Gauchos Travel to UC Riverside Thursday; Fullerton Saturday in Pair of Road Games

Drea Toler (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Drea Toler (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

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The Schedule
Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (8-13, 5-4) at UC Riverside (6-17, 3-6)
SRC Arena - Riverside, Calif. 
All-Time Record vs. the Highlanders: 25-21
Last Meeting: Mar. 8, 2017 - UCSB def. UCR, 81-71
2017 Series: UCSB 2-1
Video / Audio / Live Stats

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (8-13, 5-4) at Cal State Fullerton (7-14, 2-6)
Titan Gym - Fullerton, Calif. 
All-Time Record vs. the Titans: 55-24
Last Meeting: Feb. 1, 2017 - UCSB def. CSF, 57-37
2017 Series: UCSB 2-0
Video: ESPN3
Audio / Live Stats

Gauchos on ESPN
On Saturday, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team will take on Cal State Fullerton and the game will be streamed on ESPN3/WatchESPN. Tim Becwar will handle play-by-play duties while Tammy Blackburn will provide color commentary. 

Poor Shooting Night Plagues UCSB 
The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team shot just 20.3 percent (13-for-64) from the field, its lowest shooting percentage of the season, and second lowest all-time in the history of the program, in a 48-30 loss to Cal State Northridge last Wednesday. It's third lowest shooting percentage also came against CSUN, three seasons ago, when the Gauchos fell 60-21. On Wednesday, UCSB was still in the game midway through the fourth quarter, trailing by five, 33-28, but were unable to score to close the gap. Tal Sahar scored a team-high five points on back-to-back baskets in the fourth quarter. 

Gauchos Bounce Back against Hawai'i
After a rough outing earlier in the week, the Gauchos bounced back nicely with a 71-61 victory over visiting Hawai'i. Drew Edelman led the way with a career-high 27 points to go with 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double this season and 13th of her career. The senior forward helped UCSB jump out to an early lead and sustain it throughout, leading by as many as 23 points, 56-33, in the third quarter. The Rainbow Wahine mounted a fourth quarter rally to cut the Gauchos' deficit to five, but UCSB drained its free-throws down the stretch to prevail.  

On the Road Again
UCSB heads back out on the road for a pair of conference games at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. It is the third time that the Gauchos have been on the road for a pair of conference games this season and they are 2-2 on such weeks so far. In both cases, UCSB won the first game but dropped the Saturday tilt. 

Rollin' into Riverside
The Gauchos begin the two-game road trip against UC Riverside (6-17, 3-6 Big West) on Thursday night at SRC Arena. Last season, UCSB took two-out-of-three against the Highlanders with both team winning on its home floor before the Gauchos upended UCR 81-71 in the first round of the Big West Tournament. UCR is currently on a four-game losing streak, having just lost 91-73 to Cal Polyon Saturday. The Highlanders are led by a two-headed monster in senior guards Michelle Curry and Lauren Holt. Curry leads the way with a 15 ppg average while Holt is close behind at 14.7 ppg, however, in conference play the duo has upped their game, with Holt averaging 18.7 ppg and Curry averaging 16.7 ppg. 

Clash with the Titans
On Saturday, UCSB will take on Cal State Fullerton (7-14, 2-6 Big West) for the first time this season. Last year, the Gauchos won both games against the Titans and are 4-0 against CSF during head coach Bonnie Henrickson's tenure. The Titans are currently on a five-game losing streak after a tough stretch against the top four teams in the conference. CSF is led by junior guard Hannah Thompson, who is averaging 13.1 ppg. 

Still Raining Threes?
After a 3-for-29 performance from downtown in a 48-30 loss to CSUN on Wednesday, UCSB attempted a season-low 10 three-pointers in a win against Hawai'i. The Gauchos were an efficient 5-for-10 from long range, and the 10 attempts mark the lowest in a game since UCSB went 2-for-6 from three in an 80-62 win over UC Irvine on Feb. 11, 2016, Coach Henrickson's first season at UCSB. 

Bombs Away
The Gauchos rank 26th in the nation and first in the Big West with an average of 8.6 made three-pointers per game. UCSB is shooting 34.5 percent (181-for-524) from downtown and are 5-3 when making 10+ three's in a game. Sarah Bates and Sarah Porter sit second and third in the Big West, respectively, among three-point makes per game leaders. Bates has drained 46 triples while Porter is close behind with 39. Bates is currently second in the league with a 42.2 percentage (46-for-109) from downtown and ranks 31st in the nation. 

Bates is Ballin'
Prior to a tough shooting night against CSUN on Wednesday, freshman guard Sarah Bates was averaging 18 points per game over her last five games and leads all freshmen in the Big West with a scoring average of 14.6 points per game during conference competition. The Fresno, Calif. native had recently set new career-highs for three-pointers made with six at Long Beach followed by seven at UC Davis. 

Don't Forget About Dre
Redshirt senior point guard Drea Toler made her much anticipated debut this season against UC Irvine and has been an immediate contributor in her six games back. The all-conference guard from a year ago tallied a season-high 15 points against UC Davis two weeks ago and dished out a season-best six assists while tallying four steals in a win over Hawai'i. With Toler in the fold, UCSB recorded a season-best 23 assists against Long Beach State. 

Extension for Henrickson
Head coach Bonnie Henrickson has agreed to a one-year contract extension through the 2020-21 season, announced by Director of Athletics John McCutcheon last Wednesday. "Bonnie has done a great job building the foundation of our women's basketball program," McCutcheon said. "We are excited to see continued progress over the next few seasons and this contract extension will support that growth."