UCSB Returns Home on Saturday to Battle CSUN

Jan. 29, 2010

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• The Schedule
Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal State Northridge (3-14, 1-6)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Matadors - 32-11
Streak - Won 5
Last time out vs. the Matadors - W, 56-48 (2/28/09)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Pacific (3-15, 1-6)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Tigers - 48-14
Streak - Won 1
Last time out vs. the Tigers - W, 56-48 (1/9/10)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

• Listen To All UCSB Games On AM-990 KTMS
All women's basketball games are broadcast live on AM 990 again this year, and those games will also be available online, by clicking here.. And, UCSB Athletics is proud to announce that the baseball team will have over 20 games broadcast live on the air and through our website, UCSBgauchos.com.

• Get Your Tickets!
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.

• Follow the Gauchos
Want a chance to win free tickets to home basketball games and other events? Want to win free gear? Of course you do! Follow UCSB Athletics through Twitter ( click here to do so) or become a fan of UCSB Athletics on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/UCSBAthletics) where we are constantly giving away tickets and UCSB gear. And, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube page ( http://www.youtube.com/UCSBGauchosAthletics) where we update videos several times a week!

• Quick Recap
Meagan Williams' game-tying layup in the final moments of Thursday's game vs. Cal Poly was waived off as the senior was whistled for an offensive foul and the Mustangs hit three free throws in the final 16 seconds to secure a 67-62 win in Mott Gym. Williams scored a season-high 23 points while Emilie Johnson had 17. It was UCSB's first defeat in San Luis Obispo since 2001 and the loss snapped the Gauchos' six-game winning streak vs. Cal Poly.

The Opponents

• vs. Cal State Northridge, 1/30
The Gauchos have defeated CSUN five straight times and have won 16 of the last 17 meetings. UCSB has not lost at home to the Matadors since Dec. 30, 1982. Last season UCSB beat Northridge 75-58 on Jan. 28 on the road and then 56-48 on Feb. 28 at home. The Matadors are coming off a 65-49 defeat at Long Beach State on Thursday. CSUN is led by Jasmine Erving, whose 13.4 points per game rank fifth in the Big West, while Bridget Conejo scores 12.1 points per game (13th in the BW) and pulls down 6.0 rebounds per game (tied for seventh in conference). CSUN averages 59.9 points per game (eighth in the Big West) while allowing a conference-high 72.3 ppg.

• vs. Pacific, 2/4
UCSB is 48-14 all-time against the Tigers, which is the third-most wins vs. any program in school history. The Gauchos avenged a loss at UOP last season by beating Pacific 65-58 on Jan. 9. UCSB has won 13 of the past 14 meetings with the Tigers. Pacific is 1-6 in Big West play after dropping a 70-54 decision to UC Irvine on Wednesday. Cristina Thompson leads UOP with her 12.3 points per game average, ranking 12th in the Big West. Pacific averages 61.1 points per game while allowing 70.7.

• Meagan A Difference
Through seven Big West games, Meagan Williams paces the Gauchos with her 14.6 points per game, tying her for fourth in conference action. The 5-foot-10 guard also leads the team with 2.3 steals per game (third in the Big West), is second on the team with 3.6 assists per game (eighth in conference play) and is tied for third on the team with her 4.6 rebounds per game. Williams is shooting 48.3% in Big West games.

• For the Record
UCSB's six wins in its 19 games is the program's toughest start since the 1986-87 season when UCSB went 4-22 overall in Darla Wilson's final season as head coach (Santa Barbara started 7-13 in the 1988-89 season). Including this year, UCSB has had double-digit losses over an entire season just four times in the past 16 years. The Gauchos are in danger of recording their first losing season since 1989-90 when they were 13-15 overall and 8-10 in the Big West.

