Gauchos Set for Home Opener Friday against Seattle

Gauchos Set for Home Opener Friday against Seattle

Full Release in PDF Format

The Schedule
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (1-1) vs. Seattle (0-2)
at the Thunderdome – Santa Barbara, Calif.
All-Time Record vs. the Redhawks: 2-3
Last Meeting: Nov. 18, 2016 – SU def. UCSB, 58-53
Video / Audio / Live Stats

Last Week in Review
The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team split its season opening road trip over the last week with a 96-93 win over Northern Arizona in the season opener on Friday before falling to Santa Clara, 68-63, in a tight game on Tuesday.

Chopping Down the Lumberjacks
In the sixth ever meeting between the Lumberjacks and the Gauchos, UCSB exploded for 96 points, fueled by a 14-for-30 performance from the beyond the arc. Freshman Sarah Bates led the team in scoring with 25 points to go with five rebounds and five assists in her collegiate debut while Drew Edelman poured in 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting with a team-high seven rebounds. Aliceah Hernandez went 5-for-7 from downtown and finished with 15 points. As a team, the Gauchos shot 48.5 percent (33-for-68) from the field, 72.7 percent (16-for-22) from the free-throw line and led for all but five minutes in the game.

Stopped by Santa Clara
Despite a late comeback attempt that featured four charges taken down the stretch, UCSB was unable to overcome a late 11-point deficit and fell to the Broncos, 68-63. The Gauchos took a quick 10-4 lead behind a pair of three-pointers from Bates, but fell behind and could not overcome the deficit. Hernandez drained a late three and a Sarah Porter layup with 36 seconds left made it a one-possession game, but a costly turnover sealed the game. UCSB committed 21 turnovers in the loss. Edelman was the only Gaucho in double-figures with 23 points to go with a team-high six rebounds. Chaya Durr and Bates tallied nine apiece while Danae Miller dished out six assists.

Seattle Preview
This Friday will feature the sixth meeting all-time between UCSB and Seattle. The two teams matched up last season in Washington, where the Redhawks upended the Gauchos in a close one, 58-53. Alexis Montgomery led Seattle with 19 points in that game and is averaging 23.5 points per game in her senior season. For UCSB, Edelman and Coco Miller both tallied 16 points. On the year, Seattle is 0-2 with losses coming at home to Idaho State, 74-69, and Hawai'i, 73-58. UCSB sophomore guard Tal Sahar transferred from Seattle after averaging 10.2 ppg for the Redhawks in 2015-16.

Home Sweet Dome
UCSB is 2-0 in home openers at the Thunderdome under head coach Bonnie Henrickson after topping Pepperdine last season and Cal State Bakersfield the year prior. The Gauchos are 16-11 (.593) at home in the Henrickson era, and have enjoyed a .669 (330-163) win percentage at the 'Dome all time.  

Opening Strong
The season opening win against NAU on Friday marked the first win in an opener for the Gauchos under head coach Bonnie Henrickson, who begins her third season at the helm of the program. It is also just the second win in an opener since 2009 and first since the 2013-14 season. The 96 points scored by the Gauchos are also the most in the Henrickson era, topping a 93-point outburst against Morehead State in 2015-16. It was also the most points scored for UCSB since a 105-60 win over CSUN in the 2001-02 season.

Same Old Drew
All-Big West selection from a year ago and team captain Drew Edelman has picked up where she left off with two big performances to start the 2017-18 campaign. The redshirt senior leads the Gauchos with a 23.5 ppg average after opening the year with 24 and 23 point performances against NAU and Santa Clara, respectively. She is also leading the team with 6.5 rebounds per game and is shooting 57.6 percent from the field (19-for-33).

Fabulous Freshmen
Freshmen guards Sarah Bates and Danae Miller have impressed through the first two games of their collegiate careers. After a 25-point scoring outburst for Bates in the season-opener against NAU, the Fresno, Calif. native followed up her performance with nine points against Santa Clara, all of which came via three-pointer. She currently leads the team with 33.5 minutes per game and is 6-for-10 from downtown. Miller, meanwhile, opened up with eight points and four assists against NAU before dishing out a six-assist performance at Santa Clara and leads the team with 10 assists. Freshman Cece Quintino has also been in the mix, tallying four assists in each game, and was perfect from the field, including knocking down a three-pointer in the opener.

