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    UC Santa Barbara Women’s Basketball Set to Begin Conference Play Against Aggies and Highlanders

    The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Basketball team has wrapped up non-conference play and now prepares for their first weekend of Big West action. The Gauchos will host UC Davis and UC Riverside in the opening weekend.

    LAST TIME OUT
    The Gauchos last played over a week ago as they thumped Life Pacific 107-53. It was the first time in almost a year that the Gauchos last scored 100 or more points in a contest. UC Santa Barbara was led by freshman Olivia Bradley who scored a career-high 17 points and by Flora Goed who posted a season-high 16 points in the 54-point win.

    ATTACKING THE AGGIES
    UC Davis comes into Thursday’s contest with a 4-6 overall record and winners in two of their past three games. The Aggies hold just one two wins over a Division I opponent beating Sacramento State and Saint Mary’s. They also recorded wins against Academy of Art and William Jessup.

    A cornerstone for the Aggie offense is the three-ball. UC Davis averages nearly 10 made three-point field goals a game and attempts nearly 30 a game. UCD shoots it at a .349 clip from beyond the arc which ranks third in The Big West. Their 9.8 made three-point shots a game lead the conference and rank seventh nationally.

    Evanne Turner and Tova Sabel are the focal points of the offense with the two combining for 46 percent of the Aggies scoring so far this season. Turner averages 16.7 points per game which ranks first in conference and in the top 100 nationally. Sabel averages 14.7 per contest which puts her in the top five of The Big West in scoring. Helping the scoring is Sydney Burns. The junior is averaging 5.5 assists per game putting her in the top 30 nationally in the category.

    HANDLING THE HIGHLANDERS
    Before playing UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside will host UC Irvine on Thursday, Dec. 28 to open their first conference weekend of the 2023-24 season. Following that contest, the Highlanders will make the trip to The Thunderdome on Saturday, Dec. 30.

    UC Riverside carries an overall record of 5-5 into the weekend. They hold wins over Antelope Valley, Utah State, Merrimack, Dartmouth and Cal Lutheran. After winning just six games a season ago the Highlanders are proving to be headed in the right direction.

    The Highlanders have two players that average in double figures. Jordan Webster currently ranks second in the conference averaging 16.3. She also grabs right around five rebounds per game which ranks second on the team. Matehya Bryant is the other player averaging in double-figures with 12.8 she also is the leading rebounder on the team grabbing 8.4 rebounds per game.

    FOLLOW ALONG
    Both games will be streamed through ESPN+ with live stats also available. The Gauchos will host UC Davis on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. inside The Thunderdome. Santa Barbara’s contest against UC Riverside will tipoff at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 30 also inside The Thunderdome. 

    UC Santa Barbara Women's Basketball Set to Begin Conference Play Against Aggies and Highlanders was originally published at https://ucsbgauchos.com/news/2023/12/27/womens-basketball-gauchos-set-to-begin-conference-play-against-aggies-and-highlanders.aspx.

    Photos courtesy UCSB Athletics.

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