SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team fell to UC Irvine 69-56 on its second night of Big West Conference play on Monday night at the Thunderdome.
UCSB (0-6, 0-2 Big West) was outscored 21-10 in the third quarter by UC Irvine (4-4, 2-0 Big West), extending a five-point halftime lead for the visitors as they swept the opening series of Big West play with the Gauchos.
The Gauchos came back from a 12-5 deficit with 4:28 to go in the first quarter to take a one-point lead off a pair of free throws from freshman guard Alyssa Marin to cap off an 8-0 run by the end of the first period.
Following the pattern of yesterday's tilt between the two, Irvine and UCSB kept each other within check for most of the second quarter before the Anteaters pulled away to lead by eight off a 13-5 run over the course of three minutes in the back half of the quarter.
A triple by senior point guard Danae Miller off an Irvine turnover in the final minute meant the Anteaters' lead was cut to a 33-28 advantage at the half.
In the third quarter, the visitors continued to pile on the points as they held the Gauchos scoreless until the 5:55 mark of the quarter, by which point Irvine had amassed a 16-point lead, up 44-28.
The Anteaters reached their largest lead of the night with 1:29 remaining in the third quarter, up 54-35 off a Tahlia Garza layup. The Gauchos couldn't find a way back into the game from that point onward as they fell to their sixth defeat of the season.
"I thought they did a good job, they got to the rim and to the free throw line. They got some good reps in the zone and that'll be good to have on film. I don't care what the score is, we've got to learn how to play the right way and there's going to be a lot of good things for us to see and evaluate on film," said head coach Bonnie Henrickson of her new players.
Miller picked up an injury on a play inside of the first three minutes of the third quarter and didn't return to the contest.
The Gauchos travel to Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym for a back-to-back series scheduled to take place on Friday, Jan. 1 and Saturday, Jan. 2, set to tip at 5 p.m. both nights. The games will be streamed on Big West TV and live stats will be available on UCSBGauchos.com.