Feb. 10, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Emilie Johnson continued her hot shooting, Mekia Valentine was strong in the paint and Kelsey Adrian warmed up in the second half as the three helped lead UC Santa Barbara's women's basketball team past UC Irvine, 70-56, on Thursday night in the Thunderdome.
Johnson, the reigning Big West Player of the Week, scored a team-high 17 points after pouring in a combined 55 in two games last week. The junior scored 15 of her points in the first half.
Valentine and Adrian combined for 22 second-half points as the Gauchos (13-10 overall, 7-4 in Big West) pulled away from UC Irvine (13-10, 5-6) for their 10th straight win over the Anteaters.
It didn't help UCI that star forward Mikah Maly-Karros did not make the trip to the Central Coast along with her teammates. However, that didn't stop the feisty Anteaters from giving UCSB a tough game.
Jade Smith-Williams, the conference's third-leading scorer, led UCI with 19 points and Tayler Champion added 14, but clearly a void was left without Maly-Karros, who is averaging 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
"We prepped all week to defend (Mikah-Karros)," UCSB head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "Our players and coaches had to quickly change mindsets. I knew the rest of them would come out fired up."
Valentine, though, still had a tough defender in center Kim Barnes. However the Gaucho senior was able to use some of her athleticism in the second half as she finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.
Adrian scored 10 of her 13 points in the second half, hitting double figures in scoring for the second straight game. Melissa Zornig had nine points and six assists off the bench and Sweets Underwood had six points and three boards.
After Jade Smith-Williams hit a three-pointer to break a 14-14 tie, UCSB scored six straight points to take a lead it would never relinquish. The Gauchos led 32-27 at the half.
UCI kept things within single digits for part of the second half, even closing to 45-42 with 9:46 remaining. But, a quick 11-1 spurt by the Gauchos dashed any hopes the Anteaters had of pulling an upset.
Santa Barbara concludes its homestand on Saturday with a 2 p.m. game vs. UC Riverside. Josh Suchon will be broadcasting the pregame show live online by clicking here and on the air at AM 990 KTMS.
Tickets are available online by clicking here or by calling (805) 893-UCSB (8272).
May 19, 2011 UCSB Names Carlene Mitchell New Head Coach
May 9, 2011 Women's Basketball Golf Tournament is May 19
April 29, 2011 Women's Basketball Team Adds Two More Players for 2011-12
April 25, 2011 Lindsay Gottlieb Named Head Coach at Cal
April 13, 2011 Gauchos Have League-High Four Receive All-Academic Honors
April 11, 2011 Mekia Valentine Chosen by NY Liberty in WNBA Draft
March 17, 2011 Gauchos Fall to Trojans in WNIT Opener
March 15, 2011 Gauchos Play at USC on Thursday in WNIT
March 14, 2011 UCSB Receives Bid to WNIT; Plays at USC on Thursday
March 7, 2011 Four Gauchos Honored by Big West
March 7, 2011 Emilie Johnson's not sitting still at UCSB
March 7, 2011 Mekia Valentine Named Big West Player of the Week
March 3, 2011 Gauchos Travel to SLO With Big West Title on the Line
February 28, 2011 Emilie Johnson Named Big West Player of the Week
February 26, 2011 Johnson's 27 Points Leads UCSB Past CSUN
February 24, 2011 Kristen Mann Named Legend Of The Dome
February 23, 2011 Gauchos Host Long Beach, Northridge in Final Two Home Games
February 22, 2011 Mekia Valentine Named Golden 1/UCSBgauchos.com Athlete of the Week
February 21, 2011 Valentine Named Big West Player of the Week
