Gauchos Plagued by Poor Shooting in Loss to CSUN

Chaya Durr (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Chaya Durr (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – There was a lid on the basket inside the Thunderdome on Wednesday night, as the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team shot just 20.3 percent (13-for-64) from the field and managed just 30 points in a 48-30 defeat at the hands of the visiting Cal State Northridge Matadors.

The scoring total was the lowest of the season for UCSB, and eighth lowest in the history of the program, while the 20.3 shooting percentage ranks second lowest all-time.

Entering the night tied with CSUN in the standings, the loss drops the Gauchos to 7-13 overall and 4-4 in the Big West while the Matadors improve to 12-10 and 5-3 in conference.

UCSB jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on a pair of baskets in the paint from Drew Edelman, but that would be the only scoring in the first quarter as the Gauchos went ice cold (2-for-15), suffering through more than nine minutes of scoreless basketball.

The drought bled over into the second quarter before Aliceah Hernandez banked in a close range shot in the paint. Trailing 14-4 at the time, Hernandez's basket sparked a 7-0 run, highlighted by a Nina Radford three-pointer and a tough left-handed layup from Makala Roper to bring the Gauchos within three, 14-11.

UCSB, however, went cold once again and scored just once over the final five minutes of the quarter. At the half, the Gauchos trailed 22-13.

It was more of the same in the second half until Tal Sahar sparked a brief rally near the start of the fourth quarter. She scored a team-high five points in just over one minute and helped pull UCSB within five points, 33-28, with seven minutes remaining.

Despite getting stop after stop, the Gauchos could not make a basket to cut down on the deficit. CSUN went 15-for-18 from the free-throw line for the game, and drained a good portion of those down the stretch to pull away.

UCSB held the Matadors to a poor 27.8 percent (15-for-54) from the field but were unable to capitalize on the offensive end. Both teams combined to go 6-for-52 (11.5 percent) from beyond the arc.

Chaya Durr grabbed 10 rebounds to highlight the Gauchos statistically while Roper finished with six rebounds and four assists. After Sahar's five, Edelman and Bates finished with four points apiece.

CSUN's Channon Fluker led the Matadors with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double while piling up five blocks.

UCSB continues its homestand this Saturday, Feb. 3 at 2:00 p.m. against Hawaii.