December 2, 2008

Gauchos Return Home After Three-Game Road Swing

Dec. 2, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

• The Schedule
Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (1-3) vs. Nevada (4-3) at UCSB's Thunderdome
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game broadcast on KCSB 91.9 FM and online at kcsb.org
Game available on Gametracker

Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (1-3) vs. Gonzaga (7-1) at UCSB's Thunderdome
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game broadcast on KCSB 91.9 FM and online at kcsb.org
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 returns home for two games after a three game road trip, first facing Nevada, a team the Gauchos have had immense success against. UCSB holds a 15-3 record vs. the Wolf Pack. This will be the first meeting between the schools since 2/27/2000, an 86-60 UCSB win. The Gauchos have won the past four meetings between the schools. When UCSB and Gonzaga tip off, it will only be the second time in history the two schools have faced each other. The previous time, 12/30/1999, was a 76-58 UCSB victory at Gonzaga.

• Pedersen's School Record
Lauren Pedersen has not missed a free throw yet this season, going 18 for 18 from the line. The senior's free throw perfection is the best start to a season by any player in UCSB history and her perfect mark currently leads the nation.

• Third Time, No Charm
The last time UCSB lost three games in a row came during a five-game winless streak that lasted from Nov. 12, 2006 until Dec. 4, 2006 when the Gauchos opened the 2006-07 season 1-5.

• At the Point
Emilie Johnson is the first UCSB freshman to start her first four games at point guard since LaShay Fears did so in 16 straight games to open the 2005-06 season. This distinction is so rare that Johnson is only the third Gaucho in the last decade to start her career as the Gauchos' starting point guard, following Fears and Stacy Clinesmith, who started all 30 games at point during her freshman season in 1996-97.

• Free For All
The Gauchos have shot an incredible 80% from the free throw line this season - which is sixth in the nation - going 52 for 65 through the first four games. Along with Pedersen, Emilie Johnson (6-6) and Ashlee Brown (5-5) have also been perfect from the line. Last season UCSB finished with a 70.7% mark from the free throw line - third-highest in school history - while the UCSB all-time mark is 73.9% set in the 2002-03 season.

• Led by Lauren
Despite fouling out with just two points vs. USC, Lauren Pedersen leads the Gauchos in just about every category through the first four games. She has been UCSB's leading scorer, totaling 59 points - a 14.8 average.From the field, Pedersen has gone 18 for 53, leading the team in field goals and field goals attempted. Just 5-foot-10, Pedersen also leads the team through the first three games with 26 rebounds and eight steals. She has gone 18-18 from the free throw line, leading the team in both categories.

• Green Means Go
Sixth-year senior Jenna Green is shooting 60% (15-25) from the field so far this season, which leads the team. The UCSB record for a season is .596 done by Kira Anthofer in 1985-86. Green entered this season fourth all-time with a .535 field goal mark in her UCSB career.

• Thrifty With Three's
As good as UCSB has been from the free throw line, it's been a different story from beyond the three-point line. After shooting just 5-30 in the past two games, UCSB is now 15 for 53 from beyond the arc this season, 28.3%. Last year the team shot 30.4% from downtown.

• War on the Boards
Whitney Warren is second on the team with 18 total rebounds. The senior, who averaged 3.8 rebounds per game last season has a 4.5 average through the first four games.

• Cleaning the Glass
Meagan Williams has a knack for offensive rebounds as the junior grabbed four of her six rebounds vs. USC on the offensive end. For the season eight of Williams' 14 rebounds are offensive and for her career she has 114 offensive boards to 81 defensive rebounds.

• Fresh Legs
Freshman Emilie Johnson leads the team in minutes played so far this season, averaging 36.2 minutes per contest. She has played 145 of a possible 160 minutes thus far after playing 68 of a possible 85 minutes in the Gauchos' two exhibition games. Johnson leads the team with seven three-pointers and is second on the team with 9.0 points per game.

• Nevada Knowledge
Nevada has won three games in a row, including a 85-82 upset of then-No. 7 Louisville in its last game. The Wolf Pack is led by senior point guard Dellena Criner, who averages 17 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Criner was named the WAC Player of the Week after scoring 25 points with six rebounds in the win over Louisville.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

The Lindsay Gottlieb File
Lindsay Gottlieb is just the fourth coach that the UCSB women's basketball program has ever known. Hired in May to succeed longtime coach Mark French, who spent 21 years at the helm of the program, Gottlieb is in her first season as a head coach. By going 1-3 in the first two games of her career, Gottlieb has started the same way two other UCSB coaches did at Santa Barbara - Bobbi Bonace in 1972 and Darla Wilson in 1983. Gottlieb inherits a team that has made 13 consecutive postseason appearances, but the Scarsdale, N.Y. native is no stranger to success. Part of Cal's coaching staff since 2005, Gottlieb helped turn the Golden Bears into perennial contenders and a formidable force in the Pac-10, as the team went 68-28 (.708) in her time as an assistant and associate head coach. Prior to her arrival at Cal, Gottlieb was an assistant to Joanne Boyle at the University of Richmond, where she helped lead the Spiders to three straight 20-win seasons and a postseason appearance each season. In 2004-05 Richmond made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 14 seasons. Before coaching at Richmond, Gottlieb spent one season as an assistant at the University of New Hampshire and two seasons prior to that at Syracuse.