Following Two Big Wins, Gauchos Face Pepperdine

Dec. 9, 2008

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• The Schedule
Sunday, December 14, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (3-3) at Pepperdine (3-4) at Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game available on Gametracker

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (3-3) vs. Harvard (4-3) at UCSB's Thunderdome
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game available on Gametracker

• The Match-Ups
Following a week off, the Gauchos travel down the coast to face Pepperdine, a team they have a 13-12 overall mark against. The Gauchos have not lost to the Waves since 1993, a streak of three straight wins - all accomplished in the last three seasons. UCSB defeated Pepperdine 65-63 on 12/17 last season. On Wednesday, the Gauchos host Harvard, a team they have not played since 1989. That remains the lone contest between the two schools, which resulted in a 60-59 win for UCSB.

• Margaret Makes Her Mark
Margaret Johnson paced UCSB with team-highs of 13 points and eight rebounds in the victory over Gonzaga. Making consecutive starts for the first time since 3/6-3/8/08, the sophomore has led the team in rebounds each of the past two games and set a career-high with four assists vs. Gonzaga. The Lake Oswego, Ore. native led the team in rebounding three times last season and her 3.2 rebounds per game average is tied for sixth on the team despite averaging just 17.6 minutes per game.

• Career Year
Lauren Pedersen set career-highs with 12 assists and seven steals vs. Gonzaga and has set single-game career-highs already this season in points (27 vs. San Diego), assists and steals.

• Kat Can Do
Kat Suderman surpassed 600 career points in the win over Gonzaga. The senior currently has 602 total points in her UCSB career.

• Malibu's Most Wanted
When the Gauchos face Pepperdine, junior transfer Christine Spencer will be eligible to play her first game for UCSB. Spencer had to sit out a full year before being able to don the blue and gold and UCSB's winter quarter ends on Friday, Dec. 12. Spencer transferred from Wisconsin after averaging 2.3 points and shooting 37.5% from three-point range in 27 games. She will wear No. 22 with the Gauchos.

• Free For All
The Gauchos are ranked 14th in the nation in free throw percentage and have shot 78% from the line this season. Lauren Pedersen's 95.8% from the line ranks 10th nationally while Emilie Johnson (8-8), Ashlee Brown (5-5), Margaret Johnson (3-3) and Courtney Collishaw (2-2) have been perfect from the line. The UCSB all-time single-season free throw mark is 73.9%, set during the 2002-03 season.

• Pedersen's Streak Ends
Lauren Pedersen missed her first free throw vs. Gonzaga, ending the senior's streak at 20 consecutive to start the season. Pedersen's 20 in a row is the new standard for the best start to a season by any player in UCSB history. She is 23-24 this season from the line.

• Closing In
Sixth-year senior Jenna Green - who leads the team with a .514 field goal percentage - has scored 46 total points this season to give her 1,206 for her career. Green is just eight points shy of tying Kira Anthofer (1984-89) for 16th all-time in UCSB history.

• Led by Lauren
Lauren Pedersen has led the Gauchos in scoring in four of the team's six games and the senior leads the Gauchos in just about every category. Pedersen paces the Gauchos in points (13.3 per game), rebounds (5.3 per game), assists (4.8 per game) and steals (3.3 per game). The Brea, Calif. native also leads the Gauchos in field goals made and attempted as well as free throws made and attempted.

• War on the Boards
Whitney Warren is second on the team with 27 total rebounds. The senior, who averaged 3.8 rebounds per game last season has a 4.5 average through the first six games.

• Almost There
Three UCSB players are closing in on scoring milestones. Whitney Warren is just 30 points shy of 500 for her career while Jordan Franey is 62 points away from the mark and Lauren Pedersen is 96 points from that total.

• Pepperdine Points
Pepperdine enters Sunday's game having lost its last two contests to Texas A&M and Washington. The Waves were dealt a crushing blow when sophomore Katie Menton was lost for the season with a knee injury during the Texas A&M game. A WCC All-Freshman Team selection last season, Menton was second on the team with 10.7 ppg this year. Pepperdine is led by junior Miranda Ayim, who is averaging 12.4 ppg and hitting 50.7% (38-75) of her three-pointers.

• Fresh Legs
Freshman Emilie Johnson leads the team in minutes played so far this season, averaging 33.0 minutes per contest. After playing all 40 minutes vs. Gonzaga, the Loomis, Calif. native has played 216 of a possible 240 minutes thus far. Johnson leads the team with 11 three-pointers and is second on the team with 9.2 points per game.

• 20-Point Wins
UCSB notched its first 20-point victory of the season when it defeated Nevada, 59-37 on Thursday. Last season the Gauchos had just two wins of at least 20 points. Prior to last season, UCSB had at least four 20-point victories each year since 2000-01, with a high of 13 done both in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.

• Gibbons Update
Senior Sha'Rae Gibbons, who had successful surgery to repair a fracture in her left pinkie and will miss a portion of the 2008-09 season, has had her cast removed. She still has not been involved in basketball activities, however, but her recovery period remains on schedule. Gibbons was expected to be the team's starting point guard after averaging 9.5 points per game last year while also leading UCSB with 107 assists.

The Gaucho Way
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."