Gauchos Picked to Finish Third in Big West Preseason Poll

Gauchos Picked to Finish Third in Big West Preseason Poll

2012-13 Big West Preseason Poll

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team has been picked to finish third in the Big West Conference in a preseason poll conducted by the league.

The Gauchos garnered 153 points and three first-place votes in the poll, which was voted on by the media. Cal State Northridge is the 2012-13 preseason favorite with 161 points and six first-place votes while Pacific is second with 159 points and five first-place votes.  Cal Poly (127 points) and Long Beach State (116 points) are ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, and each garnered one first-place vote.

Once again, UCSB has been selected to finish in the upper echelon of the Big West Conference with its fifth top-three preseason ranking in the last six years. The Gauchos have won three of the last five Big West Tournament crowns and 14 overall.  

Last spring, UCSB captured its 14th Big West Tournament Championship under first-year head coach Carlene Mitchell. The Gauchos finished sixth in the conference standings at 8-8 and had an overall mark of 17-16. Though UCSB lost its top-scorer Emilie Johnson to graduation, UCSB brings backs eight letterwinners, including three starters: senior forward Sweets Underwood, senior forward/center Kirsten Tilleman and senior guard Destini Mason.

Tilleman led the squad and ranked second in the league with an 8.4 rebouds per game average and was named the Big West Tournament MVP. Underwood was second on the team in rebounding (7.0 RPG) and third in scoring (7.7 PPG).

The Gauchos open the 2012-13 season on Monday, Nov. 5 when they host an exhibition against Vanguard at 7 p.m. in the Thunderdome.

Season tickets for both the men's and women's teams are available from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here for men's season tickets and here for women's season tickets.

UCSB is proud to announce that it is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Thunderdome (#thunderdome35) over the next two seasons and as part of the celebration all season ticket holders will receive commemorative season tickets that will showcase some of the greatest players to wear the blue and gold and some of the greatest moment in the buildings history.  The 2012 season tickets will feature great players.

2012-13 Big West Media Poll

1. Cal State Northridge (6)       161
2. Pacific (5) 159
3. UC Santa Barbara (3) 153
4. Cal Poly (1) 127
5. Long Beach State (1) 116
6. Hawai'i 81
7. UC Davis 80
8. UC Riverside 74
9. UC Irvine 65
10.    Cal State Fullerton 29

 () First-place votes