January 30, 2013

Gauchos Look to Stay Hot as They Return to the Thunderdome

Weekly Release No. 14

• The Schedule

Game 20
Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 7 p.m.
UCSB (8-11, 4-3 Big West) vs. UC Riverside (9-9, 2-5 Big West)
at The Thunderdome
All-time record vs. Highlanders: 21-14
Last meeting: W, 61-44 (Feb. 23, 2012)
Streak: Won 3
Radio: KZSB 1290 AM
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats

Game 21
Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 2 p.m. 
UCSB vs. Cal State Fullerton (3-4, 7-12 Big West)
All-time record vs. Titans: 48-21
Last meeting: W, 52-39 (Feb. 9, 2012)
Streak: Won 39
Radio: KZSB 1290 AM
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats 

• Gauchos Return Home
After a three-game road swing, UCSB returns home to the Thunderdome this week to host UC Riverside on Thursday at 7 pm and Cal State Fullerton on Saturday at 2 pm. Both games will be broadcast live 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
The Gauchos enter this week with an 8-11 overall record and a 4-3 mark in Big West Conference play. UCSB will look to stay hot after compiling consecutive wins last weekend for just the second time this season. The Gauchos are winners of three of their last four.   

• Home Sweet Dome
Prior to hitting the road, UCSB snapped a five-game losing skid in the Thunderdome. The Gauchos currently hold a 2-5 record on their home court. With seven games still slated to be played in the Thunderdome this season, UCSB has plenty of time to accumulate its 22nd winning home record in the last 24 seasons.  

• Turning A Corner
With its win in Hawai'i, UCSB now has a winning conference record for the first time since they opened the league slate with a victory over UC Irvine.  

• Leaving A Mark On The Road
UCSB became the first Big West team to defeat new conference member Hawai'i at Stan Sherrif Center as it edged out the Rainbow Wahine, 51-50. Two days prior, the Gauchos held Cal State Northridge – which is averaging 61.4 points per game – to a season-low 37 points. 

• Keeping The Streak Alive
UCSB has posted a 39-game win streak against Cal State Fullerton dating back to the 1995-96 season. That win streak is tied for second best nationwide, trailing Stanford's 53-game win streak against Washington State. Tennessee also has a 39-game win streak alive against Alabama, as does Liberty against Coastal Carolina.  

• Tenacious D
For the second consecutive season, the Gauchos are pacing the league by limiting their opposition to a conference-low 54.5 points per game, which ranks 37th nationally. In league games, they are limiting their opponents to an average of 51.1 points per game, which is also tops in the league.  

• The Swinging 60's
When UCSB holds opponents below 60 points this season, it has gone 7-4. When teams score 60 or more, UCSB is just 1-7.  

• Charity Work
As a team, the Gauchos continue to impress from the free-throw line as they have made 168-of-229 attempts this season for a 73.4% percentage, which is second in the Big West and ranks 50th nationally. UC Riverside leads the league and ranks 47th nationally with its 73.6% percentage from behind the line. Gaucho junior Nicole Nesbit is second in the Big West in free-throw shooting (86.2%) – behind Riverside's Tre'Shonti Nottingham, who ranks 26th nationwide with her 86.4% free-throw percentage – and is 28th nationally having sank 50-of-58 attempts this season.  

• Sweets Repeats
Senior Sweets Underwood was named the Big West Player of the Week for the third time this season after helping lead the Gauchos to their two road victories. She had her sixth double-double of the year against Northridge, tallying 17 points and 11 rebounds. She followed it up with 13 points and four rebounds at Hawai'i. The last UCSB player to earn Player of the Week honors three times in one season was Mekia Valentine during the 2010-11 campaign.  

• The Sweets Life
Speaking of Underwood, the senior forward continues to lead the Gauchos in scoring (11.4 points per game) – which ranks 14th in the Big West – and rebounding (8.5 per game) – which ranks third. She also boasts a team-leading 50.3% 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.  

• The Class Of 2014
While Underwood leads the team for the season, juniors Melissa Zornig and Nicole Nesbit are pacing right along with her in Big West games, averaging 11.3 and 11.1 points per game, respectively. Zornig and Underwood are tied for 11th in scoring in league games, while Nesbit ranks 14th.  

• The Board Game
The Gauchos are tops in the league in rebounding defense as they have limited their opposition to a league-low 32.9 rebounds 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. Their win against Hawai'i marked the first time that the Gauchos have come back from a halftime deficit.  

• Handling The Highlanders
UC Riverside enters Thursday's game with an even 9-9 record and a 2-5 mark in conference play. The Highlanders have been impressive on the road, recording a 5-1 record on opponent's courts. UCR is coming off of a pair of tough losses to Pacific (85-56) and UC Davis (61-49). Tre'Shonti Nottingham paces the team in nearly every offensive category, averaging a team-best 18.3 points per game, an 86.4% free-throw percentage, 2.89 steals per game and 3.44 assists per game.  

• Taking On The Titans
Cal State Fullerton enters this week with a 7-12 overall record and a 3-4 mark in conference play. The Titans have been unlucky on the road, compiling just a 1-6 record on opposing courts. They also are currently amidst a three-game losing skid. Chante Miles paces the team with 11.8 points per game, 3.4 assists and 2.6 steals. As a team, Fullerton averages 57.3 points per game and 31.7% shooting from the field.  

• 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 25-27.  

• 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
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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