MORAGA, Calif. - Tied 48-48 after three, the UCSB women's basketball team was in position to stop a three-game losing skid.
Instead, outscored 19-6 in the fourth quarter, the Gauchos fell 67-54 to the UAB Blazers to finish a winless tournament weekend at the McKeon Pavillion at St. Mary's College.
"We're not where we need to be, and we're not very close, so we've got a lot of work to do, and we've got a quick turnaround," said head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
The Gauchos (1-4) got career high performances from Akilah Jennings, who scored 14, and Nina Radford, who added eight. However the combination of UAB guards Deanna Kuzmanic and Miyah Barnes were the difference makers, with Kuzmanic scoring nine of her game-high 24 in the fourth, and Barnes adding 17.
UCSB lead for much of the first quarter thanks to triples from Jennings, a pair from Aliceah Hernandez, and an additional Radford. Chaya Durr had an early put back, while Edelman got one on the blocks late as the Gauchos scored the final five points of the quarter.
Danae Miller added a three to start the second and build the biggest UCSB lead of the game at the 9:07 mark, but then the Blazers made their first of four major runs in the game. UAB reeled off an 8-0 run to pull within one, then 12 of the next 17 to build up a six point lead, which they carried to the break.
The third quarter saw the Gauchos battle back to tie the score six times and take the lead once, powered by eight points from Jennings. A driving layup from Sarah Bates with 2:11 remaining gave UCSB the final lead they held in the game, before Kuzmanic tied it then Barnes and Edelman traded buckets to set up the final ten minutes level.
A 13-0 run by UAB ended up being decisive, with UCSB making just two of their final 10 shots, with eight of their final ten looks coming from beyond the arc. The Gauchos took 32 of their 50 field goal attempts from three point land, and shot under 30 percent from the field for the third straight game.
"It doesn't matter who we play right now; we're our best defense, we're our own worst enemy right now," Henrickson said.
The winless regular tournament appearance is UCSB's first since the 1992-93 season, when the Gauchos lost to both Boise State and Santa Clara in the SCU Diet Pepsi Shootout.
UCSB returns home to face University of San Diego at the Thunderdome on Monday, November 27th at 7PM.
"It's a lot of things. There are all kinds of things we can work on, all kinds of stuff we need to work on," said Henrickson.
"The good thing about this program, which is everybody, is it's about production. We're looking for guys that compete, play hard, be coachable, and do what we ask you to do."