STOCKTON, Calif. – Facing Pacific Saturday afternoon in the first of three December road games, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team fell to the Tigers 69-56.
Junior center Natalia Bruening and sophomore guard Bri Anugwom paced UCSB (2-7) with 13 and 12 points, respectively, doing most of their damage in the second half. The two were once again solid from the free throw line, knocking down a combined 10-of-11 from the charity stripe.
Junior guard Tal Sahar added eight points off the bench, making 2-of-7 from three-point range. The only player to hit multiple treys on the day, Sahar has now hit more than one three in three different games this year, tied for the most on the team.
Sahar connected on her first attempt of the game, a triple with 3:28 to go in the first which put UCSB up 17-15. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, that would be their last lead of the day, as the Tigers ended the opening period on an 8-0 run to take a 23-17 lead into the second.
Another Sahar three-pointer early in the second brought UCSB within three at 23-20, but Pacific would push its lead to double-figures before the half, heading into the break with a 35-25 advantage.
The Gauchos would continue to struggle with their shot early in the second half, as the Tigers outshot them 50 percent to 18.2 percent in the third. A Pacific layup to open the fourth quarter put the home side up 57-36, its largest lead of the day. After going 0-of-4 in the first half, Bruening would come alive in the final period, going 3-for-6 from the field for six points.
For the third straight game, the Gaucho starting lineup included guards Danae Miller and Lauren Lee. Miller tied a season-high with seven points, hitting her first three-pointer of the season in the process. She also added four assists and three rebounds. Lee meanwhile finished with five points and three boards in a season-high 34 minutes.
Junior guard Coco Miller was held in check for the most part, scoring five points on 2-of-9 shooting and 1-of-6 from range to go along with two assists. She has now hit a three in eight of nine games to start the season. Senior guard Paris Jones added three points off the bench to round out the Gaucho scorers.
UCSB had perhaps its best collective free throw shooting effort of the season, going 17-of-20 as a team for a season-high 85 percent. The Gauchos will be back on the road next Sunday for a 2:00 p.m. game at Cal.