Jan. 28, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Forgive Jenna Green if she hadn't exactly put the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team on her back and carried them for parts of this season. Sitting out the previous year with back trouble can do that.
But on Wednesday night at The Matadome, Green had her best game of the season - and one that evoked memories of how good she truly is - carrying the Gauchos to a 75-58 victory over Cal State Northridge.
It was UCSB's 10th straight win as the team improved to 13-6 overall and 8-0 in the Big West. CSUN falls to 5-15, 2-5. UCSB also improved its conference road winning streak to 18 straight games, which leads the nation.
Green scored 26 points with a career-high tying 13 rebounds, including 15 points and five rebounds in the first half as the Gauchos continually got her the ball in the low post. Green surpassed Mia Fisher (2001-05) for 11th place all-time in UCSB career scoring history as she now has 1,392 career points. She is now 69 points behind Erika Kienast (1988-92) to break into UCSB's Top-10 list.
It was Green's first 20-point performance since she scored 25 on March 17, 2007 against the University of San Diego in the first round of the WNIT. Her 26 points on Wednesday were the third-most she's had in her illustrious career.
The sixth-year senior led the team in both points and rebounds for the first time since Nov. 19, 2007 vs. Loyola Marymount when she had 14 points and 12 boards.
"It felt good," Green said. "My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball in positions where I could make good moves. I missed some bunnies early and (coach Lindsay Gottlieb) got on me and told me to finish, so I took that personally. We had the height advantage so it was all about just being smart and using your mobility when you can."
UCSB, which entered the game shooting 75.1% from the free throw line, went 28 of 35, tying the team's high for free throws made this season. Green was 8-for-10 from the line while Franey was a perfect 8-for-8.
Down 23-20 with 6:20 left in the first half, UCSB went on a 16-5 run to finish the half and then opened the second stanza on a 20-7 run.
But the Matadors slugged their way back into it. CSUN cut the lead to eight, 64-56, with under three minutes remaining, however Green knocked down a pair of free throws to bring the Gauchos lead back to double digits.
That's where it stayed for the remainder of the night. Another Green layup made it 69-56 with less than two minutes left and Sha'Rae Gibbons' three-pointer with 1:20 remaining iced it.
UCSB returns home on Thursday, Feb. 5 against Cal State Fullerton at the Thunderdome at 7 p.m. which will be a Coke Family Pack Night - $40 gets you four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and four T-shirts. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office located on campus in the Intercollegiate Athletics Office or by clicking here.