December 23, 2008

UCSB Opens Three-Game Homestand vs. Santa Clara

Dec. 23, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

• The Schedule
Sunday, December 28, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (3-6) vs. Santa Clara (1-12) at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game available on Gametracker

Friday, January 2, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (3-6) vs. Long Beach State (3-7) at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Game broadcast on KTMS 990-AM
Game available on Gametracker

• 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.

• Facing the 49ers
The Gauchos hold a 39-38 all-time mark against Long Beach State, the school's fourth-most wins vs. any opponent in history. UCSB swept the 49ers last year, winning 72-69 in the Thunderdome and 70-62 in Long Beach. UCSB has not lost to the 49ers since 2006.

• Biggest in the Big West
Since the 1995-96 season, UC Santa Barbara has posted a 188-18 (.913) record against league foes.

• Hooray for Sha'Rae
Point guard Sha'Rae Gibbons, who had surgery for a fractured left pinkie on Nov. 6, was cleared to play just two days before the Kentucky game. The senior from Sacramento had missed the team's first eight games, but played 20 minutes and scored 10 points - second on the team - with two steals in the Gauchos' loss to the Wildcats. Last season Gibbons led the Gauchos in assists and averaged 9.5 points per game.

• A (Half) Grand Occasion
Whitney Warren surpassed the 500-point barrier with her season-high 16 points vs. Kentucky. Warren's 16 points were just two shy of her career-high. Soon to join Warren in the 500 club will be junior Jordan Franey (50 points away) and senior Lauren Pedersen (74 points).

• Climbing the Charts
In recent news from the NCAA, Jenna Green's statistics from the four games she played during the 2007-08 season do count to her career totals despite receiving a medical redshirt. The sixth-year senior has accumulated 1,290 career points, putting her into 15th place all-time in UCSB history. Entering Sunday's game, Green is 28 points shy of tying Kayte Christensen (1998-2002) for 14th place and 36 points away from Becky Brown (1989-1993).

• Green's Block Party
Jenna Green blocked two shots vs. Kentucky to move into third place all-time in UCSB history, passing Susie Matthews (1990-92) with 142 career blocks. Green has a team-high 18 blocks this season. She is averaging 2.0 blocks per game, which leads the Big West.

• Free For All
After shooting just 60% from the free throw line vs. Kentucky (tying a season low), UCSB is ranked 10th in the nation for free throw percentage and are now shooting 77.1% from the stripe this season. Lauren Pedersen leads the Gauchos - and the Big West - with an 87.5% mark 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.

• Skid Row
UCSB has dropped three games in a row two separate times this season. It is the first time since the 2005-06 season that a UCSB team has had two such streaks. During that season the Gauchos opened the year on a five-game losing streak before dropping three straight from Feb. 9-Feb. 16, 2006.

• Rank and File
Lauren Pedersen is nationally ranked in three separate categories. Her 87.5% mark from the free throw line is 30th in the country; the senior's 2.9 steals per game ranks 36th in the nation; and her 4.7 assists per game stands 60th in the NCAA.

• 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. Johnson has started the Gauchos' first nine games at the point. 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 33.3 minutes per contest. The Loomis, Calif. native leads the team with 14 three-pointers and is fourth on the team with 7.7 ppg.

• Getting Defensive
UCSB leads the Big West in defensive field goal percentage, limiting opponents to a 37.5% mark from the field.

• Three-riffic
Emilie Johnson is the only player to hit a 3-pointer in every game this season. She is shooting 35.9% from downtown, however the team is shooting three's at a 29.3% clip.

• War on the Boards
Whitney Warren averaged just 3.8 rebounds per game last season, yet the Lawndale, Calif. native is second on the team with a 5.2 per game average this season after grabbing 14 rebounds in two games last week, which led the team.

• Scouting Santa Clara
The Broncos (1-12) have lost seven games in a row and are led by Lena Gipson, who is averaging 13.6 ppg and 11.1 rpg. Santa Clara's lone victory came at Chicago State on Nov. 28.

• On the Rebound
Lauren Pedersen leads the team with 5.3 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. Pedersen would be just the fourth guard to lead the team in rebounding since 1981-82 when Patty Franklin did it (also Erin Buescher from 1997-2000 and Wilson).

• 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."