November 17, 2010

Gauchos Host Portland State on Thursday in 1 p.m. Game at Thunderdome

Nov. 17, 2010

• The Schedule
Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Portland State (0-1)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Vikings - 2-3
Streak - Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Vikings - L (@PSU), 62-56 (12/3/09)
Game broadcast live on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here
Live stats available via Gametracker
Live video via BigWest.TV

Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Idaho (1-0)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Vandals - 17-5
Streak - Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Vandals - L, 47-40 (@ Idaho) (12/28/09)
Game broadcast live on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here
Live stats available via Gametracker
Live video via BigWest.TV

• Get Your Tickets
On Saturday there is a hoops doubleheader as the women's team hosts Idaho at 2 p.m. and the men's team hosts Fresno State at 7 p.m. Any fan who purchases a ticket to the women's matinee can get a men's hoops ticket for just $1! Call (805) 893-UCSB for details.

• Get Your Tickets
Season tickets to catch every minute of exciting Gaucho basketball are still available. Get the best seats in the house for 14 home games by clicking here.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 990 KTMS and will stream live online by clicking here
. Josh Suchon is the voice of the Gauchos, performing the play-by-play, while former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford will handle the color commentary. On select road games, much to the chagrin of the listening audience, yours truly, Matt Hurst, will provide color commentary.

• Leading Lady
Last season Emilie Johnson became the first sophomore since Jenna Green in 2005-06 to lead the team in scoring. After the first two games of this season the 5-foot-6 guard is picking up where she left off. Johnson has led the Gauchos in scoring the first two games of this season and is averaging 14.5 points per game while shooting 54.2 percent from the field. Last season Johnson led the Big West in minutes played, totaling 1,191 or an average of 37.2 per game. The Loomis, Calif. native also paced the team in assists (107; 3.34 per game) and steals (57; 1.78 per game). Johnson was the second player in as many years to lead the Gauchos in those categories after Lauren Pedersen did so in 2008-09. Pedersen, however, was the first UCSB player to accomplish the feat since Iesha Smith in 1993-94.

• Jack Kerouac Had More Fun On The Road
Playing away from the friendly confines of the Thunderdome, where the Gauchos have a .700 winning percentage all-time, has proven to be difficult for the Gauchos in recent seasons. Including this season UCSB is just 15-18 in true road games since 2008-09.

• Tenacious D
In each of the past two seasons, UCSB has led the Big West in opponent's field goal percentage. Last season the squad ranked 31st in the nation with its 36.3 percent defense. In 2008-09, Lindsay Gottlieb's first year as head coach, the Gauchos ranked eighth in the country with a 34.6 percent clip. Through two games this season opponents are shooting 44.4 percent compared to UCSB's 35.1 percent.

• Get In, Get A Bucket
On Sunday, every eligible player on UCSB's roster scored at least one point, marking the first time that's happened since the Gauchos enjoyed a 79-51 win over Cal State Bakersfield on Dec. 13, 2009.

• Off The Mark
As a unit, UCSB hit just 28.3 percent of its shots from beyond the three-point line a season ago, the sixth-lowest mark in school annals and unfortunately it seems to have carried over into this year. Santa Barbara is shooting just 21.4 percent from beyond the arc (9 of 42).However, Emilie Johnson's accuracy from downtown hasn't played much into that. The guard tied Debby Caine (1999-2003) for fourth all-time in 3-pointers made - after just two full seasons - in UCSB history.

• How Sweets It Is
Sophomore forward Sweets Underwood had nine points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes on Sunday vs. UCLA, not far off her career marks of 12 and 10, respectively. Last season the All-Big West Freshman Team selection averaged 3.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. So far this season she is third on the team with her 7.5 points per game average and tied for second on the squad with 6.0 boards per contest.

• Sea of Adaeze
In her very first taste of Division I basketball - she didn't play in UCSB's exhibition game or vs. Pepperdine - freshman center Adaeze Okolie was very effective. She had four points and four rebounds - all on the offensive end - in 12 minutes vs. UCLA. The Ajax, Ontario native averaged 20 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks per game as a senior in high school.

• On the Other Side of the Great White North ...
Kelsey Adrian, who hails from Langley, British Columbia, is second on the Gauchos in scoring, averaging 9.5 points per game. After sitting out last season per NCAA rules after transferring from Cal, Adrian has played in all but 11 minutes of the Gauchos' first two games. She is tied with Underwood for second on the team with 6.0 rebounds per game.

