Following First Win, Gauchos Head to Oregon

Dec. 2, 2009

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• The Schedule
Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 7:05 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Portland State (2-5)
at Portland State's Peter W. Stott Center (1,500)
Series record vs. the Vikings - 2-2
Streak - Won 1
Last time out vs. the Vikings - W, 67-61 (1/14/09)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker

Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Oregon State (4-1)
at Oregon State's Gill Coliseum (10,400)
Series record vs. the Beavers - 3-2
Streak - Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Beavers - L, 70-51 (2/24/09)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker

• Talk'n Gauchos
UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.

• Listen Up!
All men's and women's basketball games will be broadcast live on AM 1490 and AM 990 again this year, and those games will also be available online by clicking here.. And, UCSB Athletics is proud to announce that the baseball team will have over 20 games broadcast live on the air and through our website.

• Emilie's Effort
Emilie Johnson had one of the finest games by a Gaucho player in recent history when she poured in a career-high 29 points in UCSB's 75-65 win over San Diego on Sunday. The sophomore guard was 9 of 16 from the field - including a career-best 5-for-8 from three-point range - and hit all six of her free throws. It was the most points scored by a UCSB player since Jessica Wilson scored 30 on Nov. 10, 2006 at Portland State. For her efforts, Johnson was named Big West Player of the Week, her first such honor.

• Block Party
Junior center Mekia Valentine has swatted 23 shots in her four games - an average of 5.8 per game, which ranks her third in the nation. She has already put her name in the school's single-game record books with two games of seven blocks and another with six (see chart, right). Valentine is already nearly halfway to Jenna Green's team-high 57 blocks from last season and is just 23 away from breaking into UCSB's single-season top-10. The school record for blocks in a season belongs to Lindsay Taylor, who swatted 69 shots in 2001-02.

• Road Warriors
UCSB won its first game on the road last Sunday whereas last season the Gauchos didn't win their first road game until Jan. 8 after dropping their first five away games.

Probable Starters

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
10 Emilie Johnson G Big West Player of the Week
21 Meagan Williams G Averaging 7.6 ppg and 4.4 rpg
32 Margaret Johnson F Made first start of year at San Diego
14 Jordan Franey F Broke out of shooting slump with 11 pts
44 Mekia Valentine C Avg. 5.8 blocks per game - it's not a typo
Possible Reserves

0 Bree Richardson G DNP vs. SD, but avg. 10.8 min per game
1 Sweets Underwood F Averaging 14.6 minutes per game
3 Megan Kritscher F/C Has seen time in 3 of team's 5 games
11 Stefanie Corgel G Made her UCSB debut @ Nevada
12 Ariana Gnekow G Averaging 3.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg
22 Chris Spencer G Missed San Diego game with leg injury
25 Jessie Goble F/C 2 rebs, 1 block in 4 minutes vs LMU
33 Destini Mason G One of 5 freshman on team

• Tough Start
Opening the season with four straight losses marked the first time a UCSB team started that way since the 2005-06 season (losing five straight). That was also the last time a UCSB team lost four games in a row, regardless of where it fell on the schedule.

• Swat Team
Behind Valentine's record pace, UCSB leads the Big West with its 6.8 blocks per game average, which is seventh in the country. Against Kentucky, the Gauchos blocked 12 shots, which ties the school record for a single game, set Feb. 24 of last season vs. Oregon State. If the Gauchos' keep their current pace they would shatter the single-season record of 140 set in 2003-04 as they are on pace for 197 blocks. While Valentine has 23 of the team's 34 blocks, Meagan Williams is second with six swats.

• On the Rebound
Even though UCSB dropped its first four games, the Gauchos outrebounded their opposition in every one of their contests. Sunday's victory, though, saw San Diego outrebound the Gauchos. UCSB is averaging 36.2 rebounds per game while opponents are grabbing an average of 34.6 boards per game - a +1.6 margin, which leads the Big West. The Gauchos also have six players pulling down at least 3.0 rebounds per game.

