Johnson's Career-High Leads Gauchos to First Victory

Nov. 29, 2009

Box Score

SAN DIEGO - Behind a career-high 29 points from Emilie Johnson, a double-double from Mekia Valentine and a crucial five-point play late in the game, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team defeated San Diego 75-65 on Sunday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion, snapping a four-game losing streak.

UCSB improves to 1-4 on the season while San Diego falls to 3-4.

With the game tied at 56-apiece with 3:14 left in the game, Emilie Johnson hit a long three-pointer as Jordan Franey was fouled setting a screen to free up Johnson. The three-pointer counted and Franey sank both free throws as UCSB then knocked down 10 consecutive free throws in the final minutes for the victory.

"It's kind of telling we talked about doing the things that makes winning basketball teams and one of those things is screening," head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "Jordan set a great screen and Emilie calmly knocked down the three and Jordan sometimes likes being on the floor as much as making baskets."

As a team UCB shot 48% while hitting 7 of 13 from downtown. The seven three-pointers matched the Gauchos' entire output for the season.

After being held to eight points and zero rebounds in the first half, Mekia Valentine broke out in the second half, finishing with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Dominique Conners scored a career-high 30 points for San Diego.

The Gauchos led by as many as 11 points in the first half as the team shot 53.8% in the first stanza, however after holding San Diego's offense in check for most of the half, the Toreros came alive. San Diego hit 4 of 9 three-pointers in the first half to claw back into the game.

Jordan Franey's buzzer-beater from 19 feet allowed the Gauchos to take a 37-34 halftime lead.

The Gauchos will have a shot at redemption this Sunday when they travel to face San Diego on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the first of three straight road contests. All women's basketball games can be heard on AM 990 in Santa Barbara or streaming online here.

UCSB doesn't return home until Sunday, Dec. 13 when the Gauchos host Cal State Bakersfield at 2 p.m. in the Thunderdome. To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.

UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.