January 8, 2010

Gauchos Seek Revenge at Pacific on Saturday

Jan. 8, 2010

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• The Schedule

Saturday, Januray 9, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Pacific (3-9, 1-1)
at UOP's Alex G. Spanos Center (6,150)
Series record vs. the Tigers - 47-14
Streak - Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Tigers - L, 59-50 (2/19/09)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

Thursday, Januray 14, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Long Beach State (5-9, 1-1)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the 49ers - 42-18
Streak - Won 7
Last time out vs. the 49ers - W, 74-62 (3/7/09)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

• Legends Of The Dome
For years, the Gauchos have been exciting crowds in the Thunderdome. Through the years, legends were made in the 'Dome. Now, five former UCSB standouts are being saluted as "Legends of the Dome." The first legendary womens volleyball star, Roberta Gehlke, was unveiled Oct. 19, 2009. The first men's basketball legend will be unveiled on Jan. 23 before a 7:00 p.m. game against Cal State Fullerton. Three other legends will be introduced this year. The second men,s hoops legend will be unveiled prior to UCSB,s 4:00 p.m. Feb. 13 game against Long Beach State. Women's basketball legends will be honored on Feb. 11 before a 7:00 p.m. game against UC Riverside, and on Feb. 27 before a 2:00 p.m. Blue-Green Rivalry Series game against Cal Poly.

• Single Game Tickets Available
Men's and women's basketball single game tickets are now on sale. You can purchase tickets by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus or to buy online and print at home, click here.

• Purchasing Tickets Has Never Been Easier
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The ICA Ticket Office will be open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the ticket office, are already available during weekday hours, which are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

• The Opponents
• at Pacific, 1/9 UCSB is 47-14 all-time against the Tigers, which is the third-most wins vs. any program in school history. Last season at UOP, the Tigers handed the Gauchos their only conference loss, 59-50. UCSB had won its previous 12 games against the Tigers until that defeat, which dated back to Jan. 18, 2003 in Stockton. Pacific is 1-2 in Big West play after dropping a 63-53 decision to Cal Poly on Thursday. Cristina Thompson, who is this week's Big West Player of the Week, leads UOP with her 12.2 points per game average.

• vs. Long Beach State, 1/14 UCSB has won seven straight games against Long Beach State, dating back to Jan. 7, 2006 when the Gauchos lost, 58-52 at The Pyramid. UCSB has not lost to the 49ers at home since Jan. 19, 1991, a stretch of 18 straight wins at the Thunderdome. Last season the Gauchos had three players in double-digits in the win over LBSU in the final conference match of the season. Long Beach State had a 17-point lead vs. Fullerton disappear on Thursday in a 67-60 defeat. LBSU opened conference play with a 55-46 win over UC Riverside last week. The 49ers are led by Karina Figueroa's 17.6 points per game average, which is second in the Big West.

Probable Starters

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
10 Emilie Johnson G Avg. team-best 12.4 ppg, 3.1 assists per
14 Jordan Franey F 8.9 ppg is tied for third on team
21 Meagan Williams G 12 pts, 7 reb, 3 asst, 3 blks, 4 stls @ UCD
22 Chris Spencer G Made 2nd start of year at Davis
44 Mekia Valentine C Averaging 4.4 blocks per game

Possible Reserves

0 Bree Richardson G Has not played last two games
1 Sweets Underwood F 3.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg over last 4 games
3 Megan Kritscher F/C Has played in 6 games, avg. 6.5 min per
11 Stefanie Corgel G 3 points, 2 assists in 12 min @ Gon.
12 Ariana Gnekow G 6 points at Davis tied a season high
25 Jessie Goble F/C 2 points, 3 rebounds in 5 min at Gonzaga
32 Margaret Johnson F Averaging just over 20 minutes per game

• Quick Recap
The turnover bug bit the Gauchos again on Thursday as UCSB's 27 turnovers cost the team in a 54-49 loss at UC Davis. UCSB was led by Meagan Williams, who had 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists, four steals and three blocked shots. Jordan Franey just missed her second double-double of the season as the senior had 11 points and nine rebounds. The Gauchos outrebounded the Aggies 46-19, UCSB's ninth game where it has outrebounded its opponent.

• The L Word
UCSB's loss to UC Davis equaled its Big West loss total from each of the past two seasons. The last time the Gauchos were 1-1 in conference play was in the 2006-07 season, a year when Santa Barbara finished 10-4 in the Big West. UCSB hasn't had a losing record more than one game into conference play since a 7-8 mark as of Feb. 20, 1991.

• Under .500? No Problem
UCSB entered Big West play with a record under .500 for the sixth straight season. But, in that time, Big West play has proved to be the elixir for any woes - UCSB is 67-13 in conference play over that stretch.

• Biggest in the Big West
Speaking of UCSB's success in conference play ... Since the 1995-96 season, UCSB is 206-20 (.912) in Big West games. UCSB has won its conference opener each of the past three seasons and 14 of the past 15 seasons with the 2006-07 campaign being the exception.

