November 18, 2008

After Season-Opening Win, UCSB Takes to the Road

Nov. 18, 2008

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• The Schedule
Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara (1-0) at Fresno State (1-0)

at Fresno State's Save Mart Center

Watch live through CBS All-Access

Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM

Game available on Gametracker

Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara at Arizona (2-1)

at Arizona's McKale Center

Watch live through CBS All-Access

Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM

Game available on Gametracker

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990. Steve Wendt is in his fifth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of men's and women's games, but when Ford is not available at home games, former UCSB assistant coach Kristen Koch will fill in. When Ford is not available for road games, Matt Hurst, yours truly, will handle the task.

• The Match-Ups
UCSB faces a stout opening road trip when they play NCAA Tournament participant Fresno State and then Arizona. The Gauchos have not beaten the Bulldogs since 1993, however the teams have played just once since then. That was the Postseason WNIT in 2005 when Fresno State defeated UCSB 78-59, ending the Gauchos' season. UCSB is 8-18 all-time vs. Fresno State. UCSB beat Arizona in 2005, the last time the two teams played, but were just 1-5 against Arizona in the previous six meetings between the two. Overall, the Wildcats have a slight 7-6 edge in the series.

• Gott the First One
Lindsay Gottlieb earned her first career head coaching victory in the 75-66 win over San Diego on Sunday. By doing so, she became the fourth UCSB head coach to win their opener at the school. All three previous coaches - Bobbi Bonace in 1972, Darla Wilson in 1983 and Mark French in 1987 - all were victorious in their first game coaching the Gauchos.

• Four Score
Four Gauchos scored in double figures in the victory over San Diego, led by Lauren Pedersen's career-high 27. Kat Suderman and Emilie Johnson each had 11 points while Whitney Warren added 10. UCSB last had four players score in double-digits on 3/15/08 in the Big West Tournament final against UC Davis. The last time the Gauchos did that in a non-conference game was on 11/29/07 against Santa Clara when six players scored 10 or more points.

• LP = Lots of Points
Lauren Pedersen had one for the books against San Diego. The senior guard scored a career-high 27 points and notched four other career-bests in the win. Her 11 of 11 mark from the free throw line now stands as career highs in both makes and attempts, as does her seven field goals and 17 attempted.

• Welcome to the Big Time
Given more playing time because of Sha'Rae Gibbons' injury will be freshman Emilie Johnson, who made her first collegiate start in her first collegiate game, the first Gaucho to do that since Jordan Franey in 2006. Johnson finished with 11 points in 30 minutes, pulling down two rebounds. The Loomis, Calif. native led the Gauchos in minutes during the team's two exhibitions, playing 68 of a possible 85 minutes.

• Fresno Facts
Not only does UCSB have a losing overall record vs. Fresno State, but the Bulldogs are even tougher to beat on their home floor at Save Mart Center. Fresno State is 42-7 at home under head coach Adrian Wiggins and has a 10-game home winning streak. The Gauchos will see a familiar face on the floor in junior guard LaShay Fears, who began her collegiate career at UCSB and averaged 9.1 points, three assists and two steals in her sophomore season at Santa Barbara. The Bulldogs are also led by sophomore Jaleesa Ross, who was the WAC Tournament MVP last year and scored 17 points in the team's opener this season. Senior Bailey Amundsen also scored 17 in the Bulldogs' season-opening 97-88 win over CS Bakersfield and had a string of 17 straight games with a 3-pointer 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.

• Green Light
Sixth-year senior Jenna Green scored six points in 18 minutes in her first official game action since 3/17/07. 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• UCSB Inks Terrific Trio
The Gauchos announced last week 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.

• 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, who was for first.

• 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.

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