SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Onome Jemerigbe attacked her way to a career-high 15 points, but UCSB's return to the Thunderdome was spoiled in a 61-38 loss to Army on Friday night.
With the loss, the Gauchos fall to 0-6 on the season, while the Black Knights move to 4-1.
Jemerigbe's team-leading scoring effort was mainly done in the first half where she registered 13 points, which tied her previous personal-best. The point guard was aggressive throughout the contest, as she earned a game-high 10 shots at the free throw, made seven of those attempts.
The sophomore got it started with the Gauchos facing an early 9-2 Army lead after six and a half minutes of play. In taking a high post screen, Jemerigbe made a slicing move to the basket down the right side of the lane to pick up a basket and the foul. She went on to complete the three-point play to bring the Gauchos within four points.
However, the Black Knights kept putting on the pressure with the dynamic play of Kelsey Minato who finished with a game-high 26 points. The guard – who finished with five makes from downtown – netted four triples and converted on an 'and one' play in the first half, as she helped her team claim a lead as large as 15 points.
With Army's sharp shooting in full force, the Gauchos remained competitive because of the attacking instinct of Jemerigbe who was involved with every point in an 8-0 UCSB run late in the first half.
With 3:48 remaining, the sophomore gave herself her second three-point play with a make at the foul line to top off a hard drive to the basket. She went on to get involved on the defensive side of the court, as she cut off a pass at midcourt and bolted the other way for the easy layup on the other end.
To complete the run, the point guard drew in two defenders on a drive and kicked the ball out to a wide-open Makala Roper who knocked down her first of two three-pointers of the night, putting the Gauchos within seven at 28-21. In making her first ever start for UCSB, the freshman went on to score eight points along with three rebounds, two assists, and a pair of steals.
Army, though, would close out the half with five unanswered points and went on to capture a 28-point lead with seven minutes left in the game.
The Gauchos would end the game by scoring 18 points in the final seven minutes with Clair Watkins leading the way with six points.
UCSB will be back in action next Thursday night when they will host Washington State starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ticketing Office inside the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), or online here.