SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After two Idaho free throws and trailing 47-44, UCSB had one more possession and seven seconds to send the game into overtime.
The Vandal defense took away the Gauchos' first option, but Onome Jemerigbe found an open Jasmine Ware in the right corner for the last second shot. The junior, who set a career-high in scoring tonight, just missed her shot off the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded, as UCSB came up short after battling back in a hard fought game.
With the 47-44 loss, the Gauchos fall to 0-2 on the season, while Idaho improves to 1-1.
Jasmine Ware and Kristine Brance had career nights in scoring 14 and 11 points, respectively. Clair Watkins finished with her first double-double of the young season with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Leading the floor in scoring was Idaho's Stacey Barr who recorded 20 points and six rebounds.
Overall, the Gauchos made just 30 percent of their shots, but made their way to the free throw line a combined 18 times and made 13 of their tries.
While UCSB fell behind early at 14-2, the team was able to jump back into contention thanks to its back court pressure on the Vandals that forced them into committing crucial turnovers. Idaho coughed up the ball 18 times, while the Gauchos finished the game with 10 steals, including one from Taylor Farris that triggered the team's first half comeback.
After the swipe, Ware attacked her way to the free throw line with 7:32 remaining in the half and made both looks. The junior finished the game going for 4-4 at the charity stripe and has now made 11 straight free throws to open the season.
Just two minutes later, Ware was at it again, this time creating her own play off a steal and finishing with a layup on the fast break, cutting the Idaho lead to 14-7.
UCSB's defense continued to silence the Vandals' offense during its run, as Idaho only had three points in the final nine and a half minutes of the first.
While their defense in rhythm, the Gauchos' offense was picking up points with big shots including a three-pointer from Kristine Brance with 4:37 remaining.
The Gauchos continued to ride their offensive momentum as highlighted by Ware who knocked down a pair of midrange jumpers on back-to-back possessions, which gave her team its first lead of the game at 15-14. Quick to respond, though, was Christina Salvatore who hit a triple with two minutes left to put her team ahead 17-15 going into the locker room.
Despite giving up the three, UCSB proved that it was carrying all of the game's momentum, as it opened the second half on fire with 11 unanswered points.
Watkins hit a jumper on the team's first possession, while Brance tallied four on a run that would eventually give the Gauchos their largest lead of the night at 26-17.
Idaho clawed its way back from a double-digit deficit behind key three-point shooting from Salvatore who made four triples in the second half alone. She finished the game with 15 points all coming from three-point range.
At the 5:48 mark, Salvatore hit one of her shots off a deep look from the top of the arc and tied the game at 37-37. From there, she and Stacey Barr netted 10 combined points to put the game just out of reach for UCSB.
The game however was kept close thanks to Onome Jmerigbe who made consecutive layups falls after tough drives to the basket.
The point guard also found Watkins with 2:23 left on a last second jump shot to move the team within one at 45-44.
Barr would later make two free throws that forced UCSB to make a shot from three-point range, an area where it only made 1-14 of its looks that night.
UCSB will be back in the Thunderdome on Thursday night when they will host Santa Clara at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game are now available at the Ticketing Office at the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), or online here.