February 20, 2011 UCSB Tops Seattle University During Annual Pink Zone Game
February 17, 2011 Gauchos Outlast Fullerton, 73-70
February 16, 2011 Gauchos Go For Win No. 37 in a Row vs. Fullerton on Thursday
February 12, 2011 Four Score in Double Figures as UCSB Buries UCR
February 11, 2011 Nicole Nesbit: Against Tall Odds
February 10, 2011 UCSB Shoots Past Anteaters, 70-56
February 9, 2011 Gauchos Host UC Irvine on Thursday, UC Riverside on Saturday
February 9, 2011 UCSB Announces Pink Zone Event for Feb. 20
February 5, 2011 Sharp-Shooting UC Davis Tops Gauchos
February 3, 2011 Johnson's Career Night Leads Gauchos Past Tigers
February 1, 2011 Gauchos Head North to Battle Pacific, UC Davis
January 29, 2011 Gauchos Use Big Second Half to Defeat Cal State Northridge, 71-48
January 27, 2011 Gauchos Unable to Blemish Mustangs' Perfect Mark in Narrow Defeat
January 27, 2011 Sweets Underwood: A Great Example
January 26, 2011 UCSB Hosts First-Place Cal Poly on Thursday
January 24, 2011 Underwood a Sweet option for UCSB
January 22, 2011 UCSB Annihilates Fullerton, 69-32
January 21, 2011 The Gauchos' floor general
January 21, 2011 Tickets On Sale for 2011 ampm Big West Tournament at Honda Center
January 20, 2011 Gauchos Host Fullerton on Saturday
January 15, 2011 Gauchos Unable to Stop UC Riverside
January 13, 2011 Gauchos Topple Irvine Behind Great Defensive Play
January 12, 2011 Transfer Finds Family in Gaucho Gold
January 12, 2011 Gauchos Face Stiff Road Test This Week
January 8, 2011 Reserves Spark Gauchos in Victory
January 6, 2011 Gauchos Fall to UC Davis, 63-55
January 5, 2011 UCSB Returns Home to Face UC Davis, Pacific
December 30, 2010 Gauchos Open Big West Play by Throttling Long Beach State
December 28, 2010 Gauchos Open Conference Play at Long Beach on Thursday
December 22, 2010 Gauchos Blow Past Siena for Sixth Win in Eight Games
December 21, 2010 Have Breakfast With the Gauchos on Wednesday as UCSB Faces Siena
December 19, 2010 UCSB Hangs Tough with No. 18 St. John's, but Unable to Pull Off Upset
December 18, 2010 Johnson Continues Hot Streak to Help Gauchos Win
December 17, 2010 Gauchos Head to East Coast for Three
December 14, 2010 Adrian Helps Gauchos Win Overtime Thriller
December 13, 2010 Gauchos Begin 5-Game Road Trip on Tuesday at Bakersfield
December 11, 2010 Underwood, Gauchos Roll Past UTEP
December 9, 2010 Gauchos Get a Rare Dose of Home Cooking
December 8, 2010 Join the Gauchos for a New York Women's Basketball Huddle
December 5, 2010 UCSB Dominates USF, 71-38
December 4, 2010 UCSB Looks to Get Back on Track at USF on Sunday
December 3, 2010 Gauchos Fall to Saint Mary's, 77-53
December 1, 2010 UCSB Heads North for Two Tough Tests
November 29, 2010 Valentine Named Big West Player of the Week
November 28, 2010 Mekia Valentine Records School's First Triple-Double in Victory
November 24, 2010 Gauchos Finish Homestand on Sunday vs. Northern Colorado
November 20, 2010 Idaho Outlasts Gauchos in Double Overtime
November 18, 2010 Portland State Needs OT to Top Gauchos
November 17, 2010 Gauchos Host Portland State on Thursday in 1 p.m. Game at Thunderdome
November 17, 2010 Women's Hoops Team Inks Two Top Players
November 14, 2010 No. 15 Bruins Too Much for Gauchos
November 12, 2010 Gauchos Drop Opener to Pepperdine
November 10, 2010 UCSB Starts 2010-11 Campaign With Two Road Tests
November 4, 2010 Valentine's Double-Double Not Enough for Gauchos in Exhibition
November 3, 2010 UCSB Women's Hoops Opens 2010-11 Season on Thursday
October 28, 2010 Valentine Tabbed as Preseason First Team Pick; Gauchos Picked Fourth
October 27, 2010 Josh Suchon Added to UCSB Broadcast Team