Gauchos Rout New Mexico State in Final Non-Conference Game

Sarah Porter (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Sarah Porter (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – In the final non-conference game of the season, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team torched the net to the tune of 14 three-pointers while scoring 50 points in the first half to run away with a 77-47 road victory at New Mexico State on Friday afternoon.

The 14 three-pointers ties a season-high and is just one off the all-time program record of 15, which the Gauchos set last season at UC Irvine. With the win, UCSB improves to 3-9 and takes a two-game winning streak into conference play next week. New Mexico State, meanwhile, falls to 5-8.

"We found our rhythm," said head coach Bonnie Henrickson. "We got uncontested three's and rhythm three's and we were able to maintain defensive pressure along with poise, composure and toughness."

Despite a handful of slow starts to games this season, the Gauchos started strong, especially from beyond the arc, as Sarah Porter, Sarah Bates and Chaya Durr hit back-to-back-to-back triples to start the game. UCSB finished 5-for-8 (63 percent) from downtown in the first quarter alone and went 7-for-13 (53.8 percent) from the field overall to start the game. With a 9-8 lead midway through the opening period, the Gauchos went on a 15-4 run to take an early 24-12 advantage.

The late run sparked an even more impressive second quarter that saw the Gauchos go 6-for-9 (66.7 percent) from downtown and 10-for-19 (52.6 percent) from the field overall.

With a 35-18 lead and 6:10 remaining in the half, UCSB put the game out of reach with a 23-0 run that stretched into the third quarter. The Gauchos held New Mexico State without a basket in over 11 minutes as the Aggies went 0-for-16 from the field during that span.

UCSB took its largest lead of the game moments later after a Makala Roper three-pointer made it a 61-20 advantage for the Gauchos.

The Aggies regrouped to outscore UCSB 19-10 in the final period but the damage was already done.

Porter led the Gauchos with 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting from the field, including a 5-for-9 display from distance. Bates added 11 points after hitting three treys and Edelman also notched double-figures with 10 points. Natalia Bruening pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds and Danae Miller tallied a game-high six assists.

All 11 Gauchos that saw action scored and had at least one rebound, and seven of the 11 finished with at least one assist in an all-around team effort. UCSB assisted on 20 of its 27 made field goals compared to just six assists from New Mexico State.

"We executed very well on both ends of the floor," said Henrickson. "I thought our pace was really good too. We got gassed a little bit and had to sub because there was so much in transition, which was really good. We're fortunate we have a quality bench that we can turn to." 

UCSB's bench outscored New Mexico State's 32-7.

The Aggies were led by Brooke Salas, who finished with 18 points, and Jasmine Cooper also scored double figures with 14.

The Gauchos will now begin Big West Conference play this Thursday, Jan. 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Thunderdome against Long Beach State.