Jan. 18, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Christine Spencer, a 6'1" guard/forward from Traverse City, Mich., has accepted a scholarship offer to study and play basketball at UC Santa Barbara, head coach Mark French announced Friday.
Spencer spent the last two seasons at the University of Wisconsin, where she appeared in 23 games as a freshman in 2005-06, posting averages of 2.3 points and 0.8 rebounds. She played a total of 177 minutes for the Badgers two years ago and shot 42.3% from the field and 35.7% from behind the three-point arc. She posted career-highs of 10 points and four rebounds against Eastern Illinois on January 23, 2006, finishing 4-for-8 from floor, including 2-of-2 on threes.
An excellent shooter, Spencer played in just four games in 2006-07 before redshirting the year with a hip injury. In those four games she averaged 2.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 35 total minutes. Spencer went on to have arthroscopic surgery on her left hip in December 2006 and resumed workouts with the Badgers last spring.
Pursuant to NCAA Division I transfer requirements, Spencer is not eligible to compete for a full academic year and will not suit up as a Gaucho until after the conclusion of the fall 2008 quarter. She will then be able to compete the remainder of the 2008-09 season and will have a full year of eligibility for 2009-10. Spencer is permitted to practice with the team immediately.
"Chris comes highly recommended from our former assistant coach Tasha McDowell" French said. "She is an outstanding young woman, she works really hard, and she will be an excellent fit for our program. Chris is a big, strong three-guard that can shoot the ball well and I believe she will help us right away when she becomes eligible next season."
Spencer had a very successful high school career at Central High School under head coach Larry Truelove. As a senior, she averaged 25.6 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.1 steals, and 3.6 blocks per game for a Trojan squad that was ranked 13th in state and finished with an overall record of 16-3. A two-time all-state selection, Spencer was Central's all-time leading scorer and set the CHS record for career blocked shots. She was one of 12 finalists for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award, was fourth in voting for Ms. Basketball in the state of Michigan, and was a McDonald's All-American nominee as a senior. Spencer was also an all-region performer in volleyball for the Trojans.
"I am extremely excited to join a program that has had so much success," Spencer said. "I look forward to this time next year when I can help my teammates on the court and hopefully continue UCSB's winning tradition."
Spencer joins a UCSB team that has won its last five games overall to improve to 9-6 in 2007-08. The Gauchos enter Saturday's showdown with Cal Poly in first place in the Big West Conference standings at 4-0 and will take on the Mustangs, who are also undefeated in league play, at 4:00 p.m. in Mott Gym. Santa Barbara is seeking its 12 Big West Championship in the last 13 years and a return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005.