UCSB Plays at Long Beach on Thursday, Cal State Northridge on Saturday

UCSB Plays at Long Beach on Thursday, Cal State Northridge on Saturday

• The Schedule
Thursday, January 19 2012,  at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Long Beach State (7-11, 2-3)
at LBSU's Walter Pyramid (6,000)
Series record vs. the 49ers – 45-20
Streak – Won 3
Last time out vs. the 49ers – W, 74-70 (@UCSB, 2/24/11)
Game broadcast on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here

Saturday, January 21 2012,  at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Northridge (9-8, 4-1)
at CSUN's Matadome (1,600)
Series record vs. the Matadors – 36-11
Streak – Won 9
Last time out vs. the Matadors – W, 71-52 (@UCSB, 2/26/11)
Game broadcast on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here

• 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
• Long Beach State, 1/19
After winning its first two conference games the 49ers have dropped three straight. Tipesa Moorer leads the team with 12.6 points per game and is one of only three players to see action in all 18 Long Beach State games this season.
• Cal State Northridge, 1/21
At 4-1, the Matadors are off to their best-ever start in Big West play with the team's lone loss coming by two points at UC Davis. Jasmine Erving's 13.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game lead the team.

• The Magic Number
It's pretty simple to know who's going to win whenever the Gauchos take the court – the team that scores 60 or more points. When UCSB hits 60, the team is 4-0. When Santa Barbara's opponents score 60 or more, the Gauchos are 0-4.

• Tenacious D
UC Santa Barbara is continuing its defensive dominance this season, holding opponents to just 49.9 points per game, best in the Big West and ranking the squad eighth in the nation. The Gauchos are also allowing opponents to shoot just 37.0% from the floor, which is second in the conference. The next closest Big West team in points allowed is Cal State Fullerton (61.7 points per game, an -11.8 differential).

• This Defense Doesn't Rest
Should the Gauchos' average – or anywhere near it – hold up, it would rank as one of the best defensive seasons in school history.  The top two marks: the 1973-74 squad allowed opponents an average of 43.6 points per game, while the 2008-09 team allowed 55.5 points per game.

• Turning Things Around
As a team, UCSB is averaging just 13.7 turnovers per game, ranking it 11th in the nation. In an odd twist, UCSB is averaging 15.6 turnovers in each of its wins and 12.1 in its losses. It's a far cry from just two seasons ago when the Gauchos committed 649 total turnovers (20.3 per game) in the 2009-10 season, the eighth-highest mark in program history.

• UCSB or UCS-D?
The above notes 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. Also, since the new millennium seven Gaucho teams rank in the single-season top-10 in opponents' points per game.

• Wake Me Up Before You Score, Girl
While the Gauchos are at the bottom of the Big West's scoring average – just 52.0 points per game – and rank 315 out of 336 teams ranked nationally in that category, they still are not on pace to set a school record. The lowest points per game a UCSB team scored was 45.2 in the 1973-74 season. However, this year's team is on pace for the third-lowest point total in school history.

• Hang Ten
With Sweets Underwood and Nicole Nesbit as the Gauchos' two leading scorers at 9.1 and 9.0 points per game, respectively, the team does not have a scorer averaging 10.0 or more points per game. Only once in UCSB program history has a team not had at least one player average double digits. That came in 1982-83 when Thyra Ladyman led the way with 9.7 points per game, a team that averaged 61.7 points per game.

• Biggest in the Big West
The Gauchos have dominated the conference for nearly two decades. Since the 1995-96 season, UCSB is 228-33 (.874) in Big West games.

• Top Twenty Time
With six points in two games last week, Emilie Johnson continued her movement up the school's all-time scoring book. With 1,176 career points Johnson stands 18th all-time. Next up for the senior from Loomis, Calif. is Kira Anthofer, who scored 1,214 career points from 1984-89, leaving Johnson just 38 points away from that spot. Johnson has 11 20-point games in her UCSB career.

