Dec. 4, 2006
Richmond, Va. - Three players scored in double figures and freshmen came up big as the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team overcame a eight-point first half deficit to defeat non-conference opponent Richmond 51-49 Monday at the Robins Center. Jordan Franey drained three key free throws late in the game to seal the victory, UCSB's first in its last six contests.
The win upped the Gauchos' season record to 2-5, while the Spiders, who were coming off of a five-game road trip, dropped to 3-7.
Down 49-48 with 1:46 left in the game, Franey, a freshman forward, was fouled by Richmond's Danielle Bell. Franey made good on both shots from the charity stripe, putting the Gauchos up 50-49. With 15 seconds left, Franey collected a huge offensive rebound off of a missed jump shot from LaShay Fears. Franey was fouled by the Spiders' Sarah Williams and made one of two free throws with 11 ticks left on the clock to account for the final score.
Williams missed a three-pointer with two seconds remaining as the Spiders did not record a field goal in the final five minutes of the game.
UCSB struggled early as it turned the ball over three times to help Richmond start the game with a 7-0 run. The Gauchos got on the board with a three by Franey with 17:44 remaining in the opening half. Richmond jumped to its biggest lead of the game at 15-7 as Christina Campion sunk a jumper with just under 15 minutes left in the half. The Gauchos started to crawl back into the game and sheared the deficit to one point (22-21) when Fears nailed a three-pointer at 6:50. The Spiders, who finished with 12 points off of 12 Gaucho turnovers in the half, went into the locker room up three at 28-25.
Poor shooting plagued Richmond in the second stanza as it went from shooting at a 41% clip in the first half all the way down to 24%.
The game was tied three times in the second half, the first coming when Jessica Wilson hit a layup with 17:28 left in the game to knot the score at 30-30. An offensive rebound and putback by freshman Ariana Gnekow gave UCSB its first lead of the game at 32-30. Gnekow struck again by hitting a three-pointer with nine minutes left to put UCSB up by seven, its largest lead of the game.
With the Gauchos up 42-38, Richmond went on a 10-1 run as Bell buried two consecutive three-pointers and a pair of layups to bring the score to 48-43 with under five minutes to play. However, UCSB quickly tied the game at 48-48 as Fears hit a three-pointer and then stole the ball on Richmond's ensuing possession, leading to a layup by Jenna Green.
A free throw by Spider Augustina Zygaite gave Richmond a 49-48 advantage before Franey made the three free throws to ice the win for UCSB.
Green led all scorers with 14 points, posted a game-high nine rebounds, and added three blocks. Franey, who has scored in double digits in five of seven games this season, finished with 11 points and six boards, while Gnekow had a career-best 10 points to go along with seven rebounds. Fears had four steals.
For Richmond, Bell had 12 points and Williams totaled 11.
The Gauchos hit the boards hard and had 14 offensive rebounds that led to 13 second-chance points.
UCSB returns home to host a pair of non-conference games this week. Weber State visits the Thunderdome Dec. 7 (7 p.m.), while Loyola Marymount comes to town Dec. 9 (3 p.m.).