Gauchos Head Into Battle Vs San Jose State Friday, USC Monday

Johnni Gonzalez (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Johnni Gonzalez (Photo by Tony Mastres)
• The Schedule
Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. San Jose State (1-2)
The Thunderdome – Santa Barbara, Calif.
All-Time Record vs. the Spartans: 16-6
Last Meeting: at UCSB 76, San Jose State 42 (2/18/1996)
 
Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. USC (3-0)
The Thunderdome – Santa Barbara, Calif.
All-Time Record vs. the Gaels: 11-17
Last Meeting: at USC 82, UCSB 39 (11/15/18)
 
• Live Streams Available for Both Games
Live broadcasts of both games this weekend, produced by Fall Productions, will be available on BigWest.TV. UCSB baseball radio voice Kevin Cannon will deliver the play-by-play on Friday against San Jose State alongisde former UCSB men's basketball assistant coach Louis Reynaud on color. The "Voice of the Gauchos" Gerry Fall will handle play-by-play duties for Monday's matchup with USC.
 
• USC Game is T-Shirt Giveaway Day
The USC game on Monday night will feature a T-shirt giveaway to the first 200 fans in attendance.
 
• The Gaucho Rewind: Gamedays 1 and 2
G1: UCSB 59, Utah Valley 51: Danae Miller's career-high 24 points helped the Gauchos survive a furious Wolverine third-quarter rally to win their season opener at home. UCSB was in front from the onset and never trailed in avenging its season-opening loss at Utah Valley in 2018.
 
G2: St. Mary's 64, UCSB 43: The back-and-forth action from the first two quarters was not followed up with more of the same in the third and fourth periods, as the Gaels pulled away on hot shooting from beyond the arc and a lackluster 6-of-28 showing from the Gauchos in the second half.
 
• Scouting the Opposition: San Jose State
The Gauchos and Spartans face off for the first time since 1996 on Friday. The Spartans' lone win against Eastern Washington (84-66) is joined by close defeats at UC Irvine (79-77) and at Santa Clara (89-81). Ayzhiana Basallo leads the Spartans in scoring with 21.3 points per game, while Tyra Whitehead leads the team in rebounds with 9.7 per game and is second in scoring with 17.3 points per game.
 
Fast fact: The last time the Gauchos and Spartans played, it was a conference game as both teams were members of the Big West.
 
• Scouting the Opposition: USC
UCSB will be the third Big West team that USC will face this season, with one more to come in Long Beach State. The Trojans picked up wins at CSUN, against Virginia at home, and most recently at UC Riverside on Thursday night. Aliyah Jeune will look to stay in form against the Gauchos after laying 27 points down in Riverside. Stephanie Watts led the team with 20 rebounds through two games.
 
Fast fact: The Gauchos' single-game scoring record came against USC in 1996, when Erin Alexander put 40 on the Trojans.
 
• Gauchos Picked to Finish Sixth in the Big West
In the Big West coaches' preseason poll released in mid-October, Santa Barbara was picked to finish in sixth place, garnering one less vote than Cal Poly for the fifth spot. UC Irvine led the way with 77 votes and six first-place selections. Defending Big West champions UC Davis earned 70 points, with two coaches voting it as the top team in the conference. Riverside had 60 points to finish in third along with one first-place nod, and Hawai'i received 52 points. Just two points separated Cal Poly, UCSB, and CSUN, with the teams receiving 35, 34, and 33 points, respectively. Long Beach State's 29 points and Cal State Fullerton's 15 rounded out the list.
 
Coco Miller Named to Preseason All-Conference List
Redshirt senior guard Coco Miller was selected to the Preseason All-Big West team in October. In 30 contests last season, Miller averaged 12.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. In conference play, she played 35.6 minutes per game, third amongst preseason all-conference nominees behind teammate Danae Miller (37.3) and Marina Ewodo of UC Riverside (36.5). At the conclusion of last year's campaign, she was named to the All-Big West second team alongside Danae Miller.
 
• 2018-19 in Review
After losing a large group of players from the 2017-18 campaign, the 2018-19 season gave the Gauchos a chance to rebuild. A roster that featured seven new players managed just three wins in its non-conference slate, but picked up steam late in the season. Though it was still a scrappy battle for the final seed in the Big West Tournament that the Gauchos eventually earned with a 44-42 win over Cal Poly at home, the team made great strides across the board from the beginning of the season to the end. The season ended in the opening round of the conference tournament against fifth-seeded UC Irvine.