The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Basketball team used a strong second half to pick up their first conference win of the season. The Gauchos outscored UC Davis 34-20 in the second half to propel them to a 60-49 victory.
FROM HEAD COACH BONNIE HENRICKSON
Thoughts on the game: “Defensively I was really proud of our effort,” said Henrickson. “Anya Choice set the tone for us. Turner is an explosive player, she’s been Player of the Year and between tough two’s and threes she ended 5-for-13 and those weren’t easy. Our ball movement and willingness to run a lot of sets forced her to chase and she got gassed.”
Thoughts on the defense: “We did a good job with Turner and Sabel, but then Epps and Shine started to go off. At the half, they (Epps and Shine) had 17 so we have to guard those two better. They average 10 made threes a game and often time shoot close to 30 a game, we just can’t let them do that. A lot of those are taken in transition, but we never let them get to that.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Aggies drew first blood, but the lead wouldn’t hold for long. The Gauchos took the lead shortly after but did not hold the lead for long either. The teams went on to trade baskets for the majority of the opening quarter and they finished how they started the game, tied.
The second quarter was much like the first, neither team gained an advantage of more than four points. UC Santa Barbara held a four-point lead twice but the Aggies always found their way back into the game. Late in the quarter, the two teams would trade threes giving the Gauchos their second four-point lead of the game. Unfortunately, UC Davis went on a 7-0 run to end the half and take a three-point lead.
After halftime, it was all Gauchos. The Santa Barbara defense limited UC Davis to just eight points on 4-of-14 shooting in the period. The Gauchos and Aggies again would go back and forth, but at around the six-minute mark in the period UC Santa Barbara took off and went on an 11-4 run to close the quarter and lead the Aggies by six as the teams headed into the final frame.
UC Santa Barbara kept that momentum in the fourth quarter not allowing UC Davis to claw their way back into the game. The Gauchos built their lead up by as much as 12 after Alyssa Marin drew a foul and made both her free throws. The Santa Barbara defense continued their excellent play holding UC Davis scoreless in the final two minutes and 20 seconds of game play.
FROM THE STUDENT-ATHLETES
Whitfield on her second-half performance: “The first half was just a little too fast for me,” explained Whitfield. “The game comes easier when I slow down and also know I do need to score in order for us to win. I just kept reminding myself I still have another quarter I can fix this.”
Marin on getting starting out 1-0 in Big West play: “It feels so great,” said Marin. “UC Davis is a really good team and very aggressive, but we just kept our composure and now we are focused on Saturday.”
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
- Alyssa Marin led all scorers in the game with 13 points. Her second time leading the team in scoring this season.
- Alexis Whitfield secured another double-double with her 11-point, 12-rebound performance.
- The Gauchos grabbed a season-high 47 rebounds in the win. Eight Gauchos recorded multi-rebound games.
- Olivia Bradley was outstanding off the bench scoring six points and grabbing four rebounds in 10 minutes of play.
The Gauchos return to action on Saturday, Dec. 30 as they host UC Riverside. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. inside The Thunderdome.
Second Half Surge Powers UC Santa Barbara Women's Basketball Past Aggies was originally published at https://ucsbgauchos.com/news/2023/12/28/womens-basketball-second-half-surge-powers-gauchos-past-aggies.aspx.
Photos courtesy UCSB Athletics.