Gauchos Open Season vs. Fresno State

Nov. 10, 2009

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• The Schedule
Friday, November 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Fresno State (0-0)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Bulldogs - 8-19
Streak - Lost 2
Last time out vs. the Bulldogs - L, 71-54 (11/20/08)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online here.
Game broadcast on kcsb.org
Game available on Gametracker

Monday, November 16, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Nevada (0-0)
at Nevada's Lawlor Events Center (11,536)
Series record vs. the Wolf Pack - 17-3
Streak - Won 5
Last time out vs. the Wolf Pack - W, 59-37 (12/4/08)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online here.

• Free T-Shirt for Students!
The first 250 students to the Gauchos' opening game on Friday vs. Fresno State will receive a free women's basketball Gameday T-shirt! Be sure to come cheer on the two-time defending Big West champions at 7 p.m.

• Season Tickets Still Available!
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 to receive a complimentary Olé bobblehead doll! Click here to learn more about season ticket packages or to buy today!

• 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.

• Listen Up!
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 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.

• Lid Lifters
After opening with a 63-54 exhibition victory vs. Westmont last week, UCSB officially opens its 2009-10 season by hosting Fresno State. Last season the Bulldogs set a school-record by hitting 16 three-pointers in a 71-54 victory over the Gauchos.

• Mmmm, In-N-Out
Against Westmont a handful of Gauchos made their debuts in UCSB uniforms but none made a bigger impact than forward Mekia Valentine, who had a double-double in her first action as a Gaucho. After sitting out last season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules - after coming from Wake Forest - Valentine scored 28 points and pulled down 12 rebounds against the Warriors.

• `Dome Sweet `Dome
When the calendar flips to 2010, it will mark the 30th year the Thunderdome has been used for home games and in that time, the UCSB women's basketball team has enjoyed a large majority of its success inside the `Dome. The Gauchos have won over 400 games in the Thunderdome's existence, but over the past two decades, it has really proved to be a home court advantage. Since 1991, UCSB is 200-38 in the Thunderdome, an astounding winning percentage of .840.

• Say Goodbye
UCSB lost five players who were critical to the Gauchos' success last season when Sha'Rae Gibbons, Jenna Green, Lauren Pedersen, Kat Suderman and Whitney Warren all graduated. The quintet took 563 games of experience with them along with 1,169 points from last season - or 61% of the team's scoring output from 2008-09.

• Say Hello
Joining Valentine in a UCSB uniform for the first time will be freshmen guards Bree Richardson, Stefanie Corgel, Destini Mason and forward Sweets Underwood. And, suiting up for the first time will be freshman Megan Kritscher, who redshirted the 2008-09 season.

• Stressed Out
Senior guard/forward Chris Spencer is expected to miss several games after suffering a stress fracture in her right foot. Spencer averaged 3.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game last season while seeing action in 26 contests, including two starts.

• Starting Lineup
Three players in the Gauchos' expected starting lineup have just 18 combined starts between them - Johnson, Gnekow and Williams - while Franey and Valentine have combined to start 55 games in their careers.

• Welcome to the New Year
The defending Big West champion Gauchos are seeking their 15th straight postseason berth this year. Lindsay Gottlieb, the 2008 Big West Coach of the Year, is in her second season at UCSB and will coach a team that returns one starter, eight letterwinners and five newcomers.

• Fresh Faces
With five freshmen on the Gaucho roster, it marks the first time a UCSB team has been so young since 2006-07 when the Gauchos also had five freshmen on its roster, including current players Franey, Ariana Gnekow, Jessie Goble and Meagan Williams.

• Quick Recap
Last season was certainly memorable for the Gauchos - they won their second consecutive Big West title, played in the postseason for the 14th straight season and saw several of their players earn awards. By having Gottlieb named Coach of the Year, Pedersen and Green named to the All-Big West First Team, Jordan Franey an all-conference selection and Emilie Johnson an All-Freshman Team pick, it marked the first time since 2004 a Gaucho team had been honored as such. By winning at least 20 games, it was also the 12th time in the past 14 seasons the Gauchos had accomplished that feat.

• W2W4
What to watch for: Franey, the team's returning leader in points and rebounds, has racked up 606 career points, leaving her with the 1,000-point mark in her sights. The most points that Franey has scored in a season came during her freshman year when she poured in 285. The San Diego native needs to average 13.5 points per game over the 29 regular-season games to be the 23rd Gaucho to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

• Wait `Til Next Year
Kelsey Adrian and Angelei Aguirre, both transfers from Cal, will sit out the 2009-10 season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

• 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.

• Fresno Facts
Last season Fresno State went 24-9 and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Junior Jaleesa Ross, last year's leading scorer at 13.7 points per game, returns for the Bulldogs.

• Probable Starters

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
10 Emilie Johnson PG 15 points, 7 assists vs. Westmont 12 Ariana Gnekow SG Made first start since 12/17/07 21 Meagan Williams SF 6 points, 6 assists, 3 reb. vs. Westmont 14 Jordan Franey PF Team's leading returner in ppg and rpg 44 Mekia Valentine C 28 points, 12 reb. in UCSB debut

• Possible Reserves

0 Bree Richardson G Played 10 minutes vs. Westmont 1 Sweets Underwood F 5 points, 9 reb. in UCSB debut 3 Megan Kritscher F/C Played 4 minutes after redshirting in 08-09 11 Stefanie Corgel G One of 5 freshman on team 22 Chris Spencer G Stress fracture in foot will keep her out 25 Jessie Goble F/C Saw action in 7 games in 08-09 32 Margaret Johnson F Team went 20-5 in her starts last year 33 Destini Mason G One of 5 freshman on team

• 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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