Nov. 4, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team took the court for the first time in 2006-07, but you would never know it after they defeated Cal Poly Pomona 76-47 Saturday night in the Thunderdome. Juniors Jessica Wilson and Jenna Green scored a combined 40 points to lead the Gauchos to victory in their lone exhibition tune-up of the season.
Santa Barbara was in control from the opening tip-off and raced out to an early 9-2 advantage at the 17:52 mark after a layup by Wilson. Green's jumper roughly five minutes later increased the Gauchos' cushion to 19-2, and the advantage swelled to 25-2 with nine minutes left in the half following a free-throw from sophomore point guard LaShay Fears. UCSB shot 53.3 % in the first half and took a decisive 46-16 lead into the locker room.
The Gauchos opened the second half with a 12-4 run that was capped off by a smooth jumper from Green to beat the shot clock buzzer. Santa Barbara had its biggest lead at 73-26 with 7:28 to play following another free-throw from Fears.
The Broncos did not stop fighting, however, and outscored the home team 21-3 from that point on to close out the game.
Wilson scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds to pace the Gauchos. Green added 18 on eight-of-nine shooting, grabbed three steals, and blocked two shots. Sophomore guard Whitney Warren was also impressive in her season debut, chipping in with ten points.
Randi Hicks and Vanessa Dominquez each had 12 points apiece to lead the way offensively for Cal Poly Pomona, while Natasha Reed amassed a game-high 10 rebounds.
UCSB also got a great performance from two of its newest members. Freshman Jordan Franey, who was in the starting lineup, scored eight points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Ariana Gnekow was one point and one rebound shy of a double-double with nine and nine.
"I really liked our energy tonight," head coach Mark French said. "We defended well, we took care of the ball and I was really pleased with the efforts of our younger players."
The Gauchos, who struggled with turning the ball over all season a year ago, finished with just 11 turnovers, while the Broncos had 24.
UCSB opens the regular season this Friday, November 10, when they host Portland State at 2:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.