UCSB Picked to Win Big West Title

Oct. 29, 2009

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The two-time defending Big West champion UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team was chosen to capture its third consecutive conference crown in a preseason media poll released by the conference on Thursday.

The Gauchos, who have gone 30-2 in Big West play the past two seasons combined, received 10 of a possible 20 first-place votes and finished with 162 total points. UC Davis received six first-place votes and finished second overall with 155 points while Cal Poly garnered three first-place votes and 146 points.

"Every coach in America will tell you that preseason rankings on paper mean nothing and I'm no different," said reigning Big West Coach of the Year, UCSB head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "What I know that this team believes is that it is their mission to create their own story to reach the goals that they've set for themselves this season. We all live and breathe the rich tradition of Gaucho women's basketball around here, but this group wants to earn a championship by putting the work in everyday."

Despite losing five players - and four starters - from last year's team that went 22-10 overall and 15-1 in the Big West, UCSB was the clear favorite to three-peat. Last season UCSB was chosen second in both the media and coaches preseason polls.

Senior guard/forward Jordan Franey, who is the team's leading returning scorer and rebounder (8.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg) was chosen to the six-person preseason all-conference team.

UC Riverside, who tallied one first-place vote and 112 overall points, was picked fourth, followed by Long Beach State (99 points), Pacific (87), Cal State Fullerton (59), Cal State Northridge (41) and UC Irvine (39).

Joining Franey on the preseason all-conference squad were UC Davis' Haylee Donaghe and Paige Mintun, Long Beach State's Karina Figueroa and Whitney Fields and Cal Poly's Kristina Santiago.

The Gauchos open their season with an exhibition game against Westmont on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Thunderdome. UCSB's actual season-opener will be Friday, Nov. 13 when the Gauchos host Fresno State at 7 p.m. in the Thunderdome.

Gottlieb and her team will join head men's basketball coach Bob Williams and his squad at the Gaucho Huddle on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Both coaches and their players will talk about the upcoming season and take questions from the audience. The cost is just $10 and includes lunch. For more information or to RSVP, please click here.

Men's and women's basketball season tickets are now available, giving fans an opportunity to catch the Gauchos all season long.

Season tickets are only $125 for men's basketball and $100 for women's basketball (35% lower than last year). Similar to the successful men's soccer family plan, a new Family Plan season ticket is now available for both men's and women's basketball. Family plans, which include five season tickets (two adults and three youth season tickets), are $300 for men's basketball, $225 for women's basketball or get the combo plan (both men's and women's) for just $400. That's just $2.66 per game! UCSB faculty/staff will also receive 50% off pricing on all season tickets.

And, purchase tickets before Nov. 1 to receive a complimentary Olé bobblehead doll! Click here to learn more about season ticket packages or to buy today!

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.

All men's and women's basketball games will be broadcast live on AM 1490 and AM 990 again this year, and those games will also be available online. 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.

Media Poll Results
1. UC Santa Barbara (10) 162
2. UC Davis (6) 155
3. Cal Poly (3) 146
4. UC Riverside (1) 112
5. Long Beach State 99
6. Pacific 87
7. Cal State Fullerton 59
8. Cal State Northridge 41
9. UC Irvine 39

(first place votes in parentheses)