January 13, 2007

Career-Highs From Ononiwu and Williams Lift UCSB to 77-53 Victory Over UC Davis

Jan. 13, 2007

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. - Three first-year players led the way as the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team rolled to a fifth consecutive win with a 77-53 victory over UC Davis Saturday night at The Pavilion. Junior Chisa Ononiwu made 7-of-10 shots for a career-high 20 points, while Jordan Franey scored 17 and Meagan Williams also set a career-mark with 16 off the bench.

UCSB has not lost since Dec. 28 at UC Riverside and improves to 9-8 overall this season. The Gauchos own a winning record for the first time in 2006-07 since defeating Portland State 88-73 in their Nov. 10 season-opener. UCD, who will join the Big West Conference next season, falls 7-10 overall with the loss.

Ononiwu made her first three shots - all from beyond the three-point arc and finished 5-of-6 from downtown. She has scored in double figures in four straight games and her 20-point total is a career at both UCSB and Baylor University, where she spent her freshman and sophomore seasons. The native of Houston, Tex. also tallied four rebounds, five assists, and three steals.

Williams also tallied a career-high with 16, marking the first time she scored in double figures as a Gaucho. The freshman made 6-of-12 shots from the floor, including 3-of-4 three-point attempts and recorded a career-best seven rebounds - six of which came on the offensive end of the floor.

Another freshman, Franey finished with her second-highest total of the season, making five of nine shots, three coming from downtown. She made 4-of-6 attempts at the free-throw line and hauled in five rebounds.

Ononiwu, Franey, and Williams responded in a game in which Santa Barbara needed production from some of its newest members. Junior guard Jessica Wilson was forced to run the point after LaShay Fears was sidelined due to a knee injury and finished with just seven points. Wilson did however dish out nine assists. Junior center Jenna Green faced constant double and triple-teams from Aggie defenders and scored a season-low eight points, while sophomore Whitney Warren scored four.

Freshman guard Anna Harp led UC Davis with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while senior center Heather Bates added 12 and senior forward Laura Thomas chipped in with 10.

UCSB jumped out to an early 11-3 lead following a three-point play from Wilson, but UCD answered with an 11-3 run of their own to tie the score at 14-14 at the 13:45 mark of the first half. The Aggies took the lead at 18-17 following a free-throw from Harp minutes later and went on to lead 30-26 after a three-pointer by Genevieve Costello with 5:06 left to play.

Santa Barbara then turned the corner and held Davis without a point the rest of the half while scoring 16 of their own capped off with a tip-in from Williams to take a 42-30 lead at halftime.

The Gauchos picked up right where they left off in the second period and their run eventually stretched to 28-4 combining the end of the first and start of the second to lead 54-34 with 15:58 left. UCSB led by as many as 27 points in the second half.

UCSB shot 52.9% from the floor, making 27-of-51 shots overall and recorded 21 assists. The Gauchos finished with a season-high 11 three-pointers made on 18 attempts, 61.1%. UC Davis made 19-of-52 shots, 36.5%. Santa Barbara controlled the backboards for the fifth game in a row, holding a 35-26 advantage.

The Gauchos now have six days off before traveling to Cal Poly to take on the Mustangs, Saturday, January 20, at 4:00 p.m.

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