UCSB Looks To Respond At Cal State Fullerton Saturday

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Dec. 29, 2006

The Schedule
Game No. 13
Saturday, December 30, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Fullerton Titans
Titan Gym (4,000)

The Gaucho Record
The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team enters Saturday's matinee at Fullerton with an overall record of 4-8 after losing its Big West Conference opener 70-57 Thursday night at UC Riverside. The Gauchos, who had won three of four entering their final game before a week-long break for the Holidays, have now lost two straight. UCSB dropped a 69-45 home decision to No. 20 Michigan State Dec. 20, falling to just 2-5 in the Thunderdome. The Gauchos are 2-3 on the road this season after the loss to UCR -- their third straight defeat at the hands of the Highlanders.

UCSB on the Air & Web
Saturday's match-up with the Titans will be broadcast live on KIST 1340 AM in Santa Barbara. Steve "Showtime" Wendt is back for his third season as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos alongside Yours truly, who will attempt to handle the color commentary. Broadcasts begin 15 minutes prior to tip-off with the "Gaucho Pregame Show". Fans can also catch all games live via the internet by going to www.ucsbgauchos.com and purchasing the "UCSB All-Access Pass". With this option hoops fans can enjoy live audio and video from the comfort of their homes courtesy of CSTV.

Shooting Woes Continue in Loss to UC Riverside
Junior forward Kemie Nkele scored a game-high 21 points and hauled in 13 rebounds leading four players in double figures as UC Riverside defeated UC Santa Barbara 70-57 in the Big West Conference opener Thursday night at the UCR Student Recreation Center. Junior center Jenna Green, who played a season-low 22 minutes after she was whistled for her third foul with 7:37 left in the first half, led the Gauchos in scoring for the fourth consecutive game with 13 points. Junior Guard Jessica Wilson overcame a poor shooting night to finish with 11 points, while fellow guard Chisa Ononiwu added 10, six of which came at the foul line. Santa Barbara shot a season-low from the field for the second game in a row, making just 19-of-68 shots, 27.9% for the game, while Riverside shot 52.4%, hitting 22-of-42 attempts from the field. The Highlanders out-rebounded the Gauchos by a 44-34 margin and finished with 10 blocked shots, a season-high for a UCSB opponent. Santa Barbara made just 3-of-20 three-point attempts (15%), while Riverside knocked down 3-of-9 (33.3%). In addition to taking 26 more shots than the Highlanders, the Gauchos also took care of the ball, turning it over just 13 times to Riverside's 26, but were only able to translate that into 11 points.

Did You Know?...
Thursday's loss at UC Riverside marked the first time UCSB dropped a Big West conference opener since the 1988-89 season, head coach Mark French's second year at the helm of the Gauchos and Santa Barbara's first season as a member of the Big West...Santa Barbara has never started 0-2 as a member of the Big West...Last season the Gauchos entered conference play with a record of 4-6, but won their first two league contests...,Jenna Green scored in double figures against the Highlanders for the 12th straight game and is the only player on the team to have accomplished that feat...Junior transfer Chisa Ononiwu made her first career start at UCSB at UCR and finished with 10 points and a game-high four steals...In their last two games, Santa Barbara has made just 37-of-128 shots from the field, 28.9%...UCSB grabbed a season-high 14 offensive rebounds in the loss to the Highlanders, scoring 11 second chance points...The Gauchos also committed a season-low 13 turnovers...A total of five players fouled out in Thursday night's game, including four of five starters.

Clashing With the Titans
• Saturday's contest with Cal State Fullerton marks the 54th meeting between the two programs, with UCSB leading the all-time series 32-21. The Gauchos swept the season series with the Titans a year ago, posting a 68-54 victory in Santa Barbara Jan. 4 followed by a narrow 79-78 win in Fullerton Feb. 23. UCSB has not lost to CSUF since 1995.

• The Titans own a 6-8 overall record and 1-0 mark in the Big West after posting a 64-49 win over Cal Poly Thursday night. Through 14 games, Fullerton is averaging 62.4 points per game, while their opponents have put up 66.6. The Titans shoot 38.3% from the floor, but allow the opposition to shot at a 43.6% mark. Sophomore Toni Thomas leads the BWC averaging 17.1 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game, while senior Charlee Underwood chips in with 14.8 points and 4.8 boards per contest. She has made 27-of-73 three-point shots.