February 23, 2010

Gauchos Travel to CSUN on Wednesday, Close Out Home Schedule on Saturday

Feb. 23, 2010

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• The Schedule
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Northridge (4-20, 2-10)
at CSUN's Matadome (1,600)
Series record vs. the Matadors - 33-11
Streak - Won 6
Last time out vs. the Matadors - W, 69-55 (1/30/10)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal Poly (17-8, 10-3)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Mustangs - 49-15
Streak - Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Mustangs - L, 67-62 (1/30/10)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV
*Legend of the `Dome revealed* *Senior Day*

• 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, UCSBgauchos.com.

• 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 ( http://www.facebook.com/UCSBAthletics) where we are constantly giving away tickets and UCSB gear. And, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube page ( http://www.youtube.com/UCSBGauchosAthletics) where we update videos several times a week!

• Broken Record
This year's Gaucho team broke its own record last Saturday by blocking 15 shots vs. Cal State Fullerton, eclipsing its previous mark of 13 blocked shots, which the team set on Dec. 15 vs. UCLA. Over the past two seasons, UCSB has set and re-set its own blocked shot record (see chart, right).

• Swat Team
It's not like last Saturday was an aberration as far as blocks are concerned. The 2009-10 Gauchos already own the school record with 159 blocked shots, besting the previous mark of 140 set in 2003-04. UCSB ranks sixth in the nation with its average of 6.4 blocks per game. Baylor's average of 7.5 blocked shots per game leads the country.

• Valentine's Block Party
Leading the Gauchos' block party has been junior center Mekia Valentine, who swatted nine shots vs. Cal State Fullerton, giving her 94 this season. Already the single-season record holder, Valentine now ranks ninth all-time in career blocks at UCSB. Valentine needs just one more block to tie Kayte Christensen (1998-2002) for eighth in career blocks and five more to tie Erin Buescher (1997-2000) for seventh all-time. Valentine is third nationally with her average of 3.9 blocks per game. St. Mary's Louella Tomlinson is first in the nation with 6.4 blocks per game and Baylor's Brittney Griner is second with 6.0 per contest.

• For the Record
UCSB's 9-16 record marks the most defeats by a Gaucho team since the 1988-89 season when Santa Barbara went 9-19.

The Opponents

• at Cal State Northridge, 2/24
UCSB has defeated Northridge six straight times and 10 consecutive times at CSUN's Matadome, the site of next week's game. The last Gaucho loss in Northridge came on Dec. 1, 1984. In the Jan. 30 game this year between the teams, UCSB defeated CSUN, 69-55, which is the Gauchos' third largest win this season. The Matadors are led by Jasmine Erving's 14.0 points per game (4th in the Big West) though she tallied just four points vs. UCSB in the team's previous meeting. Katrina Thompson averages 5.7 rebounds per game (9th in the Big West).

• vs. Cal Poly, 2/27
UCSB closes out its home season vs. Cal Poly on Saturday, the first-place team in the Big West. The Mustangs defeated the Gauchos, 67-62, in the team's lone meeting this year, Jan. 28 at Mott Gym. Cal Poly, which snapped a six-game losing streak to the Gauchos, also won at home vs. UCSB for the first time since 2001. Cal Poly is led by Kristina Santiago, who averages 19.5 points (tops in the Big West) and 8.3 rebounds per game (second in the Big West). The Mustangs' Rachel Clancy leads the conference with her 45.7% clip from 3-point range while Cal Poly paces the Big West by averaging 72.6 points per game.

Probable Starters

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
10 Emilie Johnson G Leads team in points, assists & steals
12 Ariana Gnekow G Avg. 5.0 ppg and 5.5 rpg in Big West games
14 Jordan Franey F Avg. just 4.0 ppg over past 9 games
21 Meagan Williams G Avg. 12.7 ppg & 3.6 apg in conference
44 Mekia Valentine C 3.9 blocks per game is 3rd in nation

Possible Reserves

0 Bree Richardson G Has missed 8 games w/ foot stress fracture
1 Sweets Underwood F Avg. 2.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg in conference games
3 Megan Kritscher F/C Frosh has played in 13 games this year
11 Stefanie Corgel G Played career-high 15 minutes on 2/4
22 Chris Spencer G Scored career-high 16 points vs. CSUF
25 Jessie Goble F/C Missed last 10 games with back injury
32 Margaret Johnson F 4 points on Sat, most since 4 points on 1/2

• Big West Woes
UCSB is under .500 this far into conference play for the first time since holding a 6-9 mark in February, 1990. That was the last Gaucho team to finish the conference season with a sub-.500 record, going 8-10. At 6-7 in the Big West, this year's team has dropped their most games since losing seven conference games in the 1993-94 season. In the 1990-91 campaign, UCSB dropped eight Big West games.

• Leading Lady
Sophomore point guard Emilie Johnson leads the Gauchos with her 12.9 points per game average while also pacing the team in assists (80; 3.2 per game) and steals (44; 1.8 per game). Johnson would be the second player in as many years to lead the Gauchos in those categories after Lauren Pedersen did so last year. Pedersen, however, was the first UCSB player to accomplish the feat since Iesha Smith in 1993-94.

• We're a Boarding School
With a +4.9 rebound margin, UCSB leads the Big West (Cal Poly's +4.4 is the only other school with a positive rebounding differential) and it's an even better +7.8 differential in conference play. UCSB has equaled or outrebounded its opponent in 18 of the team's 25 games and brings in an average of 40.0 boards per contest. Mekia Valentine leads the Big West with her 8.6 rebounds per game mark.

• A Bad Long Distance Relationship
After shooting just 3-for-28 in its previous two games, UCSB hit 4 of 9 three-point attempts last Saturday, boosting its team average to 26.6% from downtown. That mark would rank second all-time in school history for lowest three-point percentage by a team, trailing the 2005-06 squad's 26.2%. (The NCAA introduced the bonus bomb in the 1987-88 season.)The Gauchos have endured 13 halves of basketball this season where it failed to hit a trey.

• Sharp-Shooting Spencer
Senior Chris Spencer scored a career-high 16 points on Saturday, besting her previous high of 14, which she accomplished twice this year. Spencer, who leads the team with her 45.5% mark from beyond the arc, is averaging 7.7 points per game during Big West play. Over her past six games (one of which she was held scoreless), the Traverse City, Mich. native is averaging 10.3 points per game while shooting 46.1% and hitting 53.3% of her shots from three-point land.

• Tenacious D
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 36.5% clip, which is also the lowest mark in the Big West. The Gauchos allow opponents an average of just 60.8 points per game, which also leads the conference, and would rank sixth all-time in school history.

• No Apples in This Turnover
UCSB has turned the ball over an average of 21.4 times per game, which is tied with Pacific for highest in the conference. The Gauchos' -5.24 turnover margin per game is 320th nationally (out of 332 teams). UCSB is on pace to commit 642 turnovers this season, which would rank ninth all-time in program single-season history.

• Mekia the Marksman
Valentine's 57.5% field goal clip leads the Big West (over Saturday's opponent, Kristina Santiago, who shoots 55.1%) and ranks the junior 12th in the nation. The Greensboro, N.C. native is challenging 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.