Nov. 20, 2005
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - For the first time since 1993-94, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team has opened as season with two straight losses, the second being a 76-56 setback at Louisville on Sunday afternoon in Freedom Hall.
The Gauchos' only lead came at 4-2 as the host Cardinals cruised to victory in their season debut. With 12:26 to play in the first half UCSB cut its deficit to 12-9 thanks to a short jumper by Autumn Nichols, but Patrika Barlow responded with a three-pointer on UofL's next possession that sparked a 10-0 run for the home team. Santa Barbara pulled no closer than 12 points the rest of the first half and trained 42-25 at intermission.
The visitors were able to establish an inside presence to open second period as sophomore center Jenna Green tallied the first three baskets to pull UCSB within 42-31 at the 18:06 mark. Green scored again two minutes later, however that came during a 13-2 Louisville run that broke the game wide open. Gaucho junior Erin O'Bryan stopped the bleeding with one of her six three-pointers with 13:01 to play, but the Cards' lead consistently hovered around 20 points for the remainder of the afternoon.
Both Green and O'Bryan did a bulk of their damage in the second half to tie their career-high scoring totals. Two days after tallying 17 points at 10th-ranked Michigan State, Green poured in a game-high 19, making eight-of-14 shots from the floor. The San Jose, Calif., native also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds while also blocking two shots and nabbing a personal best four steals. O'Bryan did all of her damage from downtown, burying six-of-10 trifectas for 18 points. For the second straight game Santa Barbara committed fewer turnovers than its opponent, coughing the ball up 20 times to UofL's 24.
Louisville featured a trio of players who scored in double-digits, led by junior Missy Taylor's 17 points. She also grabbed 11 rebounds while junior All-American center Jazz Covington enjoyed a double-double as well with 12 points and a game-high 13 boards. Katie Olson scored 15 for the victors, who like Santa Barbara reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The Cardinals shot 45.2% from floor and held a decided rebounding advantage, 49 to 28.
The Gauchos will seek their first win of 2005-06 when they play their hope opener on Wednesday, Nov. 23, hosting Richmond in the Thunderdome at 7:00 p.m.