• Gauchos Out to 1-1 Start
UCSB won its season-opener on Nov. 9 in a back-and-forth battle against LMU, with clutch buckets and 18 points from Danae Miller leading to a 61-58 win. Five days later, the Gauchos faced a talented Northwestern team on the road and were defeated 72-46.
• Miller Time
Senior Danae Miller has been a foundational piece for UCSB out of the point guard position since 2017-18. Over the past two years combined, she has averaged just a tick under 13 points and four assists per game. The 2018-19 All Big West Second Team selection is just 14 points away from becoming the 28th player to join the program's 1,000-point club.
• Tucker Leading Team in Scoring
Junior guard Alexis Tucker hasn't started a game thus far, but that hasn't stopped her from being UCSB's most efficient offensive player. The Hawthorne, Calif. native is the only Gaucho to post multiple double-figure scoring outings, shooting at least 50 percent in both games. She currently leads the team in scoring (13.5 ppg) and is shooting a highly efficient 55 percent from the field on 10 shots per game.
• Scouting the Opposition: Pepperdine
Pepperdine will be the second WCC team the Gauchos face through their first three games. The Waves are coming off a year where they went 5-18 overall and 2-16 in conference play before being knocked out by LMU 85-73 in the first round of the WCC Tournament.
Freshman guard Ally Stedman out of Pinnacle HS in Phoenix, Ariz. has been a huge bright spot for Pepperdine in its 1-1 start, averaging a team-leading 18 points per game on a highly efficient 53.3 percent (8-15 3FG) from three-point range. She was named the WCC Freshman of the Week, in large part due to a 28 point outburst against No. 20 UCLA.
The Waves were voted to finish 9th in this season's WCC Preseason Poll.
• Lane, Mole Selected to Big West Preseason All-Conference Teams
UCSB landed two players on the preseason Big West All-Conference teams last week as junior center Ila Lane was named to the Coaches' Team and senior guard Taylor Mole was named to the team selected by members of the media around the conference.
Lane also received at least two votes to the Media Team and Mole did the same on the coaches' vote.
The Gauchos were picked to finish third in the coaches' poll, finishing with one first-place vote, while they slotted in at sixth on the media vote, also with one first-place tally.
• Lane Named to Lisa Leslie Award Watch List
Junior center Ila Lane was named to the 2022 Lisa Leslie Award Watch List last week, recognizing the top 20 centers in women's college basketball. Lane opted-out of the 2020-21 season, but her freshman campaign in 2019-20 was one of the best in program history, leading the Big West as the only player averaging a double-double with 15.3 points and 13 rebounds per game.
• The Gaucho Review: 2020-21 Season
The Gauchos activated their clutch factor late in the season, posting a 7-9 finish in conference play after winning five of the last six games to close out the regular season. In the first round of the Big West Women's Basketball Tournament, UCSB nearly upset second-seeded UC Irvine. The Gauchos matched the program record for most three-pointers in a single game in their 77-63 win over CSU Bakersfield and broke it in their season-ending loss to UC Irvine, scoring 18 three-pointers.
• Lane, Miller, Mole Among Returnees
After opting out of the 2020-21 season, former Associated Press All-American Ila Lane is returning to the court for UC Santa Barbara in the 2021-22 campaign. Lane led all NCAA freshmen in rebounds in her first season, en route to earning Big West Freshman Player of the Year honors. Danae Miller is also coming back for a fifth year, with the 2020-21 preseason All-Big West selection hoping to lead the blue and gold back to glory. All-Conference Honorable Mention honoree Taylor Mole will continue to be an integral part of the lineup, having taken the team lead in rebounding last season.
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