Feb. 1, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After pulling to within three points at 30-27, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team did not score a point for a span of 9:40 and went on to lose 84-59 to No. 8 Stanford Thursday night in the Thunderdome. Candice Wiggins led all scorers with 21 points for the Cardinal, who embarked a 32-0 run combining the end of the first half and the start of the second in the win.
With the victory, Stanford has now won 17 consecutive games and improves to 19-3 overall this season. UCSB, who lost for the second time in the last three games, fell to 11-10 in 2006-07.
Wiggins finished 8-of-16, leading a Cardinal squad that shot 54.5% (36-of-66) from the floor. The junior guard was 4-of-6 from three-point territory and also dished out a game-high six assists. Senior forward Brooke Smith was impressive from the field as well, making 7-of-11 shots for 16 points and was the only player to record double-digit rebounds with 10. Senior forward Kristen Newlin added 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Playing without Jessica Wilson who was out with a concussion suffered last week against Pacific, the Gauchos still got a balanced scoring effort with four starters scoring in double figures. Junior center Jenna Green led the way with 14 points, Whitney Warren and LaShay Fears each tallied 13, and Chisa Ononiwu added 12.
Santa Barbara looked good against the high-octane Cardinal early, keeping within striking distance for most of the first half. After Stanford took a quick 7-2 lead following a jumper by Jillian Harmon, UCSB got it going and looked comfortable on the offensive end of the floor. An Ononiwu jumper in the paint cut the deficit to three, 7-4 and minutes later the Gauchos trailed by just three once more at 14-11 after Green hit from eight feet out.
Stanford enjoyed a pair of nine point leads in the opening period and ultimately led by 11, at 30-19, following a Jayne Appel layup at the 5:49 mark.
UCSB then scored the next eight points - seven of which came from Warren on a three-point play and two incredible drives to the basket - to climb within three at 30-27 with 3:51 remaining until halftime. From there the Gauchos went ice cold, missing their last five shots of the half while the Cardinal rattled off 10 straight to push the lead to 40-27 at the break.
Things didn't get any better for UCSB in the second half, with the Gauchos turning the ball over on six of their first seven possessions. Stanford continued its run, scoring the first 22 points of the period, as Santa Barbara's first score of the half did not come until Fears hit a jumper just inside the three-point arc with 14:11 left on the clock. The Cardinal made 10-of-15 shots during the decisive stretch to take a commanding 62-29 lead.
Fears tried to shoot the Gauchos back into the game single-handedly, scoring 10 consecutive points in just over a minute, but the damage had been done.
"Obviously our biggest concern was our complete collapse at the start of the second half," head coach Mark French said. "We definitely need to look into why that happened to make sure that doesn't happen again.
Although UCSB finished 27-of-62, 43.5% from the field, much of that came after the game had long since been decided. Just five days after making a school record 14 threes on 18 attempts, the Gauchos struggled from beyond the arc Thursday, finishing just 3-of-17. Fears had all three makes.
Green made 7-of-11 attempts from the field, grabbed four rebounds, and blocked two shots. Warren finished 6-of-11 and scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half. Fears was 5-of-9 overall, including a 3-of-6 performance from downtown, and Ononiwu made six of her team-high 14 shots.
Santa Barbara lost the rebounding battle, 44-25 and allowed 15 on the offensive end. Stanford outscored UCSB 50-18 in the paint and got 26 points from its bench to just seven for the Gauchos.
The Gauchos conclude their four game homestand Saturday against UC Davis at 2:00 p.m.