Nov. 26, 2005
PROVO, Utah - The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team is still searching for its first victory of 2005-06, with the Gauchos' latest setback being a 72-39 defeat Saturday in the Marriott Center at the hands of BYU.
After posting its lowest point total since a 78-33 loss at UNLV on Feb. 17, 1990, UCSB fell to 0-4 on the season, and has lost five straight games counting last year's NCAA Tournament defeat. Playing their home opener, the Cougars remain undefeated at 3-0.
After Santa Barbara took an early 8-5 advantage when Karena Bonds found fellow senior Autumn Nichols in the low-post for a layup, but that lead was quickly erased by back-to-back three-pointers by Ambrosia Anderson and Mallary Gillespie. That was just a preview of what was to follow from the BYU duo, as Gillespie finished the opening period burying five-of-six shots from beyond the arc. Two of those trifectas came during a 10-0 spurt before halftime that gave the home team a double-digit cushion it would never relinquish. BYU led 41-20 heading into the locker rooms.
However the Gauchos clamped down on defense following the break, forcing turnovers and beginning the second half on a 14-5 run capped by freshman Whitney Warren's lay-in with 14:32 remaining. That pulled the visitors within 46-35, however UCSB's offense went ice-cold from that point forward. Anderson responded with consecutive buckets, and then added five more points during a string of 10 unanswered for BYU that halted any hopes of a Santa Barbara comeback.
For the fourth straight contest, sophomore center Jenna Green paced the UCSB attack with 12 points, while Nichols broke out of her early-season slump by scoring 10. Sophomore guard Jessica Wilson was the only other Gaucho to score more than four points with seven, and also tied her career high of eight rebounds. Santa Barbara did convert 11-of-15 free-throw tries (73.3%) and for the fourth straight game committed fewer turnovers than its opponent (18 vs. 21).
Anderson led all players with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Gillespie came back to earth following her scintillating first half but still finished with 20 points, one-shy of a personal best. The Cougars shot 46.4% compared to 24.1% by the visitors, and owned a commanding 48-33 rebounding advantage.
The Gauchos play their final out-of-state road game of the regular season on Monday, Nov. 28 at Weber State (1-2 overall). Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. MST/6:00 p.m. PST, and all the action can be heard live on KTMS 990AM.