Gauchos Snap Losing Skid With Decisive Home Win Over Santa Clara

Dec. 28, 2008

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team snapped a three-game losing skid on Sunday afternoon with a 55-37 victory over non-conference foe Santa Clara at the Thunderdome. Senior guard Lauren Pedersen led the team with 14 points while senior center Jenna Green pitched in 11 of her own.

With the victory, UCSB improves to 4-6 overall on the season and 4-1 at home in the Thunderdome. Santa Clara falls to 1-13 overall. The Gauchos now hold a 5-2 advantage in their all-time series with the Broncos.

Pedersen made 5-for-9 attempts from the field and her 14 points and five steals led the team.

Green was the only other player to put up double-digit points with 11 total. She went 3-for-7 from the field and was perfect from the line, making 5 of 5 free throw attempts. The center also led the team with two blocks in the victory.

"It always feels better to win, there's no question," said head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "I was really pensive coming in to see how we were going to respond. We didn't play well at Kentucky and we had a little bit of a team meeting and you always want to be eager to get on the court again and see how you're going to respond. I'm definitely excited with the defensive level and intensity that we came out with today."

The Gaucho defense held Santa Clara to 37 points, which ties as the lowest scoring by an opponent this season (with the 59-37 win over Nevada on Dec. 4). The Broncos shot just 26.7% from the field during the game.

Additionally, UCSB tied its season-highs for total rebounds (43) and steals (12) in the victory.

The Gauchos got on the board first with a layup by Pedersen and never relinquished their lead. Breaking free from a 4-4 tie with a jumper by Whitney Warren, UCSB went on a 7-0 run to hold a 13-4 advantage with 11:37 to play in the first half. Santa Barbara reached its biggest lead of the first half when Sha'Rae Gibbons made a layup to lead 24-11. At the end of the first, UCSB led 27-16.

The Gaucho domination continued through the second half as UCSB held Santa Clara off by as many as 23 points on four occasions. Santa Barbara shot 33.3% during the second half and made 3 of 6 three-point attempts.

Freshman Emilie Johnson led the Gauchos with three assists and also tallied four points and four total rebounds. Sophomore Ashlee Brown posted a season-high nine rebounds in the win.

"We bring the same mentality to every game," Johnson said. "Win, execute and just play hard. It doesn't make a difference what the other team's record is. We just want to play hard and play Gaucho basketball."

Santa Clara guard Sara Majors led all players with 17 points. She went 5-for-7 from the field as well as from the line. She also sank 2 of 3 three-point attempts.

"What I'm most concerned about is, `is this group getting better and pushing towards a universal goal?' and I think we are and I feel good about that, " said Gottlieb.

The Gauchos will begin their quest to defend their Big West Conference title on Friday, Jan. 2 when they host Long Beach State at the Thunderdome at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located on campus in the Intercollegiate Athletics Department or by clicking here.

- UCSBgauchos.com -