January 3, 2009

Gauchos Close 3-Game Homestand Vs. UCR

Jan. 3, 2009

• The Schedule
Sunday, January 4, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (5-6, 1-0) vs. UC Riverside (5-8, 1-0) at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game available on Gametracker

Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (5-6) at UC Irvine (3-11) at UC Irvine's Bren Events Center (4,758)
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game available on Gametracker

• Handling the Highlanders
UCSB and UC Riverside, Sunday's opponent were chosen to finish 1-2 in both the media and coaches preseason Big West polls. UCSB swept the Highlanders last season, winning at home on Jan. 31, 73-61 and in Riverside on March 1, 70-62. The last time UCSB lost to UCR came on March 10, 2007 in the Big West Tournament, 70-67.

• Eat This
UCSB has beaten UC Irvine more than any other team in its history. The Gauchos have 47 wins in their history vs. the Anteaters and have not lost to UC Irvine since Feb. 16, 2006. UCSB defeated UCI 76-68 at the Thunderdome last January and again 77-69 in Irvine last February.

• The Last Time Out
The Gauchos extended their winning streak vs. Long Beach State to six games with Friday's 66-48 victory over the 49ers. The win also extended UCSB's winning streak against Long Beach at the Thunderdome to 18 games. The Gauchos have not lost to Long Beach State at the Thunderdome since Jan. 19, 1991. Lauren Pedersen led the Gauchos with 16 points while Sha'Rae Gibbons scored a season-high 14 points and dished out six assists, the third highest total of her career.

• Biggest in the Big West
Since the 1995-96 season, UC Santa Barbara has posted a 189-18 (.913) record against league foes.

• The Defense Doesn't Rest
Through 11 games the Gauchos have allowed just 628 points, or 57.1 per game, nearly setting a school record. It is the second-lowest point total through 11 games in UCSB history. The last time UCSB has allowed so few points in its first 11 games came during the 1973-74 season - the second season in UCSB history - when the Gauchos gave up 480. The season prior, the Gauchos' inaugural season, UCSB allowed 632 points through its first 11 games.

• 40 and Under Only
Twice already this season the Gauchos have held an opponent under 40 points, doing it in wins over Nevada and Santa Clara. The last time UCSB held two opponents to 40 or fewer points came in the 2002-03 season when the Gauchos prevented three teams - Cal State Fullerton, Pacific, UC Riverside - from scoring at least 40 points.

• Green's Block Party
Jenna Green blocked two more shots vs. Long Beach State to give her 22 this season and a 2.0 average per game which leads the Big West. Green's 146 career blocks is 34 shy of second-place in UCSB history behind Kris Grazzini (1992-96). She is on pace for 58 blocks this year, which would be third all-time in a single season.

• Getting Closer to 500
Soon to join the 500-point club will be junior Jordan Franey, who had six points vs. Long Beach State to give her 459 in her career, and senior Lauren Pedersen, whose 16 points against the 49ers has her just 44 points away from 500.

• Climbing the Charts
In recent news from the NCAA, Jenna Green's statistics from the four games she played during the 2007-08 season do, indeed, count to her career totals despite receiving a medical redshirt. The sixth-year senior has accumulated 1,305 career points, putting her into 15th place all-time in UCSB history. Entering Sunday's game, Green is 13 points shy of tying Kayte Christensen (1998-2002) for 14th place and 21 points away from Becky Brown (1989-1993).

• Free For All
After shooting just 57.9% from the free throw line vs. Santa Clara - a season low - UCSB responded with a more typical 80% (12-for-15) vs. Long Beach State. The Gauchos are now shooting 75.3% from the stripe this season. Lauren Pedersen leads the Gauchos - and is second in the Big West - with an 84.1% mark while Emilie Johnson (13-13), Ashlee Brown (10-12) and Whitney Warren (15-20) are shooting 75% or better from the stripe. The UCSB all-time single-season free throw mark is 73.9%, set during the 2002-03 season.

• Getting Defensive
Entering this weekend, UCSB led the Big West in defensive field goal percentage, limiting opponents to a 36.6% mark from the field.

• Cleaning the Glass
After grabbing five rebounds vs. Santa Clara, Chris Spencer eclipsed it with a new career-high of seven boards vs. Long Beach State. Spencer's two three-pointers vs. Long Beach also tied her career-best, which was done against Eastern Illinois while she was with Wisconsin, and also vs. Santa Clara on Dec. 28.

• Freshman Phenom
Emilie Johnson has started every one of the Gauchos' games at point guard this season, becoming the first UCSB freshman to start her collegiate career at point guard since LaShay Fears did so in 16 straight games to open the 2005-06 season. This distinction is so rare that Johnson is only the third Gaucho in the last decade to open her career as the Gauchos' starting point guard, following Fears and Stacy Clinesmith, who started all 30 games at point during her freshman season in 1996-97. The Loomis, Calif. native leads the team with 14 three-pointers and is fifth on the team with 6.8 ppg.

• War on the Boards
Whitney Warren averaged just 3.8 rebounds per game last season, yet the Lawndale, Calif. native leads the the team with a 5.1 per game average this season.

• On the Rebound
Lauren Pedersen is second on the team with 4.9 rebounds per game. If she finishes the season leading the team it will be the second straight season a guard has led the Gauchos in rebounding. Jessica Wilson's 6.3 rpg last season paced the team. Pedersen would be just the fourth guard to lead the team in rebounding since 1981-82 when Patty Franklin did it (also Erin Buescher from 1997-2000 and Wilson).

• The Gaucho Way
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."

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