• Putting the "Free" in Free Throws
UCSB has been nearly automatic when sent to the free throw line as the Gauchos have knocked down 86.4 percent of their foul shots, which currently leads the Big West. Two seasons ago, in 2008-09, UCSB set a school record with its 75.7 percent free throw percentage. That on-the-mark clip was also the 13th best in the nation that season.

• Speaking of Free Throws ...
Here's some advice for all the coaches using this release as a scouting tool - don't foul Emilie Johnson. The junior holds two of UCSB's top-five single-season free throw percentage marks. Johnson hit 84.3 percent of her freebies last season, ranking her fifth in school annals. In her freshman season of 2008-09, Johnson nailed 94.3 percent of her charity stripe shots. Johnson's 87.1 career free throw percentage currently leads everyone who has ever put on a Gaucho uniform.

• Tough Losses
While top scorers Johnson and Mekia Valentine return, the Gauchos lost seven letterwinners - including five seniors - from last season's squad. In all, UCSB lost 49.5 percent of its points, 44.4 percent of its rebounds, 56.8 percent of its assists and 53.0 percent of its steals from 2009-10.

• Dynamic Duo
Johnson and Valentine proved to be a lethal pair last season, combining for 811 total points, or an average of 26.2 points per game. While that is impressive, it doesn't rank among the school's top-10 one-two punches. The No. 10 slot is held by Patty Franklin and Nadine Ramirez, who combined for 905 points in 1980-81. The best one-two punch was Amy Smith and Erin Alexander who tallied 1,144 total points in 1996-97.

• Swat Team
Last year's Gaucho squad set a school record with 202 total blocks. UCSB ranked sixth in the nation by averaging 6.3 blocks per game (Baylor led the nation with 7.5 per contest). Mekia Valentine's 120 blocked shots were a school record and she finished the season ranked third in the nation with an average of 4.0 blocks per game. The school's top three single-game team blocked shot marks - and six of the top seven - were all established last season.

• More Mekia
Valentine holds eight of the top-10 single-game UCSB shot blocking marks, including the top spot of 11, set against UC Irvine on Jan. 2, 2010. The Greensboro, N.C. native is also fifth all-time in career blocks after just one season in the blue and gold. She trails school record-holder Lindsay Taylor (2000-04) by 122.

• In-N-Out Has Nothing on These Double-Doubles
Last season Valentine had 12 double-doubles, which tied for the most in the Big West and was the most by a Gaucho since three-time All-American Kristen Mann had 14 in 2004-05.

• It's Just a Rebound
Valentine pulled down an average of 9.7 rebounds per game last season, which led the Big West. It was also the most by a UCSB player since Erin Buescher pulled down 9.7 in the 1999-2000 season and the last player to have more than that was Erika Kienast, who averaged 10.6 boards per contest in 1991-92. Valentine holds the second and third-most single-game rebounding totals in school history when she grabbed 22 vs. UC Riverside on Feb. 11 and 21 at Cal State Bakersfield on March 6. Leslie Ford holds the school's all-time mark of 25 rebounds, set against Cal State Northridge on Jan. 21, 1977.

• Vista Del Mar
Senior Margaret Johnson battled through various injuries in 2009-10 and played in just 25 games - her fewest since playing that many when she was a freshman. While Johnson's stat lines rarely seem to catch people's eyes (she has career averages of 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game), there is one thing people should know - when she started 25 games in 2008-09 and UCSB made the NCAA Tournament, the Gauchos were 20-5 in Johnson's starts.

The Lindsay Gottlieb File
Lindsay Gottlieb is in her third 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 wins in seven of the squad's last eight games, taking a team that finished 9-7 in the Big West to the conference tournament's semifinals, keeping alive a streak of 20 years that UCSB had finished Big West play with a record above .500. In her first season at the helm, Gottlieb led the team 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 two seasons with the program, Gottlieb has guided the Gauchos to national prominence, leading the conference in field goal percentage defense both years while having her team set a school record in free throw percentage (08-09) and blocked shots in a season (09-10).. 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.

The Gaucho Fund, launched as part of the Dare to Be Great strategic plan, is UCSB Athletics' annual giving program to provide vital funding support for scholarships, academic success and leadership development for Gaucho student-athletes. The Gaucho Fund is the anchor to the Dare to Be Great campaign.

GKids is the official kids club of UCSB Athletics. Members receive a free GKids t-shirt, free admittance to tons of Gaucho games, opportunities to be ball boys and girls at games, a special birthday greeting from Olie (the GKids mascot) and much, much more! For more information on GKids, or to become a member, please click here.