Jan. 17, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Yes, the following saying is clichéd and horribly overused, but on Saturday afternoon, it truly was a tale of two halves for the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team.
After making a season-low four field goals in the first 20 minutes vs. Cal Poly, the Gauchos came roaring out in the second half, hitting 55% of their shots and ran the Mustangs out of the Thunderdome, 55-45. It was UCSB's seventh straight victory as the Gauchos improve to 10-6 and 5-0 in the Big West. Cal Poly falls to 9-7, 2-3.
The win also marked the 20th straight season UCSB's women's team has won at least 10 games.
"I told them after the game I know I'm going to get asked about the halftime speech100 times," head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "It's not about what I said, it's about what they did."
Trailing 29-17 heading into halftime, UCSB came out in the second half on fire. The Gauchos scored the second stanza's first nine points to pull within three, 29-26, and then went on an 18-6 run, taking a 44-38 lead with 6:17 remaining in the game.
Jenna Green paced the Gauchos with 16 points, three rebounds and two blocks. Jordan Franey, starting in place of Margaret Johnson, had 13 points and seven rebounds while Sha'Rae Gibbons added 11 points and four steals.
"We got a lot of post looks out of transition which is huge because they don't have time to set up," said Green, who moved into 12th place all-time in UCSB scoring history.
UCSB closed out Cal Poly on a pair of Franey free throws - she went 7-for-8 from the line on the day - taking an 11-point lead with 3:25 to go.
The Gauchos scored 38 second-half points while holding Cal Poly to just 18.8% shooting from the field in the second half. UCSB has now beaten its Central Coast rivals six of the past eight times the teams have locked horns.
"It's the confidence we have and the poise and control," Gibbons said. "We've been in so many of these situations before. Everyone's coming after us. We love it."
Next up for the Gauchos is UC Davis next Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Thunderdome. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB, coming to the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or by clicking here.