SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After Onome Jemerigbe connected on a clutch three-pointer in the final seconds to force overtime, UCSB went on to be outscored by UC Davis 12-6 in the extra period, as the Gauchos fell 60-54 in a heartbreaking loss in the Thunderdome.
Santa Barbara now moves to 0-20 on the season with a 0-7 conference mark, while the Aggies are 4-3 in Big West play with a 9-10 overall record.
With time ticking away in the Thunderdome, UCSB needed three points to force overtime against UC Davis, who were one stop away from capping off their second half comeback. The Gauchos inbounded the ball with 21 seconds to go, but the Aggies forced tight passes along the perimeter and did not give the Gauchos any room to shoot a three.
Then the ball found Jemerigbe. The point guard had six seconds to shoot and created her own shot from 32 feet out and nailed the basket with seconds to go. The Thunderdome erupted, and the Gauchos forced overtime.
"I knew that I had to make my own shot that time," Jemerigbe said. "When the play we tried to run didn't work, I decided to take it. I was comfortable in knowing that my teammates trusted me to take that shot."
The sophomore led UCSB with 14 points in the game, going 7-7 at the foul line. She also dished out six dimes to remain the conference's assists leader during Big West play (5.6 apg).
"Players make plays, and that's exactly what Onome did with that three," UCSB Head Coach Carlene Mitchell said.
Now in her fourth season, it was Mitchell's first overtime game since arriving in Santa Barbara.
Three other Gauchos scored in double digits along with Jemerigbe, as Kristine Brance and Jasmine Ware each had 11 while Clair Watkins added 10. Ware also led the team in the rebounding category with six boards, while Watkins pulled down five. The senior completed her stat line with a career-high five steals.
On the ensuring possession, Kelsey Harris seemingly put the game out of reach with a triple, but the Gauchos nailed a three of their own with Makala Roper connecting from the right corner at the 1:46 mark.
However, UCSB remained scoreless for the rest of the game, as Davis closed out the contest with four made free throws in the final 40 seconds.
"We ran out of gas," Mitchell said. "Our press wasn't as strong later in the game and Davis made shots when they had to."
UCSB initially started the game slow, as Davis opened the game with a pair of tripled to go ahead 6-2. Playing catch up, the Gauchos were quick to take their first elad of the game, as Watkins opened a 9-0 UCSB run with a jumper from the left elbow.
Brance completed the run with a baseline jumper and put the Gauchos ahead 11-6 with 10:50 left in the first. Santa Barbara held on to the lead and went into the halftime break up by four points.
UCSB wasted no time in opening the second half, as Ware and Jemerigbe put up back-to-back scores in pushing their team's lead up to eight points. Before the first official timeout, the Gauchos had garnered a game-high 10-point lead at 35-25 following a perfect 2-2 trip the foul line from Jemerigbe.
Battling back, the Aggies reclaimed the lead for the first time since the first half at 46-45 following a Celia Marfone layup. Two points went through for Alyson Doherty at the line, which set the stage for Jemerigbe's last second three-pointer.
The Gauchos will head out to Hawai'i next Thursday to close out the first round of Big West play. The game will tip-off at 9 p.m. (PST) and will be featured locally on KZSB AM 1290 and around the globe on UCSBgauchos.com.