November 26, 2007

Chisa Ononiwu Named Big West Player of the Week

Nov. 26, 2007

IRVINE, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara senior guard Chisa Ononiwu was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week for the week ending November 25, it was announced Monday. Ononiwu averaged 18.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in the Gauchos' 79-69 road victory over Loyola Marymount and 75-71 loss to No. 3 Maryland in the Thunderdome last week.

Ononiwu broke out of her shooting slump last Monday against the Lions, scoring a then-season-high 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting to lead UCSB to its first road victory of the season and first win over LMU since 2000. The Houston, Tex. native was also 3-for-4 from three-point territory and grabbed two rebounds and dished out two assists.

The 5-foot-7 guard was even better Friday against third-ranked Maryland, tallying a team-high 20 points on the strength of 4-of-8 shooting from distance. Ononiwu finished 6-of-14 overall from the field and hauled in a team-high eight rebounds as the Gauchos nearly pulled off the upset of the undefeated Terrapins.

Santa Barbara proved to be the biggest test the Terps (7-0) had seen this season, in large part because of the play of Ononiwu. Maryland had not won a game by less than 10 points entering it's tilt with UCSB, with its smallest margin of victory coming in a 76-66 win over No. 6 Oklahoma November 11.

For the week, Ononiwu shot 52.2% from the field, 58.3% from beyond the three-point arc, and knocked down 6-of-7 free-throws, 85.7%. This is UCSB's first player of the week award of the season.

The Gauchos (2-3) return to the road this week and will look to carry the momentum from their performance against Maryland into Thursday's match-up at Santa Clara. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m.

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