UCSB Hosts Fresno State Thursday; Travels to No. 7 UCLA Sunday

Photo by Felipe Garcia
Photo by Felipe Garcia

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The Schedule
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (1-5) vs. Fresno State (1-4)
at the Thunderdome – Santa Barbara, Calif.
All-Time Record vs. the Bulldogs: 10-20
Last Meeting: Dec. 16, 2016 - UCSB def. FSU, 50-49
Video / Audio / Live Stats

Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (1-5) at No. 7 UCLA (6-1)
at Pauley Pavilion – Los Angeles, Calif.
All-Time Record vs. the Bruins: 2-17
Last Meeting: Dec. 14, 2016 - UCLA def. UCSB, 71-52
Video / Audio / Live Stats

Toreros, Turnovers Unravel Gauchos
Playing its third game in four days, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team fell 71-58 to San Diego at the Thunderdome on Monday night. The Gauchos committed a season-high 24 turnovers in the game, including 10 in the first quarter alone with just nine first quarter points. A big second half rally fueled by Sarah Porter got UCSB back in the game and the score was 53-50 USD at the end of the third. In the fourth, however, the Gauchos went just 2-for-18 (11.1 percent) from the field and were outscored 18-8 to let the game slip away. Porter led UCSB with 17 points off the bench and Drew Edelman added eight points and 11 rebounds, but was just 2-for-5 from the field as the Toreros limited her touches with strong defense. San Diego was led by 18 points from Alexandra Hagen. 

Looking to Bounce Back against Bulldogs
UCSB has lost five straight games since its season opening win against NAU and will look to return to the win column when they welcome Fresno State to the Thunderdome on Thursday night. The Bulldogs are in a similar spot as the Gauchos, having lost four straight since a season-opening win against Eastern Washington. FSU's losses have come against Arizona State, UC Riverside, UT Arlington and Texas State. Last year, the Gauchos upended the Bulldogs 50-49 behind a buzzer-beater from Drea Toler, who also led the way with 10 points in the game. Fresno State is led by sophomore Kristina Cavey, who is averaging 14.0 points per game and junior guard Candice White, averaging 13.0 points per game. 

Battle with the Bruins
The Gauchos head back out on the road this Sunday, Dec. 3 for a 1:30 p.m. tip against No. 7 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins are 6-1 this season, and have won three straight, coming off wins against Kansas State, Creighton and UC Riverside. Last season at the Thunderdome, the Bruins defeated UCSB 71-52 behind a 30-point performance from Jordin Canada. Sarah Porter led the Gauchos with 11 points in that game. Senior forward Monique Billings leads UCLA with 15.7 points per game while Kennedy Burke is at 13.3 ppg and Canada is third with 12.6 ppg. Billings also leads the team on the glass with 9.0 rebounds per game.

Nothing Comes Easy
UCSB's six opponents this season have a combined 20-13 record, and its last three games have been against opponents who combine for a 13-3 overall record. The Gauchos will look to capitalize on a Fresno State team that is 1-4 before facing another tough opponent in No. 7 UCLA, standing at 6-1. 

Playing a Key Role
Akilah "Kiki" Jennings was named to the 2017 Hilton Concord Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 12 points per game while totaling five rebounds and a pair of steals through two games. Jennings tallied a career-high of 14 points against UAB after playing 36 minutes and going 4-for-8 from downtown. She was also nominated for Big West Player of the Week for her performance. 

By the Numbers
The Gauchos are currently averaging 66.8 points per game, shooting 40.9 percent (142-for-347) from the floor, 36.0 percent (50-for-139) from downtown and 73.6 percent (67-for-91) from the free-throw line. UCSB's opponents, meanwhile, are averaging 77.5 points per game while shooting 46.7 percent (179-for-383) from the field. 

Same Old Drew
All-Big West selection from a year ago and team captain Drew Edelman has picked up where she left off with a handful of big performances to start the 2017-18 campaign. The redshirt senior leads the Gauchos with a 14.8 ppg average after opening the year with 24 and 23 point performances against NAU and Santa Clara, respectively. In the home opener against Seattle, Edelman went for 16 points while pulling down a career-high 19 rebounds and now leads the team with 8.8 boards per game. 

Fabulous Freshmen
Freshmen guards Sarah Bates and Danae Miller have impressed through the first few 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 games of nine points and 11 points against Santa Clara and Seattle, respectively. Miller, meanwhile, opened up with eight points and four assists against NAU before dishing out a six-assist performance at Santa Clara and adding a team-high four more against Seattle. She now leads the team with 20 assists. Cece Quintino has also been in the mix and is tied for third on the team with 12 assists. Bates is second with 19 to make the top-three assist leaders all freshmen. 

Aye Aye, Captain!
Chaya Durr, Drew Edelman, Coco Miller, Makala 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. 

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.