• Mushroom or Apple, It's Still a Turnover
The Gauchos average 21.9 turnovers per game and have had just five games this season where they had fewer than 20 turnovers, going 2-3 in those games. In UCSB's past four games the Gauchos have turned the ball an average of 26.3 times per game. UCSB's -6.6 turnover margin is 325th out of 332 teams nationally.

• Big Mak Attack
Mekia Valentine, whose nickname is Mak, is third in the nation with her 4.4 blocks per game and has swatted away 57 shots already this season, which ties her for third all-time in UCSB single-season history with Jenna Green (2008-09) and Lindsay Taylor (2002-03). Taylor's 69 blocks in 2001-02 is the school's top mark. Valentine is close to breaking into the top-10 for career blocks at UCSB. Currently Brandy Richardson (2001-05) is 10th with 74.

• Leading Lady
Emilie Johnson leads the Gauchos in nearly every statistical category this season. The sophomore guard leads UCSB in points, assists, steals, minutes played, field goals attempted, free throw percentage and three-pointers made and attempted. The Loomis, Calif. native averages also rank her in the top-10 throughout the Big West including points per game (eighth), assists per game (seventh), free throw percentage (first) and minutes played (first).

• Slow Start
At 4-10, this marks UC Santa Barbara's toughest start since the 1986-87 season when UCSB went 4-22 overall in Darla Wilson's final season as head coach.

• Swat Team
UCSB is averaging 6.4 blocks per game, which ranks the team seventh in the nation. UCSB has blocked 90 shots already this season and the team is closing in on the school's top-10 in single-season block totals. Currently, the 1981-82 team is 10th with 101 blocks. The Gauchos are on pace for 186 blocks, which would shatter the school's single-season record of 140 (set in 2003-04).

• The Windex Crew
After their 27 rebound differential at Davis, seven Gauchos are averaging more than 3.5 rebounds per game and UCSB has equaled or outrebounded its opponent in 10 of the team's 14 games. Mekia Valentine's 7.5 per game mark leads the Big West, . UCSB is averaging 39.5 rebounds per game, which is first in the conference, while holding a +3.4 margin over its opponents - the only Big West team with a positive margin in that category.

• Road Warrior
With six points against UC Davis, senior Ariana Gnekow tied her season-best, which she also accomplished on Nov. 29 at San Diego and Dec. 5 at Oregon State. Away from the Thunderdome, Gnekow is averaging 4.0 points per game, while at home the Santa Ynez native is averaging 2.0 ppg.

• Valentine's Gift
Valentine is shooting a robust 58.0% from the floor, ranking her 15th in the country. The 6-foot-4 junior from Greensboro, N.C. is on pace to challenge the school's single-season record. The current top spot is occupied by Kira Anthofer, who shot 59.6% from the field in 1985-86.

• Sweets Tooth
Freshman forward Sweets Underwood is one of just five players on the team to have played in all 14 of the Gauchos' games, while making two starts. Underwood, a 6-foot Compton, Calif. native, is averaging 3.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, but over her past four games is averaging 3.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. She is shooting 44.0%, which ranks as third-best on the team. Her 72.2% clip from the charity stripe is also third on the team.

• Let's Go For Two
UCSB is shooting just 23.0% from 3-point range (40 of 174) this season and has had three games this season without making a trey for the first time since the 1993-94 season. However, the Gauchos are shooting 40.8% overall, which means Santa Barbara is making 46.4% of its shots inside the arc.

• Stay in Touch With the Gauchos
Three people will keep fans abreast of all things related to the women's basketball team this year through UCSBgauchos.com. Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb has her own Twitter page at twitter.com/UCSBCoachG and Emilie Johnson and Margaret Johnson both write for the blog "Johnsons' Journal." Each social networking tool can be found on the women's basketball page at UCSBgauchos.com.

• The Lindsay Gottlieb File
Lindsay Gottlieb is in her second season as the Gauchos' head coach, and she is just the fourth head coach in UCSB women's basketball history. Last season Gottlieb guided the Gauchos to a 22-10 overall mark (15-1 in the Big West) and the Big West regular-season and tournament championships. Named the Big West Coach of the Year, Gottlieb became the first coach in Gaucho history to win at least 20 games and the Coach of the Year award in her first season - and one of only seven coaches nationwide to do so. Gottlieb led the Gauchos to their 14th consecutive postseason appearance and the team won 20 games for the 12th time in the past 14 years. In her first season at the helm of the program, Gottlieb guided the Gauchos to national prominence, ranking in the top-10 in field goal percentage defense, a top-20 finish in points allowed per game while watching her team set a school record for free throw percentage. No stranger to success, Gottlieb was formerly the associate head coach at Cal, helping the team to a 68-28 (.708) overall mark in her time there. Prior to that, Gottlieb was an assistant at the University of Richmond, where she helped the Spiders to three straight 20-win seasons.

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