UCSB Officially Opens Gottlieb Era Vs. San Diego

Nov. 14, 2008

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• The Schedule
Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. UC Santa Barbara vs. San Diego at UCSB's Thunderdome Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM Game streaming live on bigwest.tv

Game broadcast online at kcsb.org

Game available on Gametracker

• The Match-Up
When UCSB and San Diego tip-off on Sunday, it will be the first time the teams have played each other since the 2007 NIT, a game UCSB won 75-63. The Gauchos have beaten the Toreros in three straight meetings - 2007, 2003 and 1996 - by an average of 26 points over those three games. The last time San Diego beat the Gauchos came in 1994. Overall, UCSB holds a 12-5 edge in the series.

• Sorry for Sha'Rae
Senior Sha'Rae Gibbons had successful surgery last week to repair a fracture in her left pinkie and will miss a portion of the 2008-09 season. Gibbons was expected to be the team's starting point guard after averaging 9.5 points per game last year while leading UCSB with 107 assists.

• Welcome to the Big Time
Given more playing time because of Gibbons' absence will be freshman Emilie Johnson. The Loomis, Calif. native led the Gauchos in minutes during the team's two exhibitions, playing 68 of a possible 85 minutes. In the two games, the 5-foot-6 guard totaled 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists during her first appearances in a UCSB uniform.

• UCSB Inks Terrific Trio
The Gauchos announced on Friday that they have signed three Southern California standouts to National Letters of Intent. The players who will be part of the Gauchos' 2009-10 team are Perris High's Destini Mason, Pacific Hills School's Briahna Richardson and Compton Centennial's Grovinya "Sweets" Underwood. Mason, a 5-foot-10 guard, averaged 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game as a junior. Richardson, the daughter of former NBA player Pooh Richardson, averaged 13.3 ppg, 5.4 apg 4.4 steals per game and 1.4 blocks per game last year. Underwood, a 6-foot forward, posted totals of 17 ppg, 12 rpg, 2 bpg and 3 spg last season.

• Five Alive
In a recent ESPN.com story, the Gauchos were rated as the fifth-best Mid-Major in the nation. Coming off a 23-8 season and returning four starters - not including Jenna Green - the article said the Gauchos "should be very, very good." UCSB trails only Illinois State, Old Dominion, Marist and Gonzaga in the rankings. The Gauchos host Gonzaga on Sunday, December 7 at 2 p.m.

• Gott to Love It
The Lindsay Gottlieb era officially begins on Sunday in the Gauchos' 2008-09 lid-lifter. Just the fourth head coach the women's basketball program has ever known, Gottlieb guided the Gauchos to a pair of victories in her exhibition debut. She is the first coach not named Mark French to head the program since Darla Wilson left following the 1986-87 season.

• The Take on the Toreros
The University of San Diego should be a team Lindsay Gottlieb knows well. The Toreros' final game last season came in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, resulting in a 77-60 defeat to Cal. Gottlieb was the associate head coach at Cal last season until landing at UCSB this year. USD, which finished last year 19-13 overall and won the West Coast Conference Tournament, is led by All-WCC First-Team honoree Amber Sprague. A 6-5 senior center from San Diego, Sprague put together an impressive junior season as she averaged a double-double in conference action with a 14.3 points-per-game average to go along with a 10.2 rebounds-per-game average. Sprague became the 10th player in the history of the program to eclipse the 1,000 career point mark this past season and just the third player to do it in three years. Sprague currently has 1,243 career points, good for second all-time. The Toreros also return All-WCC Freshman team member, 6-1 Sam Child, who averaged 11.8 points per game last year.

• Gauchos Picked Second in Big West
UCSB was picked to finish second in the Big West by both the coaches and media members at the recent Big West media day last week. The Gauchos, who went 15-1 in conference play last year, finished with two first place votes and 55 total points in the coaches poll - five points behind UC Riverside. In the media poll, the Gauchos received five first-place votes, but wound up tied with UC Davis for second with 83 points, six total points behind UC Riverside for first.

• Green Light
When Jenna Green gets onto the court Sunday, it will mark the first time she's played in a game in nearly a year. Green played three games at the start of the 2007-08 campaign - scoring 42 points with 16 rebounds - before being granted a medical redshirt. Green, whose first season at UCSB was in 2003-04, averaged 16.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in her last season that counted, 2006-07. She is a two-time All-Big West First Team selection and she was selected to the conference's Preseason All-Big West squad. The San Jose, Calif. native's third-highest point total came against San Diego on 3/15/07 when she poured in 25.

• Kat Can Do
Senior Kat Suderman followed up her 2007-08 All Big West First-Team selection with two stellar exhibition games, scoring a team-high 15 points with a team-high five rebounds in the win over Westmont. Against Vanguard, Suderman scored 13 points and had six rebounds.

• Pedersen's Production
Senior Lauren Pedersen could see plenty of time at both guard spots this season due to Sha'Rae Gibbons' injury. Pedersen showed she's more than up to the task in the Vanguard game. Pedersen led the Gauchos with 17 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. She also dished out six assists and had four steals.

• Malibu's Most Wanted
In accordance with the NCAA transfer rules, junior Christine Spencer must sit out a full year before being able to don the blue and gold. When the Gauchos face Pepperdine on Dec. 14 in Malibu, Spencer will be eligible to play her first game at UCSB after transferring from Wisconsin. The Traverse City, Mich. native averaged 2.3 points and 1.5 rebounds while shooting 37.5% from three-point range in 27 games at Wisconsin.

• Kritscher's Knee Knowledge
Freshman Megan Kritscher will miss the start of the season due to a left knee injury. The 6-foot-3 center from Woodland, Calif. is out indefinitely.

• Valentine Void
Mekia Valentine will not play for UCSB this year since the 6-foot-4 Wake Forest transfer must sit out one year in accordance with NCAA rules.