UCSB Looks to Snap Skid Friday vs. USF

UCSB Looks to Snap Skid Friday vs. USF

• The Schedule
Friday, December 2, 2011,  at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. San Francisco (1-7)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Dons – 2-6
Streak – Won 2
Last time out vs. the Dons – W, 71-38 (@ USF, 12/5/10)
Game broadcast on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here
Live stats available here
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

Saturday, December 10, 2011,  at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. UNLV (5-1)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Rebels – 9-26
Streak – Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Rebels – L, 71-62 (@ UNLV, 12/30/01)
Game broadcast on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here
Live stats available here
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV


• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 990 KTMS and will stream live online by clicking here with the pregame show starting 30 minutes prior to tipoff.

The Opponents

• USF, 12/2
The Dons have lost six straight and enter Friday's game at 1-7 overall. USF is led by Rheina Ale, who is averaging 15.0 points per game while Mel Khlok, Taj Winston and Katy Keating all average double figures. The Dons are led by women's basketball legend Jennifer Azzi who is in her second year on the sidelines. USF averages 66.1 points per game but allows nearly 75 points per game.

• UNLV, 12/10
The Rebels are 5-1 with the lone loss coming to No. 21 Georgetown and will play in a tournament in Berkeley before coming to Santa Barbara. The Rebels are led by Kelli Thompson, who averages 14.8 points per game, pacing three players in double digits. Jamie Smith averages 8.7 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.


• 30 For 30
In UC Santa Barbara's two losses last week, the Gauchos tied a dubious feat in program history. By not breaking the 40-point barrier in either defeat, it marked the first time since 1976-77 that a Gaucho team lost consecutively-scheduled games without scoring at least 40 points.

• Tenacious D
Picking up where they left off a season ago, UCSB is once again playing great defense. UCSB leads the Big West in scoring defense, allowing just 52.7 points per game. That figure ranks UCSB 38th in the nation. This shouldn't be a surprise because last year UCSB led the conference in field goal percentage defense (18th in the nation) at 35.5%. In 2009-10, UCSB allowed opponents to shoot 36.3%, which was 31st in the nation, and in 2008-09, the Gauchos allowed opponents to hit 34.6% of their shots, ranking eighth in the country. Currently, opponents are making 37.5% of their shots, which ranks UCSB fifth in the Big West.

• How Sweets It Is!
Junior forward Sweets Underwood is fourth in the Big West with her 8.8 rebounds per game and 91st in the nation. Underwood averaged 6.9 rebounds per game a season ago when she was an All-Big West Honorable Mention pick, has three double doubles in the Gauchos' first four games, nearly matching her entire total to this point in her career. Entering this season the Compton, Calif. native four total double doubles. She is averaging 9.7 points per game, which is second on the team.

• From Downtown, Eh
Senior Kelsey Adrian was the only Gaucho to break into double digits in UCSB's two games last week as she scored a season-best 14 points vs. Washington and had 10 at Northern Colorado. The Langley, B.C. native has made 8 of her 16 three-point attempts, ranking her third in the Big West in three-point percentage. Her eight treys are tied for the most on the team.

• Baby, It's Cold Outside
In both games last week, Santa Barbara failed to make at least 30% of its shots, hitting just 22.6% against Washington and 28.8% at Northern Colorado. The last time a Gaucho team failed to hit at least 30% was Nov. 22, 2009 vs. LMU when the team shot 29.8%.

• Dubious Accomplishments
It's not something to be known for, but unfortunately it must be noted. Each of the previous two games have left a mark on the UCSB program's record books. In the defeat to Washington, UCSB's 11 first-half points were the second fewest in a first half in school history. The 22.6 shooting percentage tied for the second-lowest in single-game history and the team's 12 field goals were second-fewest in program history. In the loss at Northern Colorado, the Gauchos scored just 14 second-half points, tying it for the lowest second-half point total in history (also 14 at UNLV on Feb. 17, 1990). The 15 field goals at Northern Colorado also tied the team for 10th fewest in school history (also 15 at UC Irvine, Feb. 7, 2009).

