Feb. 27, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior day at the Thunderdome ended as it should - with the UC Santa Barbara senior quintet being saluted, smiles on each of their faces, a win in their final home game and a standing ovation from the crowd.
UCSB enjoyed perhaps its most complete game of the season, routing rival Cal Poly, 85-70, on Saturday afternoon and sending off the senior class with a huge win in their final home appearance. The Gauchos improve to 11-16 overall and 8-7 in the Big West while the Mustangs fall to 17-10, 10-5.
Cal Poly entered the game fighting for first place in the Big West, but the Gauchos demolished them which counts for UCSB's third straight victory - its longest winning streak of the season. The 85 points also count as the highest point total by the Gauchos this year as four players scored in double digits.
Keeping up her torrid pace was point guard Emilie Johnson, who followed up a 21-point performance on Wednesday, with 27 on Saturday, while dishing out a career-high eight assists. Meagan Williams had 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists while Mekia Valentine had 12 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks and Ariana Gnekow added 11 points.
It didn't start out so rosy for Santa Barbara, though.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the game's first 1:57 before Johnson hit one of her five 3-pointers of the day, helping turn the tide. UCSB finished the half on a 42-19 run, highlighted by 20 first-half points from Johnson.
Poly couldn't recover, never getting closer than 12 points the rest of the afternoon.
Obviously the Gauchos were playing with high spirits, saying farewell to Jordan Franey, Ariana Gnekow, Jessie Goble, Chris Spencer and Meagan Williams, but head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said "I thought we did a great job today of channeling all of our emotions into great basketball."
Late in the game, Gottlieb made sure all five seniors were on the floor together at once, then subbed them all out together, so they could all soak in one final standing ovation from the season-high crowd of 2,217.
Yet another reason to celebrate was that UCSB moved to one game over .500 in conference play for the first time since starting 1-0 with a win over UC Irvine, the Gauchos' next opponent. UCSB will play the Anteaters on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Irvine's Bren Events Center.
Some notes on sustainability as part of the Blue-Green rivalry, a series for sustainability:
- UCSB's trayless dining went into practice in Fall 2009. Across the UCSB residence hall dining commons system, the total waste per person per meal is down 37 percent, while the average waste per person overall is down 54 percent.
- Composting Program in the Residence Halls: In Winter 2009, UCSB implemented a pilot program for composting both pre-and post-consumer food in De La Guerra (DLG) Dining Commons. In 2008, an estimated 80 percent of DLG's waste was taken to landfills, while 20 percent was diverted. Thus far in 2009, an estimated 90 percent of the waste has been diverted, while only 10 percent winds up in area landfills.
- In November 2009, the Chancellor's Sustainability Committee approved the UCSB Climate Action Plan. The plan is intended as a tool to guide the campus in reaching its greenhouse gas emissions targets of: 2000 emissions levels by 2014; 1990 emissions levels by 2020; Carbon neutrality by 2050. The plan will be updated in August 2010 and biennially thereafter
- UCSB is one of the nation's leaders in green building. The campus now has four buildings certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for New Construction (NC). Buildings Include: Bren Hall -LEED Platinum; Marine Science Building- LEED Certified; Student Resource Building-LEED Gold; San Clemente Villages - LEED Gold.
- Bren Hall was also the first building in the United States to receive a double platinum certification. "As the first project to receive LEED Platinum certification as both a new and existing building, Bren Hall demonstrates tremendous green building leadership," according to Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council.