November 19, 2005

Gauchos Conclude Season-Opening Roadtrip Sunday at Louisville

Nov. 19, 2005

The Schedule
Game 2 • Sunday, Nov. 20, 2005 • 9:00 a.m. PST • Louisville, KY
UC Santa Barbara at Louisville • Freedom Hall (18,865)

Gauchos Play Second of Three Straight Games Against 2005 NCAA Tourney Teams
Just 38 hours after suffering its first season-opening loss in more than a decade, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team looks to regroup for a Sunday, Nov. 20 game at Louisville, making its 2005-06 debut. The Gaucho-Cardinal showdown is slated for a 12:00 p.m. EST/9:00 a.m. PST tip-off in Freedom Hall. UofL will the second of three straight UCSB opponents that advanced to the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Santa Barbara is looking to avoid back-to-back losses to open a season for the first time since 1993-94, when it stumbled to an 0-3 start.

Gauchos on the Air and Web
Sunday's UCSB-UofL contest will air live in Santa Barbara on KIST 1340AM with "Showtime" Steve Wendt handling play-by-play duties and Ben Alkaly attempting color commentary. The radio broadcast begins 15 minutes prior to tip-off with the "Gaucho Pregame Show". All of Santa Barbara's games in 2005-06 can also be heard live via the internet by pointing your browser to www.ucsbgauchos.com and purchasing the "UCSB All-Access Pass". Finally, live "Gametracker" scoring from Freedom Hall is available through UCSB's official athletic site as well.

Gauchos Dig Early Hole and Fall 86-55 at 10th-Ranked Michigan State
UCSB stumbled out of the gate in its season opener Friday night and could not recover against the nation's 10th-ranked team, falling 86-55 to Michigan State in the Breslin Center. The Spartans - who advanced all the way to the NCAA Championship game in 2005 - raced out to a 27-4 lead over the first eight minutes thanks in large part to the efficient shooting of Renee Haynes and All-American forward Liz Shimek. However the Gauchos staged a brief rally, closing the opening half on a 12-0 run that included a trio of three-pointers, pulling within 42-30 at intermission. Leading by only 11 points with 15 minutes to play, MSU erased any hopes of a Santa Barbara comeback with a dominating 16-2 run. While the defending Big Ten Champions owned an advantage in virtually every statistical category, UCSB's 16 turnovers were three-fewer than Michigan State's.

UCSB Three-Dot Data...
The Gauchos' first season-opening loss in 12 years was also its most lopsided defeat since a 107-74 setback at Arizona on Nov. 23, 1997...All 10 Santa Barbara players in uniform logged at least two minutes of action vs. MSU...In her first action in nearly a year due to an MCL tear, redshirt sophomore center Jenna Green led all Gauchos with 17 points, two-shy of her career high...Junior guard Erin O'Bryan launched 14 three-pointers at Michigan State, one short of the single-game school record set by Erin Alexander on Feb. 4, 1996...O'Bryan finished with 16 points Friday, the second-best effort of her career...LaShay Fears became the first UCSB freshman to start a season opener at point guard since Stacy Cinesmith in 1996-97...At Louisville, the Gauchos will regain the services of sophomore guard Jessica Wilson, forced to miss the opener due to a one-game NCAA suspension for playing in a scrimmage vs. Westmont College before her eligibility had been certified by UCSB administrators.

Cardinal Confidential
Louisville, in its first season as a member of the Big East Conference, played its only exhibition contest on Monday, Nov. 14, cruising past the Hoosier Lady Stars 85-55. Junior center Jazz Covington scored 15 points in that contest and is looking to build on her 2004-05 campaign when she was named First Team All-Conference USA and an honorable mention Associated Press All-American. Last season the Cardinals posted a 22-9 overall record and reached the first round of the Big Dance under head coach Tom Collen, who had UCSB assistant Carter Shaw on his staff from 2000-02 while at Colorado State. In their only prior meeting, the Gauchos topped UofL 78-67 ton Nov. 17, 2001 at the season-opening season at the Time Warner Cable Classic in Lincoln, Neb. Like UCSB, Louisville is currently receiving votes in the AP Top-25 Poll, and is also mentioned in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' rankings.