January 25, 2013

Gauchos Set to Say Aloha to Hawaii

Weekly Release No. 13.1

• The Schedule
Game 19
Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 9 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (7-11, 3-3 Big West) at Hawaii (9-9, 5-2 Big West)
All-time record vs. Rainbow Wahine: 12-19
Last meeting: L, 91-66 (Dec. 22, 1998)
Streak: Lost 1
Radio: KZSB 1290 AM 
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats

• Aloha Hawaii!
UCSB concludes a three-game road swing on Saturday at Hawaii. The pairing will be the first between the teams since the 1998-99 season and the first since the Rainbow Wahine rejoined the Big West Conference. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m., which is 9 p.m. Pacific Time. 

• Watch And Listen
Saturday's game – which was originally scheduled to be broadcast online only – will now be broadcast live on KZSB 1290 AM, the Santa Barbara News-Press radio station. Fans can also listen live online at UCSBgauchos.com and watch a live video broadcast at BigWest.tv.

For The Record
UCSB enters Saturday's game with an overall record of 7-11 and an even 3-3 mark in Big West Conference play. The Gauchos have gone 4-4 on the road this season and four of their last five victories have been on opposing courts. 

• Gauchos Keep Streak Alive Against Cal State Northridge
UCSB kept its win streak alive against Cal State Northridge on Thursday as it won its 12th straight against the Matadors and 14th straight in the Matadome, a streak dating back to 1984. The 56-37 victory was notable on several other accounts as well. It marked the largest margin of victory by the Gauchos this season and the fewest points to be scored against UCSB this year. It marks the fourth time in the Carlene Mitchell-era that the Gauchos have held an opponent to fewer than 40 points and the first time this season. 

• Familiar Territory
UCSB also opened league play with an 3-3 record during its 2011-12 campaign. In fact, the Gauchos went 3-5 during their first round of games against Big West competition last year before going 5-3 during their second swing through conference play to finish with an even 8-8 league mark. The Gauchos then went on to win the Big West Tournament crown.   

• Due For A Run?
UCSB has only strung together consecutive wins at one point this season: against Loyola Marymount (Dec. 5) and Washington (Dec. 15). The Gauchos found themselves in a similar situation last year when they didn't post a run of more than two victories until February. Once they got rolling, however, they won 10 of their last 12 games, which included a seven-game streak.

• Tenacious D
For the second consecutive season, the Gauchos are pacing the league by limiting their opposition to a conference-low 54.8 points per game, which ranks 42nd nationally. In league games, they are limiting their opponents to an average of 51.3 points per game, which is also tops. 

• Charity Work
As a team, the Gauchos continue to impress from the free-throw line as they have made 161-of-216 attempts this season for a 74.5% percentage, which is first in the Big West and ranks 29th nationally. Junior Nicole Nesbit leads the Big West in free-throw shooting (87%) and is 24th nationally having sank 47-of-54 attempts this season.   

• How Sweets It Is
Senior Sweets Underwood tallied her sixth double-double of the season on Thursday after posting 17 points and 11 rebounds against the Matadors. Underwood continues to lead the Gauchos in scoring (11.3 points per game) – which ranks 13th in the Big West – and rebounding (8.7 per game) – which ranks third. She also boasts a team-leading 50.9% field goal percentage, which is the fourth-best among league players. If she continues at her current clip, Underwood could become the first Gaucho to lead the team in points, rebounds and field goal percentage since Jenna Green did during the 2006-07 season.   

• Top-10 Bound
Speaking of Underwood, the senior is on-pace to finish her career among the Gauchos' all-time rebounders and shooters. She currently has 722 career rebounds, just 40 shy of making the UCSB top-10. She also has a career field goal percentage of 49.5%, which currently ties her for ninth all-time with Christa Gannon.   

• The Class Of 2014
While Underwood leads the team for the season, junior Nicole Nesbit leads the team in league play with 11.5 points per game. Nesbit ranks 13th in points per game and is tied for fourth in Big West games for assists (3.3 per game). Her classmate, Melissa Zornig, meanwhile, is second in three-point field goal percentage (41.9%) and sixth in three-pointers made with an average of 2.2 against Big West opponents. Zornig is averaging 10.7 points per game in league play.  

• The Flip Side
While UCSB is the top team in the league defensively, the Gauchos are last in scoring, averaging a league-low 50.7 points per game. 

• The Board Game
The Gauchos are tops in the league in rebounding defense as they have limited their opposition to a league-low 33.2 rebounds per game. Sweets Underwood (8.7 rpg) and Kirsten Tilleman (6.9 rpg) pace the team and rank third and ninth, respectively, in the BWC. UCSB is the only Big West team with two players ranked in the top-10 in rebounding, despite ranking 10th as a team with an average of 33.5 boards per game.   

• Early Lead Leads To Wins
The Gauchos have posted a 7-1 record in games that they have led at halftime. Oregon State (Nov. 20) is the only team this season to come from behind to beat UCSB.

• Catching The Rainbow Wahine
Hawaii is coming off of a 61-43 victory over Cal Poly on Thursday. In fact, the Rainbow Wahine have won five of their last six games and all three of their Big West home games thus far. Hawaii carries a 7-6 home record into Saturday's game. Kamilah Martin leads the team with 16.0 points – 17.3 in Big West games – and 9.2 rebounds per game. She is also shooting an impressive 51.8% from the field. 

• Gauchos vs. Rainbow Wahine
Saturday's meeting marks the first between the teams since the 1997-98 season. The Gauchos carry a two-game losing skid at Hawaii into this week's match-up. Their last win on the island was a 62-50 victory on Feb. 3, 1994.   

• 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 24-27.  

 Get Your Tickets
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.  

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