecutive victory. UCSB swept the season series with UOP for the fifth year in a row.

Scouting the Aggies
• Santa Barbara will look to make it 13-for-13 against league foes this season Saturday against UC Davis. The Gauchos hold a 9-2 advantage in the all-time series after outlasting the Aggies 62-53 in overtime in the first meeting of the year Jan. 24. Jessica Wilson scored nine of her team-high 20 points in the extra session and hauled in 11 rebounds to lead UCSB to the hard-fought victory in the Pavilion. Santa Barbara swept both meetings with Davis in 2006-07, including a 90-64 rout in the Thunderdome. The Aggies last defeated the Gauchos Feb. 11, 2006 in Davis by a 64-56 margin.

• Head coach Sandy Simpson is in his 11th year at the helm and brings back four starters from least year's squad that finished with an overall record of 13-16 and went 8-8 against Big West teams.

• UC Davis enters Saturday's rematch with an overall record of 16-9 and currently sits in the third spot in the conference standings with a 10-3 mark after defeating Cal Poly 53-47 Thursday night in San Luis Obispo. The Aggies pulled out the victory despite shooting just 36% from the field and getting hammered on the glass, 39-21. Davis leads the Big West allowing just 60.1 points per game defensively, while averaging 66.3 on the offensive end, a figure that ranks fourth. Senior guard Jessica Campbell has started every game this season and leads the team averaging 14.6 points to go with 4.5 rebounds. She ranks second in the conference shooting 53.2% from the field. Haylee Donaghe is second averaging 12.8 points per game, while hauling in 3.8 boards and Heather Baters is third averaging 10.2 along with a team-high 5.3 rebounds per night. The Aggies have won six of their last seven since falling to the Gauchos last month and own a record of 6-6 in true road contests this season.