SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - For the fourth time this season, UC Santa Barbara senior Sweets Underwood (Compton, Calif./Centennial HS) is the Big West Women's Basketball Player of the Week. She averaged a double-double in two crucial road victories that propelled the Gauchos into contention for the regular season title.
Underwood averaged 14.5 points, 14.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots to lead the Gauchos past UC Davis (60-52) and first-place Pacific (52-47). She shot 48.0 (12-of-25) percent from the field and knocked down all five of her free throw attempts for the week.
The two wins pushed UCSB into a three-way tie for second place with Cal Poly and Hawai`i, just one game behind the league-leading Tigers.
Underwood notched her eighth and ninth double-doubles of the season as the Gauchos won for the fifth time in their last six games. She had 15 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three assists and two blocked shots versus the Aggies, hitting six of 10 field goal attempts.
Against the Tigers, who owned an 11-1 home record entering the game, Underwood collected 14 points and a career-high 16 boards. Twelve of those caroms came in the second half as UCSB battled back from the 13-point deficit. Not only was she effective on the glass, she produced offensively with six points coming during a key 13-0 run that gave her team its first lead at 46-42 with 2:36 to play. With less than a minutes to play, and UCSB trailing by one, she drew a foul and canned both free throws to allow the Gauchos to retake the lead. Underwood also rebounded a missed Tiger shot with 23 seconds to play to preserve the victory.