• Seven and Seven
After making just seven three-pointers spread out over their first four games - an average of just 1.8 per game - UCSB canned 7 of 13 from downtown vs. San Diego, matching their season output.

• Dynamic Duo
Mekia Valentine and Emilie Johnson are averaging 17.3 and 14.6 points per game, ranking them fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Big West. The pair have taken 109 of UCSB's 255 total shots, or 42.7% of the Gauchos' entire output. Valentine and Johnson are also the team's leading rebounders at 9.3 and 5.0 (Chris Spencer has a 6.5 rebound average, but in just two games). Valentine's rebound total leads the Big West, as does her 62.8 shooting percentage.

• Baby, It's Cold Outside
Despite hitting those seven bonus bombs vs. San Diego, UCSB is still shooting just 20.9% from beyond the arc this season. UCSB missed all 10 of its three-point attempts vs. Kentucky, the second time this season the Gauchos have missed all of their downtown attempts (also 0-for-17 at Nevada). The last time a UCSB team went 0-for twice in a game from three-point range was the 2004-05 team, although that squad was 0-for-6 in one game and 0-for-1 in another. Prior to this season, the last time UCSB went at least 0-for-10 from downtown came in a Nov. 26, 2005 loss at BYU when the Gauchos missed all 13 of their three-point attempts.

• Making a Point
Last season UCSB allowed just 55.5 points per game - second-best in school single-season history - while opponents shot just 34.6% vs. the Gauchos. This season, though, it's been a bit different. UCSB is allowing 68.2 points per game while opponents are shooting 41.6%.

• `Dome Sweet `Dome
When the calendar flips to 2010, it will mark the 30th year the Thunderdome has been used for home games and in that time, the UCSB women's basketball team has enjoyed a large majority of its success inside the `Dome. The Gauchos have won over 400 games in the Thunderdome's existence, but over the past two decades, it has really proved to be a home court advantage. Since 1991, UCSB is 200-41 in the Thunderdome, an astounding winning percentage of .830.

• Halfway There
Last season UCSB hit the 70-point mark on just four occasions. So far this year the Gauchos have done it twice.

• Double Digit Defeats
The last time a UCSB team dropped three consecutively scheduled games by double-digits was during the 1989-90 season.

• Stay in Touch With the Gauchos
Three people will keep fans abreast of all things related to the women's basketball team this year through UCSBgauchos.com. Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb has her own Twitter page at twitter.com/UCSBCoachG and Emilie Johnson and Margaret Johnson both write for the blog "Johnsons' Journal." Each social networking tool can be found on the women's basketball page at UCSBgauchos.com.

• The Lindsay Gottlieb File
Lindsay Gottlieb is in her second season as the Gauchos' head coach, and she is just the fourth head coach in UCSB women's basketball history. Last season Gottlieb guided the Gauchos to a 22-10 overall mark (15-1 in the Big West) and the Big West regular-season and tournament championships. Named the Big West Coach of the Year, Gottlieb became the first coach in Gaucho history to win at least 20 games and the Coach of the Year award in her first season - and one of only seven coaches nationwide to do so. Gottlieb led the Gauchos to their 14th consecutive postseason appearance and the team won 20 games for the 12th time in the past 14 years. In her first season at the helm of the program, Gottlieb guided the Gauchos to national prominence, ranking in the top-10 in field goal percentage defense, a top-20 finish in points allowed per game while watching her team set a school record for free throw percentage. No stranger to success, Gottlieb was formerly the associate head coach at Cal, helping the team to a 68-28 (.708) overall mark in her time there. Prior to that, Gottlieb was an assistant at the University of Richmond, where she helped the Spiders to three straight 20-win seasons.

• Say Goodbye
UCSB lost five players who were critical to the Gauchos' success last season when Sha'Rae Gibbons, Jenna Green, Lauren Pedersen, Kat Suderman and Whitney Warren all graduated. The quintet took 563 games of experience with them along with 1,169 points from last season - or 61% of the team's scoring output from 2008-09.

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