Gauchos Finish Homestand on Sunday vs. Northern Colorado

Gauchos Finish Homestand on Sunday vs. Northern Colorado

Nov. 24, 2010

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• The Schedule
Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Northern Colorado (2-3)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Bears - First-ever meeting
Streak - N/A
Last time out vs. the Bears - N/A
Game broadcast live on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here
Live stats available via Gametracker
Live video via BigWest.TV

Friday, December 3, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at St. Mary's (2-2)
at St. Mary's McKeon Pavilion (3,500)
Series record vs. the Gaels - 6-2
Streak - Won 3
Last time out vs. the Gaels - W, 67-58 vs. St. Mary's (12/4/05)
Game broadcast live on AM 990 KTMS and streaming online by clicking here

• 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.

The Opponents

• vs. Northern Colorado, 11/28
UCSB and Northern Colorado will tip-off for the first time in the history of the two programs on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. The Bears are currently 2-3 with wins over Air Force and Santa Clara but have lost two in a row, falling 78-74 to Central Michigan and 61-53 to Northeastern. Northern Colorado is led by Lauren Oosdyke, who is averaging 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Kaisha Brown is averaging 12.2 points per game while D'shara Strange and Courtney Stoermer average 9.8 and 9.4 points per game, respectively.

• vs. St. Mary's, 12/3
The Gaels and Gauchos have not met since the 2005 season when UCSB won at the Thunderdoe, 67-58. St. Mary's is coming off a one-point loss to No. 21 Nebraska in Lincoln. The Gaels' other defeat came to Lindsay Gottlieb's old team, Cal. St. Mary's is led by Jasmine Smith, who is averaging 16.5 points per game and 2.3 assists per game while Louella Tomlinson averages 10.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.

Did You Know?
Even after dropping its first two home games this season, UCSB's all-time record in the Thunderdome is 250-105 (.704).

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
G 10 Emilie Johnson - Leads team in points and assists and tied for first in steals
G 22 Melissa Zornig - Averaging 6.8 points, but shooting 22.2% from field
G 24 Angelei Aguirre - Had career-high 7 assists and 7 rebounds vs. Idaho
G 2 Kelsey Adrian - Second on team in scoring and minutes played
F 44 Mekia Valentine - Shooting just 37.9% this year after shooting 57.4% last year

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
F 1 Sweets Underwood - Has 27 points, 22 rebounds in past two games
G 3 Nicole Nesbit - Played career-high 24 minutes with career-high 6 points vs. Idaho
G 11 Stefanie Corgel - Has played once this year - 6 minutes and 3 points at UCLA
F 15 Adaeze Okolie - Had 2 points, 4 rebounds in 6 minutes vs. Idaho
F 32 Margaret Johnson - Missed Idaho game with concussion
G 33 Destini Mason - Made her UCSB debut on Thursday vs. Portland State

• Leading Lady
Last season Emilie Johnson became the first sophomore since Jenna Green in 2005-06 to lead the team in scoring. The 5-foot-6 guard is picking up where she left off so far this season. Johnson leads the Gauchos in scoring with an 11.5 points per game average. Last season Johnson became the second player in as many years to lead UCSB in points, steals and assists 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. Through the season's first four games, Johnson is the team leader in the same categories.

• That's More Like It
In her past two games, Mekia Valentine has grabbed 24 rebounds and blocked 10 shots, upping her season averages to 9.3 boards and 3.25 blocks per game. Last season Valentine averaged 9.7 rebounds per game - the most since All-American Erin Buescher had 9.7 per game in 1999-2000 - and 4.0 blocks per game, which was third in the nation.

• How Sweets It Is
Sophomore forward Sweets Underwood averaged 13.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per game last week and is tied for second on the team with her 10.5 points per game and ranks second on the team with 8.5 rebounds per game this season. Last season the All-Big West Freshman Team selection averaged 3.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

• Put the Biscuit Where?
Through the first four games this season the Gauchos are shooting just 35.0 percent from the floor and a mere 21.0 percent from beyond the three-point line, each of which is the lowest mark in the Big West. Obviously it's early, but for statistical purposes, the lowest shooting percentage by a UCSB came in 1974-75 when that squad shot 33.4 percent. And, the lowest three-point percentage by a Gaucho team was in 2005-06 when UCSB hit just 26.2 percent of its treys.

• Shooter McGavin
Against Idaho Emilie Johnson moved into fourth place all-time in career three-pointers made with 111 all-time, passing Debby Caine (1999-2003). Up next for Johnson to leapfrog is Caine's teammate Jess Hansen, who hit 215 in her career, spanning the same seasons as Caine. At her current career pace, Johnson is expected to become UCSB's all-time three-point bomber in her final regular-season game next season.

• 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. This season opponents are shooting 37.0 percent.

• The UCSB Vampires?
No, we're not thinking of a new nickname, but all of a sudden the Gauchos are having troubles with games starting before 5 p.m., dropping all three so far this season. In Lindsay Gottlieb's first two seasons as head coach day games were nearly gimmes. The Gauchos were 24-12 entering this season in games that tipped off before 5 p.m.

• 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.

• Missed It By That Much
Kelsey Adrian, who hails from Langley, British Columbia, is tied for second on the team in scoring with Underwood with 10.5 points per game. Adrian, a junior transfer from Cal, has twice just missed out on her first career double-doubles. She opened the season with 11 points and nine rebounds at Pepperdine and against Idaho she scored a career-best 15 points to go with nine boards. She ranks third on the team with 6.3 rebounds per game.

• Minute (Wo)Men
No surprise here, but Emilie Johnson leads the team in minutes played with an average of 38.0. Although she led the conference in minutes last season, she ranks second thus far behind Cal Poly's Rachel Clancy, who is averaging 38.7 per game. Johnson isn't the only Gaucho in the conference's top-10, however. Kelsey Adrian is third with her average of 37.8 per game and Mekia Valentine is 10th at 30.5 minutes per game.

• Fresh Faces
Two freshmen have seen plenty of court time so far this season - Nicole Nesbit and Melissa Zornig. Nesbit played a career-high 24 minutes vs. Idaho, scoring six points while Zornig made her first collegiate start and put in 10 points against the Vandals. Zornig is averaging 6.8 points and 28.8 minutes per game and Nesbit is averaging 4.3 points and 16.0 minutes per game.

• All About Angelei
Sophomore transfer Angelei Aguirre has been making marks in her first four games in a Gaucho jersey. She has set career-highs in points and then twice set personal bests in rebounds and assists. Aguirre, the daughter of former NBA star Mark Aguirre, is second on the team with 11 assists and has started all four of UCSB's games this season.

• Tough Losses
While top scorers Johnson and 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.

• Sea of Adaeze
Freshman center Adaeze Okolie has been very effective in the small amount of minutes she's been on the court. Averaging just 6.3 minutes per game, Okolie has grabbed eight total rebounds and scored six points. The Ajax, Ontario native averaged 20 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks per game as a senior in high school.

• At the Line
After opening the season by making 19 of 22 free throws, UCSB has gone cold from the charity stripe. Santa Barbara has made just 23 of its past 42 free throw attempts for a 54.7 percentage. Overall, the Gauchos have made 65.6 percent of their free throws. 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. Although the junior is just 1 of 5 from the line this early in the season, she did enter the year holding 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 entering this season currently leads everyone who has ever put on a Gaucho uniform.

• 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.

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.