December 20, 2008

UCSB-Kentucky Meet for First Time Ever on Sunday

Dec. 20, 2008

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• The Schedule
Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 11:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara (3-4) at Kentucky (5-5) at Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum (8,500)
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game available on Gametracker

Sunday, December 28, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (3-5) vs. Santa Clara (1-9) at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game available on Gametracker

• Hello Kitty
When the Gauchos face the Kentucky Wildcats this Sunday, it will be the first time in history the two programs have ever played.

• Buckin' the Broncos
UCSB hosts Santa Clara on Dec. 28, a team they defeated last year on the road, 95-82. The Gauchos hold a 4-2 all-time mark vs. the Broncos, although this is just the second meeting since 1992 when Santa Clara beat UCSB, 82-51.

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990. Steve Wendt is in his fifth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of men's and women's games, but when Ford is not available at home games, former UCSB assistant coach Kristen Koch will fill in. When Ford is not available for road games, Matt Hurst, yours truly, will handle the task.

• Last Time Out
UCSB lost to Harvard, 61-59, on Wednesday as the Crimson scored the game's final nine points to deal the Gauchos their first defeat at home this season. Until Wednesday, UCSB had won its three previous games at the Thunderdome while all four of the Gauchos' previous losses had come on the road. The last time UCSB won its first three games at home while losing its first four on the road came during the 1993-94 season.

• Career Day
Kat Suderman dished out a career-best six assists vs. Harvard.

• Gibbons Good to Go
Point guard Sha'Rae Gibbons, who had surgery for a fractured left pinkie on Nov. 6, has been cleared to practice with the team. The senior has missed the team's first eight games after leading UCSB in assists last season while also averaging 9.5 points per game.

• Climbing the Charts
In recent news from the NCAA, Jenna Green's statistics from the four games she played last year do count to her career totals despite receiving a medical redshirt. So after scoring a game-high 16 points vs. Harvard, the sixth-year senior has accumulated 1,282 career points, putting her into 15th place all-time in UCSB history. She is 36 points away from tying Kayte Christensen (1998-2002) for 14th place.

• Free For All
UCSB entered the week ranked fifth in the nation for free throw percentage and are now shooting 79.2% this season. Lauren Pedersen leads the Gauchos with a 94.4% clip (34 of 36) while Emilie Johnson (11-11), 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.

• Almost There
Three UCSB players are closing in on scoring milestones. Whitney Warren is just 10 points shy of 500 for her career while Jordan Franey is 58 points away from the mark and Lauren Pedersen is 81 points from that total.

• Swat Team
Jenna Green blocked three shots vs. Harvard to give her a team-high 16 blocks this season. She is averaging 2.0 blocks per game and has a career average of 1.35 blocks per game. With two more blocks, Green will move into third place all-time in UCSB history.

• Freshman Phenom
Emilie Johnson is the first UCSB freshman to start her collegiate career at point guard since LaShay Fears did so in 16 straight games to open the 2005-06 season. This distinction is so rare that Johnson is only the third Gaucho in the last decade to open her career as the Gauchos' starting point guard, following Fears and Stacy Clinesmith, who started all 30 games at point during her freshman season in 1996-97. Johnson leads the Gauchos in minutes played this season, averaging 35.5 minutes per contest. The Loomis, Calif. native leads the team with 13 three-pointers and is third on the team with 8.3 ppg.

• Led by Lauren
Lauren Pedersen leads the Gauchos in just about every category, pacing the team in points (11.9 per game), rebounds (5.6 per game), assists (5.0 per game) and steals (3.0 per game). The Brea, Calif. native entered this week 29th in the nation in steals per game while her assists per contest ranked her 67th nationally.

• Pedersen Sets UCSB Record
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. Twice this season Pedersen has knocked down double-digit free throws, going 10-for-10 vs. Pepperdine and 11-for-11 against San Diego. She entered this week ranked fifth in the nation in free throw percentage.

• Three-riffic
Emilie Johnson is the only player to hit a 3-pointer in every game this season. She is shooting a team-best 36.1% from downtown, however the team is shooting three's at a 29.2% clip.

• War on the Boards
Whitney Warren averaged just 3.8 rebounds per game last season and 4.0 for her career. Yet, the Lawndale, Calif. native is second on the team with a 5.1 per game average this season.

• Kentucky Fried Facts
Kentucky is coming off a 65-45 victory over Alabama A&M on Friday, the Wildcats' first win in three games. Kentucky has lost four of its past six games. Sophomore forward Victoria Dunlap leads Kentucky with 11.7 ppg while pulling down 7.5 rpg, second on the team. Senior center Eleia Roddy is averaging 10.9 ppg and 8.9 rpg.

• On the Rebound
Lauren Pedersen leads the team with 5.6 rebounds per game. If she finishes the season leading the team it will be the second straight season a guard has led the Gauchos in rebounding. Jessica Wilson's 6.3 rpg last season paced the team.

• 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."