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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Freshman center Ila Lane and junior point guard Danae Miller led the way in a gritty, complete performance from the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team over the USC Trojans, winning 57-46 at the Thunderdome on Monday night.
The win is the Gauchos' first over their Pac-12 foes since 2007, snapping a five-game losing streak against USC in the process.
"After such a tough loss on Friday, it was certainly great to be able to bounce back. Both teams struggled offensively, and you can get frustrated with that, but our poise and composure was really good," said UCSB head coach Bonnie Henrickson to the "Voice of the Gauchos" Gerry Fall after the game.
The Gauchos opened on a 9-2 run, in which Danae Miller contributed seven points going 3-for-3 from the field.
UCSB would enjoy a lead as large as eight points in the early going, leading 12-4 at the 5:51 mark, before the Trojans started narrowing the deficit.
USC went on a 14-4 run, ending with Alissa Pili's layup less than a minute into the second quarter.
A combination of smart shots and quality defending helped Santa Barbara regain the lead in the second period with redshirt senior guard Tal Sahar's triple to make it 26-25.
That would set off an 11-1 run that would carry the Gauchos into the break with an eight-point lead, up 34-26.
The Gauchos put together their best third-quarter showing of the young season, led by the team's youth in freshmen Ila Lane and Johnni Gonzalez as they responded to a layup from Pili with nine of the team's 11 points scored in the quarter, as UCSB matched USC from that point onward to take a 45-39 lead into the final period.
Pili cut the lead back down to four points with her layup with 9:12 remaining, and then down to three with a jumper at the 7:19 mark.
Neither team could get a make over the next two minutes, upping the intensity of the game as both teams battled for the next score.
Finally, redshirt senior guard Coco Miller gave the Gauchos some space with a jumper to extend the lead to 48-43 with 5:07 left in regulation.
That sense of comfort, however small it was, didn't last for long as Alyson Miura sank a three-pointer just over half a minute later to pull the Women of Troy back within two.
Lane tucked a layup into the basket to separate the two teams by four points again on the next possesion, and just under two minutes later she wrangled a missed UCSB triple off the glass and delivered the putback down the cylinder to get the Gauchos up 52-46, giving them enough to ride the rest of the game out and get the win.
The Gauchos are back on the road on Saturday evening against Cal Baptist. A live audio broadcast will be available on UCSBGauchos.com.
Season tickets for the 2019-20 season are still available. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here, visiting the ticket office, or by calling (805) 893-UCSB.