It's Raining Threes, Hallelujah!
Through two games to start the young season, UCSB is shooting 45.7 percent (21-for-46) from three-point territory to rank 17th in the nation. With an average of 10.5 triples per game, the Gauchos rank 21st in the nation. Against NAU, UCSB went 14-for-30 (46.7 percent) from downtown and followed it up with a 7-for-16 (43.8 percent) shooting display. Sophomore Aliceah Hernandez leads the team with seven made threes while Sarah Bates is close behind with six. Deadeye from downtown Sarah Porter is 4-for-12 to start the year.

Aye Aye, Captain!
Chaya DurrDrew EdelmanCoco MillerMakala Roper and Sarah Porter were all voted as team captains for the upcoming season. The group represents every returning upperclassmen for a UCSB team that has significantly improved over the past two seasons. 

Trending Up
UCSB has increased its win total in each of the past three seasons, including the first two years with Henrickson at the helm. After notching 12 wins in her debut season, which was more wins than the previous two seasons combined, Henrickson led the Gauchos to a 16-16 record and a fourth-place finish in the Big West, its best since 2012-13.

Big West Preseason Poll
Announced last week by the conference, UCSB was selected in both the media and coaches poll to finish third, behind only last season's regular season champion UC Davis and CSUN. The Aggies collected the majority of first place votes in both polls while the Matadors were a close second. The Gauchos were slotted third and followed by Hawaii, somewhat of a distant fourth place. Drew Edelman landed on both versions of the five-women Preseason All-Conference Team.

Key Returners
UCSB returns four of its five starters from last season, including leading scorer and rebounder Drew Edelman. After transferring from USC, Edelman had a standout debut season for the Gauchos, earning Second Team All-Big West while leading UCSB with 11.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Also returning will be junior guard Sarah Porter, who averaged 10.2 points per game while leading the team with 76 three-pointers, and Coco Miller, who averaged 9.1 points per game and was second on the team with 58 threes. Honorable Mention Big West selection Drea Toler (10.2 ppg) also returns, but will have to wait until December to join the team.

Incoming Talent
After sitting out last season due to NCAA Transfer rules, Tal Sahar will make her much anticipated UCSB debut. Sahar, a transfer from Seattle, averaged 10.2 points per game while shooting an impressive 38.2 percent from downtown for the Redhawks. Foothill College junior transfer Akilah Jennings will also look to make an immediate impact while five freshmen join the Gauchos in 2017-18. Danae Miller (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) and Celine Quintino (Henderson, Nev./Liberty HS) will factor in at the point guard position. Sarah Bates (Fresno, Calif./Clovis West HS) is also a guard while Nina Radford (Portland, Ore./Grant HS) and Mira Shulman (Elk Grove, Calif./Elk Grove HS) can play both the guard and forward positions.

New Coaches
Joining Henrickson's coaching staff this year is associate head coach Alex Delanian and assistant coach Eliza Pierre. Delanian was most recently the associate head coach at Hawaii while Pierre comes from Cal where she was the assistant director of basketball operations before being promoted to interim assistant coach. Pierre and Delanian join assistant coach Nate Fripp who enters his third season with Henrickson and director of basketball operations Ashlee Klingenberg, who begins her second season.

2016-17 Season in Review
Last season, UCSB went 16-16 overall marking the first time since the 2011-12 season that the Gauchos posted a .500 record. With a 9-7 record in the Big West, UCSB tied for fourth place, its best conference finish since 2012-13 when it also finished fourth. The highlight of the season came on an impressive run through the Big West Tournament, upsetting top-seeded UC Davis in the semifinals before falling in heartbreaking fashion by just one-point to Long Beach State in the championship. With nine returners and six incomers, UCSB will look to keep climbing the ladder in the conference in 2017-18.