Gauchos Edge Matadors on the Road, 74-73

Sarah Bates (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Sarah Bates (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Sarah Bates drained a career-high five three-pointers and finished with a team-high 23 points to lead the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team past CSUN on Thursday night at the Matadome.

With the win, UCSB (6-9, 3-0 Big West) has now won five straight games and begins conference play 3-0, its best start since the 2008-09 season when the Gauchos opened Big West action 8-0. The Matadors drop their first conference game and fall to 8-8, 1-1.   

In what was a seesaw affair all night, no team led by more than four points until CSUN took a six-point lead on a Tessa Boagni layup midway through the third quarter. Continuing the theme of the night, the Gauchos responded immediately with a 9-0 run, highlighted by a Sarah Porter three and a Natalia Bruening tip-in, to take a three-point lead, 48-45.

CSUN began to pull away once more, and took a five-point lead, 56-51, but a three-pointer from Sarah Bates and a Bruening jumper just before the buzzer, tied the game at 56-56 going into the final period.

In the fourth, UCSB started the frame on an 8-0 run behind three-pointers from Bates and Tal Sahar.

The Matadors continued to hang around until Drew Edelman made a key basket with just over a minute to play to put UCSB ahead by at least two possessions, 71-65. CSUN made it interesting with a late three, but Edelman knocked down a clutch free-throw to put the game away.  

Bates led the Gauchos with 23 points on 6-of-11 from the field and 5-for-7 from downtown to go along with five assists and five rebounds while Porter responded from a scoreless game against Cal Poly and totaled 18 points with four three-pointers. Edelman also notched double-figures with 11 and Chaya Durr grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

CSUN was led by 25 points from Boagni and 21 points from Channon Fluker.

UCSB continues Big West road action this Saturday, Jan. 13 against UC Irvine at 7:00 p.m.