February 14, 2013

Gauchos Host Cal Poly, Will Play 4Kay

Weekly Release No. 16

Game 24
Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (11-12, 7-4 Big West) vs. Cal Poly (13-9, 7-4)
All-time record vs. Mustangs: 51-18
Last meeting: L, 66-47 (Jan. 19, 2013)
Streak: Lost 3
Radio: KZSB 1290 AM
Online Audio • Video • Live Stats 

• Blue-Green Rivalry Comes to the Thunderdome
UC Santa Barbara will host Cal Poly in a Blue-Green Rivalry game this Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Thunderdome. Saturday's game will air live in Santa Barbara on KZSB 1290 AM, the Santa Barbara News-Press radio station and stream live on UCSBgauchos.com. A live video stream is available at BigWest.tv.  

 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.  

• Gauchos Will Play 4Kay
The Gauchos will host their annual Play 4Kay game on Saturday to help raise breast cancer awareness. Each UCSB women's basketball player will decorate and wear a special pink warm-up shirt that will be available for purchase through a silent auction with the proceeds going towards cancer research. Additionally, pink pom-poms will be given away at the door and 10% of all ShopUCSBgauchos.com purchases will go to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The 2013 Play 4Kay initiative (formerly known as WBCA Pink Zone) is an opportunity for a nation of coaches to raise breast cancer awareness and funds for research on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. Since its inception in 2007, the Play 4Kay initiative has raised over $2 million to support women's cancer research. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is the official charity of the initiative. 

• For The Record
After a road sweep last week in Northern California, UCSB carries an 11-12 overall record and a 7-4 mark in Big West Conference play into this week's game. The Gauchos are coming off of wins against UC Davis (60-52) and Pacific (52-47). 

• The Wild, Wild (Big) West
Just one game currently separates the top four teams in the Big West standings. Pacific leads the league with an 8-3 record while Cal Poly, Hawai'i and UCSB are tied for third with 7-4 marks.

• On A Roll
The Gauchos have won three-straight, marking their longest win streak of the season thus far. UCSB has won five of its last six games since it lost at Cal Poly on Jan. 19.  

• Bringing The Thunder Back To The Dome
While the Gauchos have gone 7-4 and won their last four games on the road, they have struggled in the Thunderdome this season, compiling a 3-6 record. A win on Saturday would mark the first time this year that the Gauchos have strung together a pair of home victories. 

• Early Lead Leads To Wins
The Gauchos have posted a 9-1 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. The Gauchos captured their second comeback victory of the year when they overcame a 13-point deficit to defeat Pacific last Saturday. They also came-from-behind in their win over Hawai'i. 

• In Our Defense
For the second consecutive season, the Gauchos are pacing the league by limiting their opposition to a conference-low 53.5 points per game – which ranks 27th nationally – and is 6.2 points fewer than No. 2 ranked Cal State Northridge. In league play, the Gauchos are holding opponents to 50.2 points on average, 7.7 points fewer than second-ranked Hawai'i. 

• Where We Rank
In addition to ranking among the nation's top-100 teams in scoring defense, the Gauchos are 39th in free-throw percentage (74%), 38th in three-point field goal defense (26.8%), 57th in field-goal percentage defense (36.2%) and 88th in turnovers per game (15.8). 

• Defending The Three
Last weekend UCSB held the league's best three-point shooting teams to well below their averages. Against UC Davis, the Gauchos held the Aggies to just 20% shooting (4-of-20) from beyond the arc compared to their average clip of 33.2%.  Two nights later, they held the conference's top-team, Pacific, to 21.7% three-point shooting (5-of-23) compared to its 33.3%. 

• Charity Work 
The Gauchos were hot from the free-throw line last week as they made 29-of-30 attempts between their two games. They hit all 13 of their shots from the charity stripe against UC Davis and made 16-of-17 against Pacific, marking their top-two performances of the season. Junior Nicole Nesbit ranks second in the Big West in free-throw shooting (86.3%) and is 25th nationally having sank 69-of-80 attempts this season. Senior Kirsten Tilleman is currently hot from the line, having sank her last 14 free-throws dating back to the Cal State Fullerton pairing. 

• The Board Game
The Gauchos are tops in the league in rebounding defense as they have limited their opposition to a league-low 33.1 rebounds per game and their 69.1% defensive rebounding percentage is also league-leading. UCSB is the only team with two players ranked in the conference top-10 in boards with Sweets Underwood ranking fourth (8.8 per game) and Kirsten Tilleman ranking seventh (7.4). 

• Sweets Does It Again
Senior Sweets Underwood collected her fourth Big West Player of the Week honor after notching a pair of double-doubles in the Gauchos' road victories. She is the first UCSB player to earn the honor four times in a season since Erin Buescher did so during the 1999-2000 campaign. She notched her eighth and ninth double-doubles of the year, posting 15 points and 12 rebounds against UC Davis before tallying 14 points and a career-high 16 boards at Pacific. 

• Living The Sweets Life
Sweets Underwood continues to lead the Gauchos with an average of 11.7 points per game, which ranks 10th in the Big West. She also boasts a team-leading 49.8% field goal percentage, which is the fourth-best among league players. At her current clip, Underwood will become the first Gaucho to lead the team in points, rebounds and field goal percentage since Jenna Green did in 2006-07.  

• Mustang Musings
Cal Poly enters this Saturday's game with a 13-9 overall record, a 7-4 mark in conference play and a 4-6 record on opponent's courts. The Mustangs split last week on the road; after defeating Pacific (62-59), they suffered a 79-69 setback at UC Davis. The team is led by Ariana Elegado, who is averaging 11.9 points per game. Molly Schlemer has led the squad in league games with an average of 14.5 points against Big West opposition.  

• Last Time vs. Cal Poly
During their last meeting on Jan. 19, Cal Poly defeated the visiting Gauchos, 66-47. The Mustangs were led by Schlemer's 22 points while Kayla Griffin put up 21 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists. For the Gauchos, Angelei Aguirre had a team-leading 10 points and four assists. 

• 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 28-28.  

• 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
UC Santa Barbara has begun 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 at UCSBgauchos.com.

 

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