San Diego, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara's season ended in San Diego as the Aztecs walked away with the convincing 69-46 victory in the first round of the WNIT. Though the game will go down as a loss, Gaucho history was made that night.
In her last game as a Gaucho, Sweets Underwood put together a career performance and etched her name into the UCSB record books by joining the 1,000-point club. She became the 24th player in the program's highly decorated history to do so.
"I know Sweets didn't get to finish off the Cal Poly game she wanted to," head coach Carlene Mitchell said. "So it was great to see her take hold of this opportunity. It will be nice for her one day to look back and understand what a great career she had at UCSB."
Underwood netted a career-high 24 points against the Aztecs and led the Gauchos with nine rebounds.
The senior forward entered the game with 999 career points, and she didn't wait to eclipse the 1,000-point mark as she scored just under three minutes into game action.
With the Gauchos down 9-4, Underwood took the ball in the paint, where she has scored the majority of her points, and buried a short jumper. Even after just making her way into the UCSB record books, she knew there was still plenty of basketball left to play.
On the following Aztec possession, Underwood made her defensive presence known when she denied a Courtney Clements shot and sent it out of bounds for the block. UCSB would eventually take the ball back and have Nicole Nesbit register her first basket of the night to bring the Gauchos within one at the 9-8 score.
That was as close as Santa Barbara would get to the Aztecs.
SDSU was a team that seemed to be on track for the NCAA tournament, as they garnered a 26-6 record, including a program record 17-game win streak. However, their loss to Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship game kept them out of the big dance. The team figured they would at least earn an at-large bid into the tournament, but their name was never drawn. Entering the WNIT, the team wore a chip on their shoulder, feeling like they had something to prove. And they showed it in front of their home crowd with Courtney Clements leading the charge.
Clements led the floor with a 31-point performance, shooting 10-17 from the floor and an impressive 7-10 from downtown.
The transfer from Arizona finished the first half with 21 points, helping the Aztecs pull out to a 20-point halftime lead. That margin proved to be large enough for SDSU to secure the victory and a trip to the second round of the WNIT.
The Aztecs collectively shot 47.3% from the field and knocked down 43.5% of their long-range shots.