No. 5 CSUN (15-15, 8-8)
Season Series: Split 1-1
W at CSUN, 74-73 (1/11)
L vs. CSUN, 30-48 (1/31)
No. 6 UC Riverside (9-21, 6-10)
Season Series: Split 1-1
L at UCR, 76-84 (2/8)
W vs. UCR, 72-70 (2/24)
No. 7 Long Beach State (8-22, 6-10)
Season Series: UCSB 2-0
W vs. LBSU, 51-44 (1/4)
W at LBSU, 90-74 (1/20)
It's Tournament Time!
The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team is back in the Big West Tournament as a No. 4 seed for the second consecutive season. Last year, the Gauchos topped UC Riverside in the quarterfinals, upset No. 1 seed UC Davis in the semifinals, and dropped a heartbreaker 56-55 against No. 2 seed Long Beach State in the championship game. After missing the tournament altogether in 2015, head coach Bonnie Henrickson has the Gauchos back in contention and is 3-2 in her two seasons at the conference tournament.
UCSB in the Big West Tournament
Historically, the Gauchos have dominated the Big West Tournament, boasting a 45-17 all-time record with 14 titles, including a stretch of dominance from 1997-2005 that saw them win nine straight.
Edelman and Bates Earn All-Conference Honors
Senior forward Drew Edelman was named First Team All-Big West while freshman guard Sarah Bates earned Honorable Mention along with being named to the All-Freshmen Team, announced by the conference on Monday. Edelman earned her second straight conference honor after being named to the Second Team as a junior. This season, Edelman is averaging a team-high 16.1 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game, which ranks second in the Big West. She has scored double-figures in 23 of 27 games and has 11 double-doubles, six of which have come in the last eight games. Bates, meanwhile, burst onto the scene as a freshman and is averaging 11.1 points per game while shooting 42.4 percent from three-point land, which ranks 22nd in the nation. Her seven three-pointers against UC Davis were the most in a game for any player in the Big West this season.
UCSB went 5-2 in the month of February to climb the conference standings and secure the No. 4 seed in the Big West Tournament. The Gauchos won their last four home games, including a thrilling last-second victory over UC Riverside on Senior Night, and one of their only losses in February was a one-point loss at Cal Poly. Since starting the season 1-9, the Gauchos have gone 11-7 since and will look to continue their strong play into March.
UCSB Drops Regular Season Finale at Hawai'i
The Gauchos dropped their regular season finale last Thursday, falling 73-64 to Hawai'i at the Stan Sheriff Center. The loss cemented the Gauchos 9-7 conference record for the second straight season, a year after going 8-8 in Bonnie Henrickson's first season at the helm. Sarah Porter led UCSB with 17 points off the bench while Edelman finished with 15. The Rainbow Wahine were led by 27 points from Makenna Woodfolk.
The Gauchos rank 32nd in the nation and first in the Big West with an average of 8.4 made three-pointers per game. UCSB is shooting 35.3 percent (236-for-669) from downtown and is 7-6 when making at least nine three-pointers in a game, as opposed to 5-10 when they make less than nine three's. Sarah Bates and Sarah Porter sit second and third in the Big West, respectively, among three-point makes per game leaders. Bates has drained 61 triples while Porter is close behind with 54. Bates also ranks fourth in the league with a 42.4 percentage from downtown (61-for-144).
Drea Dropping Dimes
Senior point guard Drea Toler tied her career-high with 10 assists against UC Riverside on last Saturday's thrilling senior night victory. She had previously set her career-high with 10 assists in UCSB's previous home game, an 82-55 win over UC Irvine. In her 13 games this season, she ranks second in the conference with an average of 4.4 assists per game.
Tal on a Tear
Redshirt sophomore Tal Sahar had a career-night last Saturday against UCR with a season-high 21 points in just 18 minutes off the bench. It was her best game in a UCSB uniform and she also set career bests in free-throws made and attempts after she went 5-for-5 from the line. Sahar can fill it up with the best of them and she is averaging nearly 18 points per game per 40 minutes.
Showing 'Em the Ropes
Since making a return to the starting lineup on Feb. 3 against Hawai'i, Makala Roper has led UCSB to a 5-3 record during a pivotal stretch against conference opponents. The senior guard has showcased her all-around game with averages of 8.3 points, 4.0 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. Overall, when Roper has started this season, the Gauchos are 7-3.
Senior forward Chaya Durr is the only Gaucho to start and play in all 28 games this season. She has been a key contributor to UCSB, especially on the defensive end where she leads the team in steals (28) and is second on the team with eight blocks. At one point during the season, she put together a stretch where she had at least a steal or block in 10 out of 11 games.
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 on Jan. 17. "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."