UCSB Wraps Up Non-Conference Slate, 2009 at Gonzaga

UCSB Wraps Up Non-Conference Slate, 2009 at Gonzaga

Dec. 29, 2009

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• The Schedule
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Gonzaga (10-4)
at Gonzaga's McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000)
Series record vs. the Bulldogs - 2-0
Streak - Won 2
Last time out vs. the Bulldogs - W, 59-47 (12/7/08)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.

Saturday, Januray 2, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Irvine (3-9)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Anteaters - 52-24
Streak - Won 6
Last time out vs. the Anteaters - W, 51-38 (2/7/09)
Broadcast live on AM 990 and streaming live online by clicking here.
Game available via Gametracker
Game streaming live online at BigWest.TV

• Legends Of The Dome
For years, the Gauchos have been exciting crowds in the Thunderdome. Through the years, legends were made in the 'Dome. Now, five former UCSB standouts are being saluted as "Legends of the Dome." The first legendary womens volleyball star, Roberta Gehlke, was unveiled Oct. 19, 2009. The first men's basketball legend will be unveiled on Jan. 23 before a 7:00 p.m. game against Cal State Fullerton. Three other legends will be introduced this year. The second men,s hoops legend will be unveiled prior to UCSB,s 4:00 p.m. Feb. 13 game against Long Beach State. Women's basketball legends will be honored on Feb. 11 before a 7:00 p.m. game against UC Riverside, and on Feb. 27 before a 2:00 p.m. Blue-Green Rivalry Series game against Cal Poly.

• Single Game Tickets Available
Men's and women's basketball single game tickets are now on sale. You can purchase tickets by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus or to buy online and print at home, click here.

• Purchasing Tickets Has Never Been Easier
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The ICA Ticket Office will be open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the ticket office, are already available during weekday hours, which are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Opponents
• at Gonzaga, 12/30

UCSB enters Wednesday's game vs. Gonzaga with a 2-0 all-time record, having defeated the Bulldogs last season at home and - oddly enough - upended the Zags on 12/30/99 in Spokane by a 76-58 margin. Gonzaga is led by Heather Bowman, who leads the team with her 15.8 points per game average and 6.8 rebounds per game mark. Last season, UCSB held Gonzaga, then 8-1, to 32.1% from the field and forced 23 turnovers. The Bulldogs are receiving votes in the Top-25 poll. Gonzaga last played on Sunday, defeating UC Irvine, 96-57.

• vs. UC Irvine, 1/2
The Gauchos open Big West play with a 2 p.m. game vs. UC Irvine on Saturday. UCSB's 52 all-time wins over the Anteaters are the Gauchos' most vs. any opponent. UCSB has won six straight over UCI with its last defeat an 82-69 setback at home on 2/16/06. Last season the Gauchos had nearly identical victories over the Anteaters - 50-38 on Jan. 8 at the Bren Events Center and then 51-38 on Feb. 7 at the Thunderdome. UCI is led by Mikah Maly-Karros, who is averaging 18.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, though she's played in four contests after transferring from LMU.

• Slow Start
At 3-8, this marks UC Santa Barbara's slowest start since the 1983-84 season when UCSB went 3-25 overall in Darla Wilson's first season as head coach.

• Under .500? No Problem
Regardless of what happens vs. Gonzaga, UCSB will enter Big West Conference play with a record under .500. But, that isn't a concern. The Gauchos will open conference play with a sub-.500 record for the sixth straight season. In that time, Big West play has proved to be the elixir for any woes - UCSB is 66-12 in conference play over that stretch.

• Biggest in the Big West
And speaking of UCSB's success in conference play ... Since the 1995-96 season, UCSB is 205-19 (.915) in Big West games.

• Double-Doubles, Animal Style
One positive came out of Monday's 47-40 defeat to Idaho - UCSB had two players post double-doubles in the same game for the first time since Jessica Wilson and Chisa Ononiwu did it on March 8, 2008 vs. Long Beach State when Emilie Johnson had 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds and Jordan Franey added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

• Leading Lady
Emilie Johnson leads the Gauchos in nearly every statistical category this season. The sophomore guard leads UCSB in points, assists, steals, minutes played, field goals attempted, free throw percentage and three-pointers made and attempted. The Loomis, Calif. native averages also rank her in the top-10 throughout the Big West including points per game (sixth), assists per game (fifth), free throw percentage (third) and minutes played (first).