Probable Starters

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
10 Emilie Johnson G Leads team with 12.8 ppg, 3.4 apg
12 Ariana Gnekow G Avg. 7.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg in last two games
14 Jordan Franey F Avg. 6.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg in Big West play
21 Meagan Williams G Season-high 23 points on Thurs @ CP
44 Mekia Valentine C 68 blocks are 1 shy of school record
Possible Reserves

0 Bree Richardson G Out at least 3 weeks w/ foot stress fracture
1 Sweets Underwood F Has 9 games with 5 or more rebounds
3 Megan Kritscher F/C 1.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg in 9 games this year
11 Stefanie Corgel G Freshman has played in 6 games this year
22 Chris Spencer G 6 points in 15 min on Thursday @ CP
25 Jessie Goble F/C Missed last four games with back injury
32 Margaret Johnson F Missed Thurs game with ankle injury

• Ari Gold
Senior guard Ariana Gnekow has averaged 7.0 points and 8.5 rebounds over her past two games, tying her career-best with nine rebounds on Thursday. The senior is averaging career-highs with 3.6 points per game and 3.9 rebounds per game and has been even better in conference play, averaging 5.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. The Santa Ynez High product is hitting 56% of her shots in Big West action.

• This Defense Doesn't Rest
Following up last season's 34.4% that UCSB allowed opponents to shoot - which was best in the conference - this year's team is holding opponents to a 37.9% clip, which is also the lowest mark in the Big West. Santa Barbara allows opponents just 63.2 points per game, second-best in the conference.

• There's a Block Party at UCSB
UCSB is averaging 5.9 blocks per game, which ranks the team first in the Big West and eighth in the nation. UCSB has blocked 109 shots this season, which is tied for eighth in school single-season history with the 1980-81 squad. The Gauchos are on pace for 171 blocks, which would shatter the school's single-season record of 140 (set in 2003-04).

• Third is the Word
Mekia Valentine ranks third in the nation with her 3.8 blocks per game and has swatted away 68 shots already this season, which is second all-time in UCSB single-season history. Lindsay 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.

• Biggest in the Big West
Since the 1995-96 season, UCSB is 208-23 (.900) in Big West games.

• The T.O. Show
UCSB has turned the ball over 413 times this season, an average of 21.7 per game, which is second-most in the conference (Saturday's opponent, CSUN, is first with 22.1 per game). UCSB is on pace to commit 630 turnovers this season, which would rank ninth all-time in program single-season history (see chart, below). The Gauchos' -6.26 turnover margin is 324th out of 332 teams in the nation.

Year Total
1. 1993-94 706
2. 1992-93 699
3. 1997-98 697
4. 1983-84 674
5. 1988-89 672
6. 1999-2000 660
7. 2000-01 650
8. 1989-90 644
9. 2006-07 622
10. 2001-02 621

• Sabado Gigante
We know the band Chicago loved Saturdays (in the park) and so do the Gauchos. UCSB is 4-1 on Saturdays this season after going 9-2 on Saturdays last season.

• Three-Co-La
Sophomore guard Emilie Johnson has attempted 120 3-pointers this season - which is the most in the conference and she is only one of two players in the Big West to attempt over 100 - putting her within striking distance of the single-season top-10 in school history. Currently, Jordan Franey's 134 bonus bomb attempts in 2006-07 is 10th. Johnson averages 6.3 3-point attempts per game and makes 1.84 per game, which is second in the Big West.

• Big West Woes
At 3-4 in Big West play, UCSB is under .500 more than one game into conference action since a 7-8 mark in February, 1991. Though the Gauchos have lost four Big West games in a season recently (going 10-4 in both 2005-06 and 2006-07), the last UCSB team to drop more than four conference contests was the 1994-95 season when the Gauchos went 13-5 in the Big West.

• We're a Boarding School
With a +3.6 rebound margin, UCSB leads the Big West by a healthy margin (Cal Poly's +2.4 is the only other school with a positive rebounding differential) and it's an even better +6.7 differential in conference play. UCSB has equaled or outrebounded its opponent in 13 of the team's 19 games and brings in an average of 38.4 boards per contest. Seven Gauchos average at least 3.5 rebounds per game, paced by Mekia Valentine's 6.9 per game, which is second in the Big West.

• Go Up Early
When the Gauchos take a lead into halftime, they have won six of those eight games. When UCSB trails at the break, they are 0-10.

• 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.

• Talk'n Gauchos
UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.