Gauchos Face Long Beach State in Rematch of 2012 Big West Final
Weekly Release No. 10.1
• The Schedule
Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 4 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (5-8, 1-0 Big West) at Long Beach State (8-5, 1-0 Big West)
at Walter Pyramid
All-time record vs. 49ers: 47-21
Last meeting: W, 63-54 (Mar. 10, 2012)
Streak: Won 2
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats
• Listen Live
The majority of UCSB basketball games will be broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB, but Saturday's will be streamed online only at UCSBgauchos.com. Mitchell Clements will serve as the play-by-play voice for the Gauchos.
• Ready For The Rematch
After downing UC Irvine, 51-46, in its Big West Conference opener on Thursday evening, UC Santa Barbara will head to Long Beach State on Saturday for a rematch with its 2011-12 Big West Tournament Final foe at 4 p.m. in Walter Pyramid. The game will be broadcast live online at UCSBgauchos.com and a live video stream can be found at BigWest.tv.
• For The Record
UCSB enters Saturday's game with a 5-8 overall record, a 1-0 mark in league and a 3-2 record in away games. The Gauchos will be looking to extend their five-game win streak against league opponents dating back to last season.
• Battle For The Big West
The Gauchos will be seeking to claim their 15th Big West regular season title in the past 18 years and to defend their 2012 tournament title. In a preseason poll of the media, UCSB was picked to finish third in the conference 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.
• A Matter Of Habit
UCSB's victory in its conference opener on Thursday marked the 16th time in the last 18 seasons that the Gauchos have opened league play with a win. The last time the Gauchos won their first two conference games was during the 2008-09 season when they took down Long Beach State (Jan. 2), 66-48, and then UC Riverside (Jan. 4), 47-40.
• Big Start In The Big West
The last time the Gauchos posted a win in Irvine was during the first round of the 2012 Big West Tournament, which they went on to win. UCSB is hoping that Thursday's victory will once again be the start of something special. The Gauchos used a complete team effort to overcome the Anteaters, with three players scoring in the double-digits for the first time since the Dec. 5 win at Loyola Marymount. Nicole Nesbit led the team with 14 points, while Sweets Underwood and Melissa Zornig each chipped in 11. Destini Mason led the squad with eight rebounds and Kirsten Tilleman had a team-leading four assists, a career-high for the senior.
• Living The Sweets Life
Senior Sweets Underwood currently ranks in the Big West's top-10 in a multitude of statistical categories. Underwood is third in field goal percentage (51.3%), third in rebounding (8.6 per game), seventh in free-throw percentage (78.0%) and 13th in points per game (11.4). She is the current UCSB team leader in points and rebounds per game and has led the team with four double-doubles thus far. If she continues at this clip, Underwood could become the first Gaucho to lead the team in points and rebounds in a season since Jessica Wilson did during the 2007-08 campaign.
• Charity Work
As a team, the Gauchos have been impressive from the free-throw line as they have made 111-of-147 attempts this season for a 75.5% percentage, which is first in the Big West and ranks 20th nationally. Junior Nicole Nesbit is second in the Big West in free-throw shooting (90%) and is 15th nationally having sank 36-of-40 attempts this season. Against UC Irvine, she sank 6-of-6 attempts, marking her fifth game this season that she has shot 100% from the charity stripe.
• Tenacious D
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 pacing the league by limiting their opposition to a conference-low 55.7 points per game, which ranks 58th nationally. UCSB is holding its opposition to just 37.3% shooting, which is fourth in the league. Additionally, the Gauchos are tops in the league in rebounding defense as they have limited their opposition to a league-low 33.6 rebounds per game.
• Offensive Behavior
UCSB snapped a three-game streak of sub-50 point performances with its 51-46 win on Thursday. As a team, UCSB still ranks 10th in the 10-team league in points per game (50.4), averaging 5.4 points fewer than ninth-ranked UC Irvine. The Gauchos are also 10th in rebounds as they average a league-low 33.5 boards per game. Meanwhile, UCSB has made the fewest attempts from beyond the arc of any Big West team (104).
• The Board Game
Senior Kirsten Tilleman ranks eighth in the Big West in rebounds per game (6.9) and is fifth in defensive rebounds per game (5.0). She is second on the team averaging 6.9 boards per game, pacing slightly behind her 2011-12 team-leading average of 8.4.
• In A State of Denial
Senior Angelei Aguirre entered this season with 17 career blocks and in the first 13 games alone, she has already posted a team-leading 12. She ranks 10th in the Big West in blocked shots and has had two or more on three occasions: UNLV (2), New Mexico State (4) and Washington (2).
• Focusing On The 49ers
Long Beach enters Saturday with an 8-5 record and a 1-0 mark in the Big West after opening league play with a 62-52 over Cal Poly on Thursday. The 49ers have won four straight and are 7-2 at home. The Gauchos and 49ers have played two common opponents this season: Loyola Marymount and Washington. LBSU fell to LMU, 58-52, (Nov. 15) and defeated Washington, 71-62, (Nov. 18).
• Gauchos vs. 49ers
UCSB leads the all-time series with the 49ers, 47-21, and has won the last two pairings, including a 53-54 victory in the teams' last meeting - the Big West Tournament Championship game on Mar. 10, 2012. During their last meeting in Walter Pyramid, the 49ers got the best of the Gauchos, posting a 46-34 victory on Jan. 19, 2012. UCSB's 34-points in that pairing mark the team's lowest output during the Carlene Mitchell-era.
• 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 22-24.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Returning Home
UCSB will return home next week looking to snap a four-game skid on its home court. The Gauchos will host Pacific on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. before welcoming UC Davis to the Thunderdome on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m.