Probable Starters

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
10 Emilie Johnson G Leads in all offensive categories but reb.
14 Jordan Franey F Averaging 9.5 ppg & 4.7 rpg - 3rd on team
21 Meagan Williams G 1 of 3 to start all 11 games
32 Margaret Johnson F Has started the past 7 games
44 Mekia Valentine C Has scored in double figures in all but 2
Possible Reserves

0 Bree Richardson G Avg. 9.2 min per game in 9 games
1 Sweets Underwood F Freshman has played in all 11 games
3 Megan Kritscher F/C Has not played in past three games
11 Stefanie Corgel G Made first career basket in 12/13 win
12 Ariana Gnekow G Key bench contributor w/ 2.6 ppg & 3.4 rpg
22 Chris Spencer G 16 min vs. Idaho are most since 12/13
25 Jessie Goble F/C 2 points, 3 rebounds in 9 min on 12/13
33 Destini Mason G One of 5 freshman on team

• Climbing the Charts
Mekia Valentine, who ranks in the top-10 in the country with her 4.4 blocks per game average, has a team-best 44 blocks after swatting four more shots at Idaho, putting her just outside the school's top-10 in a single season. Currently Kris Grazzini (1993-94), Susie Matthews (1990-91 and 1991-92) and Patty Franklin (1980-81) hold that spot with 46 blocks in a season.

• Swat Team
UCSB is averaging 6.7 blocks per game, which ranks the team in the top-10 in the nation. UCSB has blocked 74 shots already this season and the team is closing in on the school's top-10 in single-season block totals. The Gauchos are on pace to shatter the school's single-season record of 140 (set in 2003-04) while the 1981-82 team is 10th with 101 blocks. Mekia Valentine and Meagan Williams rank first and third in the Big West in blocks per game with 4.4 and 1.5, respectively.

• Valentine's Gift
Valentine is shooting a robust 59.3% from the floor, which would challenge the school's single-season record. The current top spot is occupied by Kira Anthofer, who shot 59.6% from the field in 1985-86.

• Shooting Stars
In six games this season UCSB has shot over 40% from the field - including twice when the Gauchos shot over 50%. UCSB is hitting 42.1% of its shots this season, which is second in the Big West and sits just outside of UCSB's single-season top-10. The last team to shoot that well was the 2004-05 squad, shooting 44.0% on the season. The odd part is that UCSB is shooting 48% inside the 3-point line while beyond the arc the Gauchos are hitting just 24.1% of their shots.

• Williams Watch
Meagan Williams entered her senior season with career averages of 3.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. The Sacramento native is averaging 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, both of which rank fourth on the team. After starting just two games in her previous three seasons, Williams is one of just three players to have started all 11 contests this year for the Gauchos and her 33.1 minutes per game is fifth in the conference. Williams' 1.5 blocks per game is third in the Big West while her even 50% mark from the field is fifth in the conference.

• Air Jordan
Jordan Franey posted her first double-double since Dec. 7, 2006 when the San Diego native had 22 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Weber State. The senior forward, who has started all 11 games this season is averaging 9.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, which both rank third on the team.

• The TO Show
After turning the ball over 29 times, the most this season, UCSB has now committed 230 turnovers through 11 games this season, which is second-most in the Big West. The Gauchos are forcing just 15.0 turnovers per game and hold a -5.91 differential, which is last in the Big West.

• Opposites Attract
UCSB is proving to be quite the dichotomy this season when it comes to scoring. The Gauchos rank last in the Big West with their 56.4 points per game average. However its not as if UCSB is getting blown out. Santa Barbara is second in the conference, allowing teams 61.0 points per game and the Gauchos are allowing opponents to shoot just 35.5%, which is best in the Big West.

• Not Necessarily "Free"
Last season UCSB set a school record by shooting 75.7% from the free throw line. This season the Gauchos' 63.9% from the charity stripe is eighth in the nine-team Big West.

• Stay in Touch With the Gauchos
Three people will keep fans abreast of all things related to the women's basketball team this year through UCSBgauchos.com. Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb has her own Twitter page at twitter.com/UCSBCoachG and Emilie Johnson and Margaret Johnson both write for the blog "Johnsons' Journal." Each social networking tool can be found on the women's basketball page at UCSBgauchos.com.

• The Lindsay Gottlieb File
Lindsay Gottlieb is in her second 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 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 season at the helm of the program, Gottlieb guided the Gauchos to national prominence, ranking in the top-10 in field goal percentage defense, a top-20 finish in points allowed per game while watching her team set a school record for free throw percentage. 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.