SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Playing in its final game of 2016 on early Saturday afternoon, UCSB (5-8) fell to Yale (9-4) 64-60 after the Bulldogs closed the final 1:58 on a 10-0 run. The loss, which closes out the Gauchos' non-conference schedule, snaps their season-long three-game win streak.
Guard Coco Miller went 6-12 from the field and 3-6 from three-point range to finish with a team-high 15 points, nine of which came in the second half, while center Drew Edelman recorded her second consecutive double-double with ten points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Unfortunately for the home side, it wasn't enough to stop a Yale team that has now won six of its last seven games on the road.
Leading 58-54 late in the fourth, the Gauchos extended their lead to six off a clutch jumper by Onome Jemerigbe at the 2:29 mark. However, the final two minutes saw the ball start to bounce the Bulldogs' way, as the visitors went on a 7-0 run to take a 61-60 lead, their first of the second half, with :42 to go.
Coming out of a timeout, UCSB turned to Drea Toler, who drove down the right side before getting fouled on a layup attempt. Although she had perhaps the best game of any Gaucho on the day, Toler missed both free throws. She finished the day 4-8 from the field with ten points, two steals and a game-high six assists.
In their attempts to foul and send Yale to the line, the Gauchos found more misfortune as they instead picked up an intentional foul with :12 to go, giving the Bulldogs two free throws and the ball. Making 3-4 at the line on its final possession, Yale took a two-possession lead and went on to win 64-60.
Leading all scorers was Yale's Lena Munzer, who finished with team-highs of 18 points, seven boards and five assists. Munzer hit 6-13 shots, but none was bigger than her three with 1:25 left in the game which pulled the Bulldogs within a point at 60-59. Meghan McIntyre was Yale's second leading scorer with 14 points after hitting 3-7 from deep.
The Gauchos came into their matchup with Yale having not played a game in 11 days, and the rust seemed to show in the early going as they turned the ball over on four of their first five possessions. Needing a spark, UCSB found it in the form of Drea Toler, who after coming off the bench at the 6:54 mark of the first quarter recorded three assists in her first three possessions to help put her team up 8-7. Santa Barbara eventually trailed 15-12 after one quarter.
After a Makala Roper three tied it at 15-15 to open the second, Yale answered with a 12-2 run to take its largest lead of the game at 27-17. From there, UCSB's defense took charge, helping spark a 13-0 midway through the quarter.
From the 4:03-1:50 mark, Drew Edelman scored six points on 3-4 shooting and Santa Barbara forced four turnovers, taking its first lead 30-27 with 1:50 to go. Coco Miller would hit her second three of the opening half with :35 remaining, sending the Gauchos to the break with a 33-30 advantage.
Santa Barbara's momentum extended into the second half as the Bulldogs were held to just one field goal over the first 5:32. The Gauchos would take their largest lead of the game 47-35 on another layup from Edelman with 3:06 left in the third before heading into the final period up 49-41.
Yale then got off to a strong start in the fourth, going on a 7-3 run to cut UCSB's lead to just 52-48 at the 6:43 mark. The Gauchos were held to just one field goal over the final 5:29 and were outscored 23-10 in the final quarter.
UCSB will be back in action for its Big West opener at Cal Poly on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m.