• Kelsey - It Rhymes With Three
Senior guard Kelsey Adrian has been doing a lot of her damage from beyond the arc.  Adrian is shooting 39.7% from three-point range, which leads the team and is third in the Big West. Adrian averages the sixth-most three-pointers made in the conference with 1.53 per game. The Langley, B.C. native is just five three-pointers shy of breaking into UCSB's top-10 in career treys after just 45 games as a Gaucho.

• Board Games
Santa Barbara's two frontcourt stalwarts – Kirsten Tilleman and Sweets Underwood – are two of the best rebounders in relation to their Big West peers. Tilleman ranks third in the conference with 8.3 rebounds per game and Underwood is seventh with 7.3. There has been just one game this season where one of the two didn't grab at least seven rebounds.

• Tilleman's Top Ten
Rebounding is not the only spot where Kirsten Tilleman is among the Big West leaders. The junior is 7th in blocked shots (0.87 per game), 6th in offensive rebounds (2.93), 4th in defensive boards (5.40) and 6th in minutes played (31.87).

• On The Line
When it comes to free throw shooting, the Gauchos lead the Big West with a 74.6% clip from the charity stripe, which is 32nd in the country and would rank the team second in school history if that mark holds up. However, getting to the foul line is a completely different story. UCSB has only attempted 142 total free throws this season – an average of just 9.5 per game – ranking them last in the conference. Every other Big West school has taken at least 260 free throws this year. UCSB has taken more than 10 free throws in a game just five times this season.

• Helping Hands
In Big West games, two UCSB guards are among the best at handing out assists. Emilie Johnson is averaging 3.50 per conference game, ranking her fourth, and Melissa Zornig is giving out 3.25 helpers per game, which is eighth.

• Under 50 is Nifty
In nine of the past 12 games, UCSB has not allowed its opponents to reach the 50-point plateau, the only time in school history that has happened.

• Mason's Work
Over her past five games, which includes three straight starts, Destini Mason has been an integral part of the team. The junior from Perris, Calif. is averaging 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 20.4 minutes over that stretch. Furthermore, Mason has pulled in 19 of her 36 total rebounds and scored 31 of her 57 points in that span.

• Spark Plug
Sophomore guard Nicole Nesbit ranks second on the team in points per game, but she is adding a bit of punch off the bench. After opening the first two games of the season as a starter Nesbit has come off the bench over the past 13 and is averaging 9.4 points per game as a reserve.

• Stingy for Six
When UCSB held six straight opponents under 50 points from Nov. 19 to Dec. 16, it marked the longest such streak in program history.

• A Titan-ic Defense
By allowing just 37 points to CSUF, it marked the lowest point total allowed by the Gauchos since ... wait for it ... the team allowed 32 points to the Titans last season on Jan. 22.

• 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).

Did You Know?
• UCSB's 39-37 defeat over Cal State Fullerton was its first win with that few points scored since a 29-23 win over Cal in the 1973-74 season.

• UCSB's all-time record in the Thunderdome is 265-111 (.705).

• With the Gauchos' 61-58 loss to Cal Poly on 12/31, it marked only the second time in the last 17 seasons that Santa Barbara has dropped its Big West Conference opener.

• The Gauchos have finished above .500 in Big West play for 21 straight seasons.

•  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.

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F     1    Sweets Underwood - 16 points were just 2 off her career-high
F    2    Kelsey Adrian - 15 points vs. UC Riverside were a career-high
G    10    Emilie Johnson - Streak of 19 straight FTs made ended during UCR win
F/C    32    Kirsten Tilleman - 8.3 rebounds per game rank her 3rd in the Big West
G    33    Destini Mason - Career-high 12 points came on 6-7 shooting vs. UC Irvine

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G     3    Nicole Nesbit - Averaging 9.4 points per game in games she comes off the bench
G    5    Madeline Campbell - Attempted a season-high 3 shots in 6 minutes vs. UCR
F    15    Adaeze Okolie - Injury has kept her sidelined all season
F    21    Jackie Luna-Castro - Has played in 9 games this year, avg. 5.9 minutes per game
G     22    Melissa Zornig - 8.5 points per game in Big West play is second on the team
G    24  Angelei Aguirre - Her 6 points vs. UCR tied a career-high