November 13, 2012

UCSB Hosts New Mexico State on Wednesday

Weekly Release No. 3

• The Schedule 

Game 2
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (0-1) vs. New Mexico State (1-0)
at The Thunderdome
All-time record vs. Aggies: 13-5
Last meeting: L, 52-51 (Dec. 19, 2012)
Radio • Online Audio • Live Video • Live Stats

• Two-Year Thunderdome Celebration Begins
In 2012-13, UC Santa Barbara will begin a two-year 35th anniversary celebration of the Thunderdome. The #thunderdome35 celebration includes commemorative 2012-13 season tickets that feature some of the greatest players to ever compete on the Thunderdome court. The players will also be remembered during Gaucho men's and women's basketball home broadcasts as well as on the Gauchos in Thirty television show and online at UCSBgauchos.com. This week, UCSB Athletics is recognizing Erin Alexander. To see the video, scroll to the bottom of this article or click here.

• Gauchos Host Midweek Pairing With New Mexico State
UCSB will play New Mexico State on Wednesday in a midweek non-conference game at the Thunderdome at 7 p.m. The pairing will be broadcast live on KZSB AM 1290 in addition to being streamed live here. Live Stats and a live video stream can be found here. The game is the Gauchos' official 2012-13 home opener and will be the first away contest of the season for the Aggies. 

• Get Your Tickets
Season tickets and single game tickets for women's basketball are available at the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.

• Listen Live Online
The majority of UC Santa Barbara's basketball games will be broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB and all games will stream live online at UCSBgauchos.com and NewsPress.com. Friday's game against UNLV will be broadcast online only due to conflicts with Santa Barbara City College Football. Mitchell Clement will serve as the play-by-play voice for the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford will handle the color commentary for several games.

• Talk'n Gauchos
UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show, Talk'n Gauchos, airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from The Beachside Café, located on Goleta Beach and it features UCSB coaches and athletes.  The show is hosted by Gerry Fall, the Voice of the Gauchos.

• Unlucky In Sin City
The Gauchos opened the 2012-13 campaign last Friday at UNLV, where they suffered a 58-52 loss to the Lady Rebels. After taking a 19-10 lead a little over halfway into the first half, the Gauchos' offense cooled, allowing the Lady Rebels to go on a 13-2 run that gave them the lead at half. The second half was bitterly contested and the score was tied three times, but some late Gaucho mistakes allowed UNLV to close the door. Destini Mason led the team with a career-high 13 points in the loss while Nicole Nesbit (12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) and Melissa Zornig (11 points) helped lead the offensive effort. 

• Gauchos vs. Aggies
Wednesday's pairing with New Mexico State will mark the second meeting in two seasons between UCSB and the Aggies. They faced-off last year on Dec. 19 in Las Cruces where New Mexico State edged out the Gauchos, 52-51. The Aggies were led by Tabytha Wampler and Kaitlyn Soto, who each scored 14 points (both have graduated). Sweets Underwood and Melissa Zornig each had 13 points for the Gauchos in the narrow loss. UCSB leads the all-time series against New Mexico State, 13-5. The last UCSB win over the Aggies was on Jan. 29, 2000 via score of 86-65. 

• A Little About The Aggies
New Mexico State opened its 2012-13 campaign on Monday with a 77-76 overtime win over Loyola Marymount – which the Gauchos will play on December 5 – in La Cruces. The Aggies were led by Kelsie Rozendaal's 22 points and 11 rebounds. Danesia Williamson, meanwhile, chipped in 19 points for the Aggies. 

• Season-Opening Struggles
UCSB came up just short of snapping its season opener losing skid on Friday. The Gauchos have not recorded a win in their first official game of the year since the 2008-09 season when they knocked off San Diego, 75-66, to begin the year. The Gauchos have gone 22-19 all-time in their season-openers. 

• Gauchos In Home Openers
UCSB has won just three of its last 10 home openers, but among those trio of wins is last season's game against St. Mary's. On Nov. 17, 2011, Carlene Mitchell got her first official victory as the head coach of the Gauchos within the friendly confines of the Thunderdome with a 61-52 win over the visiting Gaels. 

• The Dome Is Where The Heart Is
Speaking of home games, UCSB posted a 9-6 record at home during the 2011-12 campaign. The Gauchos also carry a four-game home win streak into this Wednesday's game. UCSB is 294-127 (.698) all-time at the Thunderdome and has accumulated winning home records during 21 of the last 23 seasons. 

• We Are The (Defending) Champions
The 2011-12 Gauchos captured the program's 14th Big West crown after a stunning run through the league's tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time. UCSB returns eight of its letterwinners from last year's championship team, including three starters. Among the returners are Big West Tournament MVP, Kirsten Tilleman, and Honorable Mention All-Big West honoree, Nicole Nesbit. 

• The Mitchell File
Head coach Carlene Mitchell is looking to build upon a great ending to her first season at the helm of the Gauchos – which included the aforementioned Big West Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth – in 2012-13. In addition to compiling a 17-16 record in her first campaign, she was also named one of three finalists for the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award, which is presented by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Her career record with the Gauchos currently stands at 17-17. 

• Mondays With Mitchell
Speaking of Coach Mitchell, she can be heard every Monday on a special KZSB 1290 AM segment with the Baron Ron Herron, appropriately titled "Mondays With Mitchell" at 8:50 a.m.

• 52 Pickup
It's interesting to note – hence this paragraph – that the Gauchos have scored 52 points in each of their contests this season. While it's too early to tell if this will be a trend, the Gauchos scored 52 or more points in 19 of their 33 games last year. They posted a 14-5 record in those contests. 

• Preseason Predictions
In a preseason poll of the media, UCSB was picked to finish third in the Big West Conference in 2012-13, receiving 153 points and three of 16 first-place votes. Cal State Northridge was picked first with 161 points and six first-place votes and Pacific was picked second with 159 points and five first-place votes. Cal Poly (127 points), Long Beach State (116 points), Hawaii (81 points), UC Davis (80 points), UC Riverside (74 points), UC Irvine (65 points) and Cal State Fullerton (29 points), rounded out the poll. 

• Making Excellence A Habit
UCSB will be aiming for its 22nd winning season in the last 23 years. Dating back to the 1990-91 season, the Gauchos have finished the season with a sub-.500 record just once: in 2009-10 (15-17). UCSB has won the Big West regular season title 14 of the past 17 seasons and has captured the tournament crown 14 times.

• A Wealth Of Experience
Of this year's eight returners, four played in all 33 games last season: Sweets Underwood, Nicole Nesbit, Melissa Zornig and Kirsten Tilleman. Destini Mason, meanwhile, appeared in all but one game during the 2011-12 campaign. Tilleman averaged a team-leading 31.9 minutes on the floor while Underwood is second among returners with an average of 25.6 minutes. 

• On The Horizon
Following Wednesday's game, UCSB will head South of the border for the 2012 Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The Gauchos will open the tournament against Oregon State on Nov. 20 and the following day will either play Mississippi State or Winthrop. Thursday's tournament finale will be determined by bracket play. The other teams in the tournament field are Louisville, University of Central Florida, Gonzaga and Missouri State University. The Gauchos will round out November action on the 27th against USC at 7 p.m. in the Thunderdome.