December 5, 2008

Gauchos Rout Nevada; Will Face Hot Gonzaga on Sunday

Dec. 5, 2008

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• The Schedule
Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (2-3) vs. Gonzaga (8-1) 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

Sunday, December 14, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (2-3) at Pepperdine (3-3) at Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game available on Gametracker

• The Match-Ups
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. Following a week off, the Gauchos travel down the coast to face Pepperdine, a team they have a 13-12 overall mark against. The Gauchos have not lost to the Waves since 1993, a streak of three straight wins - all accomplished in the last three seasons. UCSB defeated Pepperdine 65-63 on 12/17 last season.

• Pedersen Adds to School Record
Lauren Pedersen has not missed a free throw yet this season, going 20-for-20 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.

• 20-Point Wins
UCSB notched its first 20-point victory of the season when it defeated Nevada, 59-37 on Thursday. Last season the Gauchos had just two wins of at least 20 points. Until last season, UCSB had at least four 20-point victories since 2000-01, with a high of 13 done both in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.

• Another Nevada Knockout
The Gauchos continued their overall domination against Nevada, running their overall record to 16-3 vs. the Wolf Pack, including five straight wins.

• Free For All
The Gauchos entered the week sixth in the nation in free throw percentage and have shot an incredible 77.2% from the line this season, going 61-for-79. Along with Pedersen, Emilie Johnson (8-8) 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.

• Block Party
Sixth-year senior Jenna Green - who leads the team with a .516 field goal percentage - swatted five shots in the win over Nevada, one off her career-high. Green leads the team with nine blocks this season.

• Led by Lauren
Lauren Pedersen has led the Gauchos in scoring in four of the team's five games and the senior leads the Gauchos in just about every category. Pedersen paces the Gauchos in points (14.8 per game), rebounds (5.8 per game), assists (3.4 per game) and steals (2.6 per game). The Brea native also leads the Gauchos in field goals made and attempted as well as free throws made and attempted. Her five steals vs. Nevada also tied her career high.

• Margaret Makes Her Mark
Making her first start of the season - and her first since 3/8/08 vs. Long Beach State - Margaret Johnson led the team with six rebounds. The Lake Oswego, Ore. native led the team in rebounding three times last season.

• Three-rrific
After hitting just 15 three-pointers in their first 53 attempts - including a mere 5 for 30 in their previous two games - the Gauchos nailed 6 of 11 from beyond the arc against Nevada. It improved UCSB's three-point percentage by more than four points to its current 32.8% Last year the team shot 30.4% from downtown.

• 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.

• Bulldog Bits
The Bulldogs enter Sunday's game receiving votes in both the ESPN/USA Today and the Associated Press polls. Gonzaga last defeated Eastern Washington, 71-56, and has won three in a row. The Zags are led by junior forward Heather Bowman, who has twice been named the West Coast Conference's Player of the Week and is averaging 19.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 2.0 spg. Sophomore guard Courtney Vandersloot missed the team's last two games with a sprained ankle. Vandersloot was named the WCC's Player of the Week to open the season and is averaging 19.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 7.3 apg.

• War on the Boards
Whitney Warren is second on the team with 23 total rebounds. The senior, who averaged 3.8 rebounds per game last season has a 4.6 average through the first five games.

• Fresh Legs
Freshman Emilie Johnson leads the team in minutes played so far this season, averaging 35.2 minutes per contest. She has played 176 of a possible 200 minutes thus far after playing 68 of a possible 85 minutes in the Gauchos' two exhibition games. Johnson leads the team with nine three-pointers and is second on the team with 9.0 points per game.

• Congrats to Courtney
By sinking both free throw attempts vs. Nevada, Courtney Collishaw scored her first career collegiate points. The sophomore missed last season with a knee injury.

• 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.

• 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.