November 30, 2012

UCSB Set to Host St. Mary’s on Saturday

Weekly Release No. 5.1

• The Schedule

Game 7
Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 2 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (2-4) vs. St. Mary's (4-2)
at The Thunderdome
All-time record vs. Gaels: 7-3
Last meeting: W, 61-52 (Nov. 17, 2011)
Radio: KZSB AM 1290
Online Audio • Live Video • Live Stats 

• Gauchos Round Out Home Stand 
UCSB will wrap-up a two-game home stand on Saturday as it hosts St. Mary's at the Thunderdome in a 2 p.m. match-up. The game can be listened to live in Santa Barbara on KZSB AM 1290 or online here. It can be watched online on BigWest.tv and live stats are also available here

• Season Tickets Still Available
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

UCSB Unable to Top Trojans
The Gauchos faced USC at home on Tuesday night and despite roaring back from an 18-point deficit to trail by just six with 1:15 to go, UCSB fell to the Trojans, 62-51. The Gauchos got career-best performances from senior Angelei Aguirre, who had 13 points, and freshman Kendra Morrison, who contributed 11 points in just 19 minutes of play during the second half. The loss marked the Gauchos' second consecutive. 

• Gauchos Finish Sixth In Mexico
UCSB went 1-2 at last week's Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which was good for a sixth-place finish in the eight-team tournament field. The Gauchos opened with a narrow loss to Oregon State, which came-from-behind to capture the 49-46 victory. In the tournament's second game, UCSB handily defeated Mississippi State, 60-43. In the tournament's fifth-place game, the Gauchos were able to post a season-best 61 points, but it was not enough to overcome Missouri State as they fell, 68-61. 

• For The Record
UCSB enters Saturday's game at 2-4 overall and is 1-1 at home. The losses against Missouri State and USC mark the first back-to-back losses this season. The last time the team suffered consecutive losses was Jan. 16 through Feb. 4 of last season when it dropped four straight before going on to win nine of its next 12 games to finish the year. 

• 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. 

• Keeping It Close
Despite falling in four of their opening six games, the Gauchos have been in the game during each and every match-up. Tuesday's game with USC marked their largest margin of loss this season, but the team's average margin of loss this year is 6.75 points. 

• A Formidable Defense
Last season, UCSB limited its opposition to an average of 52.5 points, which led the Big West and ranked ninth nationally. This season, the Gauchos are once again displaying their defensive prowess by limiting their opponents to an average of 53.5 points per game – which leads the conference – 37.3% shooting from the field and just 27.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Prior to Tuesday's game, the Gauchos' scoring defense ranked 32nd among all Division I programs and its three-point defense was 20th. Additionally, UCSB's average of 33.5 defensive rebounds per game is tops in the Big West. 

• Holding On
At the beginning of the week, UCSB ranked 21st in the nation for fewest turnovers per game with an average of 13.5. The Gauchos had a season-low seven turnovers in the loss to Missouri State last Thursday and committed just 13 against USC.  

• Gauchos vs. Gaels
Saturday will mark the 11th meeting between UCSB and St. Mary's. The Gauchos lead the all-time series, 7-3, and won the last pairing, 61-52, on Nov. 17, 2011. That victory was a special one as it marked head coach Carlene Mitchell's first at the helm of the program. 

• Scouting St. Mary's
St. Mary's has opened the season 4-2 and has most recently defeated UCSB's Blue-Green rival Cal Poly on Thursday, 70-67. The Gaels are currently led by Jackie Nared, who is averaging 19 points per game and 9.5 rebounds. Danielle Mauldin, meanwhile, is averaging 13.2 points per game while shooting 45.3% from the field. 

• The Dome Is Where The Heart Is
UCSB had its home winning streak dating back to the 2011-12 campaign come to an end at five games on Tuesday. Last year, the Gauchos went 9-6 in the Thunderdome. All-time UCSB has gone 295-128 (.697) at home and has accumulated winning home records during 21 of the last 23 seasons. 

• Defending The Dome
Speaking of the Gauchos' at home, UCSB has won all five of its previous pairings with St. Mary's in the Thunderdome, dating back to the 1981-82 campaign. 

• All About Angelei
Angelei Aguirre has gotten her senior year off to a great start. After posting a career-high 11 points in the Gauchos' win over Mississippi State in Puerto Vallarta, she topped herself on Tuesday against USC with a team-leading 13 points. She is currently tied for first on the team with Melissa Zornig for assists (14) and leads the squad, while ranking fourth in the Big West, in blocked shots (8). 

• The Sweets Life
Senior Sweets Underwood posted consecutive double-doubles for the first time in her career against Mississippi State and Missouri State last week. After posting 13 points and a season-best 12 rebounds to help lead the Gauchos to a win over the Bulldogs, she topped herself in the tournament finale. Against the Lady Bears, she put up a career-high-tying 18 points to go along with 11 boards in just 28 minutes of work. She leads the Gauchos with an average of 7.5 rebounds per game and is second behind Nicole Nesbit with 9.7 points per game. 

• 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. 

• 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.

• Listen Live
The majority of UC Santa Barbara basketball games – including Saturday's game – will be broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB and all will stream live online here and NewsPress.com. Mitchell Clements 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.

• 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 a 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 19-20. 

• 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.