• Calm At the Line
Senior guard Emilie Johnson is leading the Big West in free throw percentage, making 92.9% of her charity stripe shots. This should come as no surprise, though, since Johnson entered the season with an 82.7% mark from the free throw line, which was second-highest in school history. Lauren Pedersen's career 85.1% mark is UCSB's standard.

• Turning Things Around
UCSB has turned around its turnover margin over the past three games. After turning the ball over 24 times in the win over Saint Mary's, UCSB has totaled just 31 turnovers in its past three games. UCSB averages just 15.0 turnovers per game, ranking the squad 42nd in the nation. It's a far cry from just two seasons ago when the Gauchos committed 649 total turnovers in the 2009-10 season, the eighth-highest mark in program history.

• On the Rebound
After sitting out all of last season due to NCAA transfer rules, junior forward/center Kirsten Tilleman has been solid, averaging 6.8 rebounds per game. That mark is second on the team and is eighth in the Big West.

• Century Club
Despite scoring just four points in the Gauchos' two games last week, Emilie Johnson is still moving up the school's 1,000-point list. Johnson needs just 30 points to tie Jess Hansen (1999-2003) for 19th place in school history and she is 33 away from tying Jessica Wilson (2004-08) for 18th all-time. Johnson has 11 20-point games in her UCSB career and her 10.5 points per game lead the team.

• Biggest in the Big West
The Gauchos have dominated the conference for more than a decade. Since the 1995-96 season, UCSB is 226-31 (.883) in Big West games.

• Two for the Show
With consecutive wins over St. Mary's and LMU, it marked the first time since the 2003-04 season that UCSB won consecutive games in November.

• No-Go November
Although Carlene Mitchell, the fifth head coach in women's basketball program history, has started the season 2-4, it's not unprecedented at UCSB.  All but one coach – Mark French in 1987-88 – had a few speedbumps in their first seasons. Bobbi Bonace lost seven of her first eight games on the sidelines in 1972-73; Darla Wilson dropped 21 of her first 22 games in the 1983-84 season and Lindsay Gottlieb lost three of her first four games in 2008-09. That means that only French, who won his first eight games as coach, all had losing first months.

• Dishing It Out
Sophomore guard Nicole Nesbit, an All-Big West Freshman Team selection a season ago, leads the team with a 3.17 assists per game mark, ranking her 10th in the Big West. Nesbit is third on the team with her 8.7 points per game.

• Team USA
Senior guard Emilie Johnson recently returned from the United States National Team as part of the 12-person roster for the Pan-American Games. Johnson, the Gauchos' fourth Team USA representative, helped the squad to a seventh-place finish at the games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The native of Loomis, Calif. started all four games and averaged 5.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. She shot 44.0 percent from the field and her 22.8 minutes per game were fourth on the team.

• At the Polls
In the preseason media poll, UCSB was picked to finish second in the Big West behind Cal Poly despite receiving the same number of first place votes (11) as the Mustangs. Cal Poly had 200 total points to UCSB's 191 followed by UC Davis (169 points, two first place votes) and UC Riverside (120).

• Big West Champs
The Gauchos have won 14 of the last 16 Big West titles, including last year's regular-season title and the third time in the past four years they have captured a title.

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F     1    Sweets Underwood - After 2 straight double doubles, has 11 pts, 11 reb in last 2
F    2    Kelsey Adrian - Only player in double figures each of last 2 games
G    10    Emilie Johnson - Held scoreless in UNC loss for just 8th time in career
F/C    32    Kirsten Tilleman - Avg. 5.3 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game
G    33    Destini Mason - Has started 5 straight games, but avg just 17.5 minutes

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G     3    Nicole Nesbit - Her 19 assists (3.2 per game) leads team
G    5    Madeline Campbell - 12 minutes in win over LMU was a season-high
F    15    Adaeze Okolie - Injury has kept her sidelined thus far
F    21    Jackie Luna-Castro - 16 of her 34 total minutes have come in the last 2 games
G     22    Melissa Zornig - Is 0-7 from the floor in the last two games
G    24  Angelei Aguirre - Has played last 2 games after sitting out first 4 due to injury