UCSB Opens Big West Play vs. Long Beach State

Dec. 31, 2008

• The Schedule
Friday, January 2, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (4-6) vs. Long Beach State (3-8) at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game available on Gametracker

Sunday, January 4, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (4-6) vs. UC Riverside (3-8) at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
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.

• Facing the 49ers
The Gauchos hold a 39-38 all-time mark against Long Beach State, the school's fourth-most wins vs. any opponent in history. UCSB swept the 49ers last year, winning 72-69 in the Thunderdome and 70-62 in Long Beach. UCSB has not lost to the 49ers since Jan. 7, 2006. The Gauchos have not lost to Long Beach State at the Thunderdome since Jan. 19, 1991.

• Handling the Highlanders
UCSB and UC Riverside, Sunday's opponent were chosen to finish 1-2 in both the media and coaches preseason Big West polls. UCSB swept the Highlanders last season, winning at home on Jan. 31, 73-61 and in Riverside on March 1, 70-62. The last time UCSB lost to UCR came on March 10, 2007 in the Big West Tournament, 70-67.

• Biggest in the Big West
Since the 1995-96 season, UC Santa Barbara has posted a 188-18 (.913) record against league foes.

• The Defense Doesn't Rest
Through 10 games the Gauchos have allowed just 580 points, or 58.0 per game, nearly setting a school record. It is the third-lowest point total through 10 games in UCSB history. The last time UCSB has allowed so few points in its first 10 games came in the 1973-74 season - the second season in UCSB history - when the Gauchos gave up 452. The season prior, the Gauchos' inaugural season, UCSB allowed 536 points through its first 10 games.

• 40 and Under Only
Twice already this season the Gauchos have held an opponent under 40 points, doing it in wins over Nevada and Santa Clara. The last time UCSB held two opponents to 40 or fewer points came in the 2002-03 season when the Gauchos prevented three teams - Cal State Fullerton, Pacific, UC Riverside - from scoring at least 40 points.

• Green's Block Party
Jenna Green blocked two more shots vs. Santa Clara to give her 20 this season and a 2.0 average per game which leads the Big West. Green's 144 career blocks is 36 shy of second-place in UCSB history behind Kris Grazzini (1992-96). She is on pace for 58 blocks this year, which would be third all-time in a single season.

• A (Half) Grand Occasion
Whitney Warren surpassed the 500-point barrier with her season-high 16 points vs. Kentucky. Soon to join Warren in the 500 club will be junior Jordan Franey (47 points away) and senior Lauren Pedersen (60 points).

• Climbing the Charts
In recent news from the NCAA, Jenna Green's statistics from the four games she played during the 2007-08 season do count to her career totals despite receiving a medical redshirt. The sixth-year senior has accumulated 1,301 career points, putting her into 15th place all-time in UCSB history. Entering Friday's game, Green is 17 points shy of tying Kayte Christensen (1998-2002) for 14th place and 25 points away from Becky Brown (1989-1993).

• Free For All
After shooting just 57.9% from the free throw line vs. Santa Clara - a season low - UCSB is now shooting 74.8% from the stripe this season. Lauren Pedersen leads the Gauchos - and is second in the Big West - with an 84.1% mark while Emilie Johnson (11-11), Ashlee Brown (8-10), Margaret Johnson (4-5), Whitney Warren (15-20) and Meagan Williams (6-8) are all shooting 75% or better from the stripe. The UCSB all-time single-season free throw mark is 73.9%, set during the 2002-03 season.

• Getting Defensive
UCSB leads the Big West in defensive field goal percentage, limiting opponents to a 36.6% mark from the field and the 58.0 points per game UCSB allows is also first.

• Spencer's Career Day
Chris Spencer grabbed a career-high five rebounds vs. Santa Clara, eclipsing her previous high of four done on Jan. 23, 2006 against Eastern Illinois while she was with Wisconsin. Spencer's two three-pointers vs. Santa Clara also tied her career-best, which was done in the same game against Eastern Illinois.

• Freshman Phenom
Emilie Johnson is the first UCSB freshman to start her collegiate career at point guard since LaShay Fears did so in 16 straight games to open the 2005-06 season. Johnson has started all 10 of the Gauchos' games at the point. This distinction is so rare that Johnson is only the third Gaucho in the last decade to open 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. Johnson leads the Gauchos in minutes played this season, averaging 32.3 minutes per contest. The Loomis, Calif. native leads the team with 14 three-pointers and is fifth on the team with 7.3 ppg.

• War on the Boards
Whitney Warren averaged just 3.8 rebounds per game last season, yet the Lawndale, Calif. native leads the the team with a 5.1 per game average this season.

• On the Rebound
Lauren Pedersen is second on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game. If she finishes the season leading the team it will be the second straight season a guard has led the Gauchos in rebounding. Jessica Wilson's 6.3 rpg last season paced the team. Pedersen would be just the fourth guard to lead the team in rebounding since 1981-82 when Patty Franklin did it (also Erin Buescher from 1997-2000 and Wilson).

• Skid Row
UCSB dropped three games in a row two separate times this season. It is the first time since the 2005-06 season that a UCSB team has had two such streaks. During that season the Gauchos opened the year on a five-game losing streak before dropping three straight from Feb. 9-Feb. 16, 2006.

• The Gaucho Way
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."

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