UCSB Hits the Road for Big West Action at CSUN and UC Irvine

UCSB Hits the Road for Big West Action at CSUN and UC Irvine

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The Schedule
Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (5-9, 2-0) at CSUN (8-7, 1-0)
The Matadome - Northridge, Calif. 
All-Time Record vs. the Matadors: 43-18
Last Meeting: Feb. 9, 2017 - CSUN def. UCSB, 62-55
2017 Series: CSUN 2-0
Video / Audio / Live Stats

Saturday, Jan.13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (5-9, 2-0) at UC Irvine (8-7
Bren Events Center - Irvine, Calif. 
All-Time Record vs. the Anteaters: 64-30
Last Meeting: Mar. 2, 2017 - UCSB def. UCI, 71-53
2017 Series: UCSB 2-0
Video / Audio / Live Stats

Video Stream/Live Audio Available
UCSBGauchos.com will offer a live video broadcast of all UCSB women's basketball conference games through BigWest.TV. A link to the broadcast can be found on the UCSB women's basketball schedule page or by clicking here. Additionally, an audio only feed, with Eric Evelhoch on the call, is available by clicking here.

Gauchos Grind Out Win Over Long Beach State
The UCSB women's basketball team opened Big West Conference play with a 51-44 grind-it-out victory over Long Beach State on Thursday night. Makala Roper was key off the bench with 15 points, all coming via three-pointer, and Drew Edelman snagged a career-high 23 rebounds. Both teams struggled from the field, with the Gauchos shooting 31 percent and the 49ers at just 30.4 percent. Down one, 23-22, at the half, UCSB went on a 9-0 spurt to start the third quarter and led by as many as 15 early in the fourth quarter.  Long Beach State mounted a 14-2 run of their own to get within one possession, but Sarah Bates hit clutch free-throws down the stretch to put the game away. 

UCSB Holds Off Cal Poly in Blue-Green Rivalry Game
On Saturday afternoon, UCSB pulled out a 73-68 victory over rival Cal Poly after a furious fourth quarter rally from the Mustangs cut a 19-point lead to just three with two minutes remaining. Freshman guard Sarah Bates hit a clutch and-one layup to help the Gauchos stave off Cal Poly in the final minute. Tal Sahar and Bates led the way with 17 points apiece while Cal Poly's Dynn Leaupepe went for a game-high 30 points. 

Four Straight for the Gauchos
UCSB is peaking at the right time as the Gauchos have now won four straight games, its longest winning streak of the season, after losing its previous nine games. Since head coach Bonnie Henrickson took over the program in the 2015-16 season, the four game winning streak is tied for the longest streak, after UCSB had two separate four-game winning streaks last season. 

Matchup with the Matadors
The Gauchos will take their four-game winning streak on the road and into the Matadome on Thursday night as they clash with one of the three unbeaten teams in conference play. The Matadors had a bye during the opening week of Big West action but defeated Cal State Fullerton, 70-68, behind a 36-point performance from senior forward Tessa Boagni on Saturday. CSUN is led, however, by reigning Big West Player of the Year, junior center Channon Fluker, who is currently averaging 19.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Last season, CSUN got the better of the Gauchos in both contests, winning at the Thunderdome, 62-55, and at home, 75-61. 

UCI Preview
UCSB will continue its conference road stretch at UC Irvine on Saturday night. The Gauchos swept the Anteaters last season, winning 85-60 on the road, before coming away with a 71-53 victory at home. UCI was projected to place eighth in the Big West this season, and lost their conference opener against UC Davis, 76-67. The Anteaters are led by Yazzy Sa'Dullah and Lauren Saiki, who are averaging 8.6 and 8.4 points per game, respectively. 

Standing Tal
Redshirt sophomore Tal Sahar went off for a season-high 17 points on Saturday against Cal Poly, scoring all of her points in the second quarter. The Tarzana, Calif. native had a breakout game against Oregon State earlier in the year but has since seen her playing time fluctuate. When she got her chance on Saturday, she did not dissapoint and drained four, three-pointers to help UCSB get out to a big lead early. 

Showing Them The Ropes
Senior guard Makala Roper dished out a career-high nine assists on Saturday against Cal Poly after making her first start since the third game of her junior year, Nov. 18, 2016 at Seattle. Roper was thrust into the point guard role after injuries to freshman point guards Danae Miller and Cece Quintino and has scored a season-high 15 points in back-to-back games to start Big West play. 

Durr's Durability
Senior forward Chaya Durr is the only Gaucho to have started and played in all 14 games for UCSB this season. Durr has demonstrated her top-notch defensive ability and currently leads the team in steals (13) and blocks (4), while recently expanding her game to beyond the three-point line. The Sacramento native has made five three-pointers in the last five games, including a career-high two against Cal Poly on Saturday. She had only made one three-pointer in her career leading up to this season.  

Career Night for Edelman
Despite an off night from the field, shooting just 3-for-13 against Long Beach State, senior forward Drew Edelman became just the second player in UCSB women's basketball program history to grab at least 23 rebounds in a game. The Sunnyvale, Calif. native surpassed her previous career-high of 19, which she set earlier this season. Leslie Ford, who had 25 rebounds against CSUN during the 1976-77 season, holds the record. The 23 rebounds is tied for the sixth most in the nation this season. 

Big West Openers
With a win over Long Beach State to start conference play, the Gauchos are now 3-0 in conference openers inside the Thunderdome under head coach Bonnie Henrickson. UCSB is 2-1 in openers overall, and are now 6-4 in conference openers over the past 10 seasons. 

On the Road Again
The Gauchos have gone just 9-28 in road games under head coach Bonnie Henrickson, compared to a 19-14 record at home. In Big West play, UCSB is 6-10 on the road the past two years and 12-5 at home. 

Bombs Away
After coming just one three-pointer shy of tying a program record against New Mexico State, UCSB continued its onslaught from downtown with eight more three's against Long Beach and 10 more against Cal Poly. The Gauchos continue to climb the national leaderboard and now rank 32nd in the country and first in the Big West with an average of 8.6 made three-pointers per game. UCSB is 120-for-341 from beyond the arc, ranking 52nd in makes, 65th in attempts and 69th in percentage at 35.2 percent. Indvidually, Sarah Porter leads the way with an average of 2.1 made three's per game on 6.1 attempts (29-for-86/33.7 percent) while freshman Sarah Bates is 24-for-59 on the season (40.7 percent) and has five games with at least three made three's. Makala Roper is 12-for-25 from three and shooting 48 percent from downtown to lead the team.