Gauchos Fall 61-34 at Arizona

Makala Roper (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Makala Roper (Photo by Tony Mastres)

TUCSON, Ariz. – In ending its two-game road swing, UCSB fell at Arizona 61-34 in the McKale Center on Tuesday.

The Gauchos' record drops to 0-5, while the Wildcats nab their first win of the season and move to 1-2.

"Unfortunately, the score does not reflect how tough we competed today," UCSB Head Coach Carlene Mitchell said. "We were able to find open shots, but they just wouldn't go down today."

UCSB finished shooting 22.9 percent from the floor tonight and earned 14 attempts at the free throw line where they collected 10 points.

The Gauchos kept the score close in the opening half, as Clair Watkins got going early on offense. The UCSB center opened the game in making four of the Gauchos' first six points thanks to a pair of short jumpers made in the low post. Watkins finished the game with eight points and seven rebounds, both being team-highs.

Tying the senior's point total was Jasmine Ware who registered UCSB's first bucket of the day of a swift drive through the lane. The junior was held to four points in the first half, but she quickly got on the board after halftime in banking in 12-foot shot.

Both teams struggled offensively in opening the game, as the first score wasn't made until the 17:43 mark. While UCSB's defense was giving the Wildcats with a slew of missed shots plus a pair of forced turnovers in the opening eight minutes, Arizona soon found consistency on offense with a 15-2 run that put itself ahead at 22-8.

Santa Barbara netted six more points before the halftime break thanks to four points from Onome Jemerigbe and a last second jumper from Ware. The Wildcats, though, carried a 29-14 lead into the break thanks to the sharp shooting of Candice Warthen who went 3-3 from downtown. Overall, Arizona made six of its 12 shots from three-point land.

While Ware scored the second half's first basket, the Wildcats kept the pressure on thanks to their rebounding and three-point shooting from Charise Holloway. The guard hit a pair of triples in the span of two minutes to move her team ahead 37-18 with 12:40 remaining.

In the rebounding category, Arizona – which came is as one of the top rebounding teams in the Pac-12 – pulled in 49 boards compared to UCSB's 29. The Wildcats had 15 offensive rebounds and capitalized with 17 points off those second chance opportunities. 

Still, the Gauchos competed until the end, evidenced by Makala Roper who made a pair of three pointers in consecutive UCSB possessions. The freshman has now made two outside shots in three consecutive games.

UCSB will be back in action on Friday when it hosts Army in the Thunderdome at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game are available at the ICA Building on the UCSB campus, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), or online here.