Gauchos Travel to No. 17 Oregon State Saturday and LMU on Monday

Photo by Felipe Garcia
Photo by Felipe Garcia

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The Schedule
Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (1-7) at No. 17 Oregon State (6-2)
Moda Center - Portland, Ore. 
All-Time Record vs. the Beavers: 4-3
Last Meeting: Nov. 20, 2012 - OSU def. UCSB, 49-46
Video / Audio / Live Stats

Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (1-7) vs. Loyola Marymount (7-2)
Gersten Pavilion – Los Angeles, Calif.
All-Time Record vs. the Lions: 12-7
Last Meeting: Dec. 2, 2016 - LMU def. UCSB 57-55
Video / Audio / Live Stats

The Air Out There
Due to the nearby Thomas Fire, which has burned 242,500 acres as of Thursday (the fourth largest in California history), the air quality in Santa Barbara County has been deemed hazardous, forcing the cancellation of school and postponed the Gauchos' scheduled game with LMU on Dec. 7. UCSB will now travel to face the Lions on Monday, Dec. 18 at 7:00 p.m., and will have gone nearly two weeks (13 days) before they hit the hardwood against No. 17 Oregon State on Saturday, Dec. 16.

When UCSB Last Played
The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team dropped contests to Fresno State, 64-57, and UCLA, 74-44, to fall to 1-7 to start the season. Against the Bulldogs on Nov. 30, the Gauchos were without star forward Drew Edelman and her absence showed as UCSB was outscored 28-18 in the paint while being outrebounded 45-32. The Gauchos got off to a slow start in the first quarter, once again, however climbed back into the game thanks to a strong second quarter fueled by hot shooting from Sarah Porter. After falling behind in the third, UCSB went on a late run to tie the game just before the fourth quarter. In the final period, the Gauchos found themselves within one possession with under a minute remaining, but a key offensive rebound and clutch free-throws from Fresno State put the game away. Chaya Durr led UCSB with 15 points and six rebounds. 

In its last game on Dec. 3, UCSB ran into No. 7 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion. The Gauchos hung tough with the Bruins early on, before the length and athleticism of UCLA took over in the third quarter. The Bruins outscored UCSB 28-9 in the period and dominated the glass, 45-23, including 22 offensive rebounds which led to 18 second chance points. In the paint, UCLA outscored the Gauchos 46-18. Edelman returned to score 12 points with five boards while Porter also notched double figures with 11. Danae Miller tied for game-high honors with five assists. 

Battle with the Beavers
UCSB travels to Portland, Ore. to square off against No. 17 Oregon State at the Moda Center for its first game in nearly two weeks. The Gauchos hold a 4-3 advantage all-time in the series and last played the Beavers during the 2012-13 season where they lost 49-46. Oregon State is riding a four-game winning streak and has only lost to then No. 16 Duke on the road by seven points, and then No. 5 ranked Notre Dame at home by five points. The Beavers are led by 6-foot-5 center Marie Gulich, who is averaging 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game along with Mikayla Pivec (14.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.2 apg), Kat Tudor (13.1 ppg) and Taylor Kalmer (10.6 ppg). 

Into the Lion's Den
In a makeup game rescheduled for Monday afternoon, the Gauchos will travel to Loyola Marymount (7-2) in the 20th all-time meeting between the two programs. Last season on the road, UCSB fell 57-55 in a back-and-forth affair that saw the lead change 14 times, including nine times in the final quarter. Porter led UCSB with 15 points in the game. This year, LMU has gotten off to a hot start, going 7-0 before dropping its last two games to USC and CSUN. The Lions are led by junior Cheyanne Wallace, averaging 17.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, along with Gabby Green, averaging 16.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.7 steals per game. 

Slow Start, No Problem
After opening the season with a 96-93 win over Northern Arizona, the Gauchos have lost seven in-a-row for its second 1-7 start in three years. In Coach Bonnie Henrickson's first season, UCSB was 1-7 prior to a matchup against LMU, before losing 70-63. Ultimately, the Gauchos started the 2015-16 campaign 1-11 before winning three straight and finishing the year with a 12-20 overall record after going 12-9 over its final 21 games. Last season, UCSB started 2-7 before going 14-9 the rest of the way to finish 16-16 and advance to the Big West Tournament Championship game.  

Strong Second Unit
The UCSB bench has outscored its opponents by a +42 margin this season, 184-142 through the first eight games of the year. The Gauchos have had an advantage in bench scoring in all but three games, and in those three combined the differential was just 17 points. Against UCLA on Sunday, the Gauchos outscored the Bruins 17-14 in the fourth quarter, largely due to strong play from the second unit of Sarah Bates, Cece Quintino, Nina Radford, Tal Sahar and Natalia Bruening

Bombs Away
UCSB has made 66 three-pointers in eight games to rank 41st in the nation with an average of 8.3 three-pointers made per game. The Gauchos have hit on 35.9 percent (66-for-184) to rank 68th in the country. Leading the attack from beyond the arc is Aliceah Hernandez, who is shooting 48.6 percent (17-for-35) and leads the team with 17 makes. Sarah Bates is shooting 43.8 percent (14-32) and Sarah Porter is 15-for-50 (30 percent), but has gone 10-for-25 in the past three games

Miller in Control
Freshman point guard Danae Miller went toe-to-toe with All-American and reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Jordin Canada from UCLA on Sunday and showcased her ball control throughout. Despite intense pressure from the Bruins defense, Miller turned the ball over only two times, her second lowest total this season, in 28 minutes of action. 

Nothing Comes Easy
UCSB's eight opponents this season have a combined 40-31 record, and its last four opponents have a 24-13 combined record. It does not get any easier for the Gauchos, as the next three opponents they face combine for a 20-7 record. No. 17 Oregon State and LMU are both 7-2 while San Diego State is 6-3. 

By the Numbers
The Gauchos are currently averaging 62.8 points per game, shooting 39.3 percent (179-for-456) from the floor, 35.9 percent (66-for-184) from downtown and 69.6 percent (78-for-112) from the free-throw line. UCSB's opponents, meanwhile, are averaging 75.4 points per game while shooting 46.8 percent (235-for-502) 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 14.4 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 8.3 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 game-high five assists against UCLA. She now leads the team with 30 assists while Bates is second with 21 dimes. 

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.