Gauchos Comeback Falls Short at Santa Clara

Drew Edelman (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Drew Edelman (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After a triumphant victory in the season opener at Northern Arizona on Friday, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team hit its first speed bump of the young season in a 68-63 loss at Santa Clara on Tuesday night at the Leavey Center.

The Gauchos trailed by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter but whittled away at the Broncos lead thanks to a series of defensive stands that saw UCSB take four charges. Aliceah Hernandez drilled a crucial three-pointer down the stretch and Sarah Porter drove to the basket for a layup to make it a one-possession game, 64-61, with 36 seconds on the clock.

After catching a break as Santa Clara missed both of its free-throws, UCSB committed a costly turnover on the ensuing inbounds play to seal the end result.

"We've got to value the ball," said head coach Bonnie Henrickson. "We've got to value footwork and passing lanes, three seconds and offensive fouls. We can't just throw the ball around."

Facing a 2-2-1 press, the Gauchos committed 21 turnovers in the game, including four of which came in key moments with under five minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

From an offensive standpoint, UCSB started hot, using a 10-0 run highlighted by a pair of three-pointers from Sarah Bates, to take a 10-4 lead midway through the first quarter. Santa Clara, however, used a run of its own to regain the lead, 18-16, and never trailed for the rest of the game.

UCSB shot 45.8 percent (22-for-48) from the field and 43.8 percent (7-for-16) from downtown while the Broncos shot 47.1 percent (24-for-51) and just 30 percent (3-for-10) from long range, but were able to establish themselves in the paint early on.

"It's a combination of allowing too much at the rim early and we've got to be more disciplined on both ends of the floor," said Henrickson.

Drew Edelman led UCSB with a game-high 23 points on 8-of-16 from the field and came away with a team-high six rebounds. Chaya Durr and Bates both finished with nine apiece while Porter tallied eight. Danae Miller finished with a team-high six assists.

Santa Clara was led by 17 points apiece from Dru Toleafoa and Kyla Martin, who also dished out 11 assists to record a double-double.

UCSB (1-1) is back in action this Friday, Nov. 17 to take on Seattle at 7:00 p.m. inside the Thunderdome for its home opener. 

Season tickets and individual game tickets are available online here or call the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB (8272).