Gauchos Begin Big West Title Defense Monday vs. UC Riverside

Gauchos Begin Big West Title Defense Monday vs. UC Riverside

Dec. 31, 2005

The Schedule
Game 11 • Monday, Jan. 2, 2006 • 7:00 p.m. • Santa Barbara, CA
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Riverside • The Thunderdome (6,000)

2005-06 Gaucho Record
4-6 overall/0-0 Big West Conference
4-1 home/0-5 away/0-0 neutral

Gauchos Have Won Last 46 Games Against Current Conference Foes
The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team begins defense of its 10 straight Big West Conference regular season championships - the longest current streak of outright league titles in the nation - on Monday, Jan. 2 by hosting UC Riverside in the Thunderdome. The Gauchos will be in search of their fourth straight victory when they battle the Highlanders (3-7 overall, 0-1 Big West) at 7:00 p.m. UCSB enters the contest riding a 46-game winning streak against current members of the eight-team Big West - postseason included - dating back to 2003.

Gauchos on the Air and Web
The UCSB-UCR showdown will air live on KTLK 1340AM in Santa Barbara with "Showtime" Steve Wendt handling play-by-play duties and Kristen Koch providing color commentary. The broadcast begins 15 minutes prior to tip-off with the "Gaucho Pregame Show". All of Santa Barbara's games in 2005-06 can also be heard live via the internet by pointing your browser to and purchasing the "UCSB All-Access Pass", while the school's official website will also tentatively offer live streaming video of all home games through the remainder of the regular season.

UCSB Concludes Pre-Conference Slate with 70-60 Triumph over Pepperdine
A 10-day break from competition did little to slow down the Gauchos, who defeated Pepperdine 70-60 on Friday, Dec. 30 in the Thunderdome for their third straight win. The first half was a hotly-contested affair, with 14 lead changes, nine ties and neither squad amassing more than a three-point cushion. UCSB grabbed the last lead of the period when Jessica Wilson knocked down a three-pointer with 1:29 remaining, giving her squad a 35-34 advantage at intermission. Both teams struggled offensively to open the second half until Santa Barbara broke things open with eight unanswered points, then increased its lead to 52-40 at the 8:36 mark thanks to Karena Bonds' three-pointer. At that point the Waves (3-10) then embarked on an 11-1 run to pull within a single point with 6:22 to play, but were hindered by foul trouble down the stretch. The Gauchos responded by sinking six of their next seven free-throws, and never let the visitors creep back within six points.

UCSB Three-Dot Data...
The Gauchos' three-game non-conference winning streak is its longest since 2002-03...UCSB defeated Pepperdine despite being out-rebounded, the first time that has happened this season...Santa Barbara has not committed more turnovers than any of its 11 opponents in 2005-06...Sophomore center Jenna Green earned her first career Big West Player of the Week honor on Saturday following her game-high 17 points coupled with nine rebounds against Pepperdine...It's the second such award in the last three weeks for the Gauchos, following Jessica Wilson's honor on Dec. 19...Wilson is averaging 17.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists during the Gauchos' current winning streak, scoring in double-figures each time after not doing so over any of her first six appearances this year...Sophomore Kat Suderman's 11 points and game-high 11 rebounds Friday vs. the Waves accounted for her first career double-double...UCSB has seen a quartet of players score in double-figures in two of the past three contests, something that did not happen in any of the season's first seven games.

Highlander Hullabaloo
UC Riverside is mired in a six-game losing streak, most recently falling 87-53 at home to Cal Poly in its Big West opener on Dec. 29. Sophomore center Kemie Nkele - a first team all-conference performer as a rookie - leads the Highlanders at 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, but has missed the last three contests with a broken finger and is not likely to suit up Monday. Freshman guard Seryam Gbewonyo - a high school teammate of UCSB rookie LaShay Fears - averages 10.4 points per tilt. The Gauchos have won all eight meetings since UCR joined the Big West in 2001-02, and leads the all-time series 13-6.