With a regular season conference title on the line, the Blue-Green rivalry game just became a lot more interesting. The UCSB women’s basketball team will travel to rival Cal Poly on Saturday, in perhaps the team’s biggest game of the year, when they will have a chance to secure a Big West co-championship.
UCSB stands at 18-10 (11-4 Big West) on the season, while the Mustangs 16-10 (12-3) hold a one game advantage in the conference standings. After dropping the last contest to Cal Poly 57-54, the Gauchos will try to avenge their loss, this time with more on the line.
The Gauchos are coming off a dominant 71-52 victory over Northridge last Saturday and have won six games in a row. Cal Poly started conference play 8-0, but have since gone 4-3, allowing the Gauchos to fight their way back into contention for the regular season title.
As the Big West tournament looms closer, every team is fighting for position in the standings. Cal Poly has already secured a number one seed in the tournament, regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game. UCSB can either finish with the second or third seed in the tournament, pending results of their game along with third place Riversides.
Junior guard Emilie Johnson will lead the offensive attack for the Gauchos, as she has averaged over 17 points per game during the Gauchos six game winning streak. Last week’s 17 and 27-point performances against Long Beach and Northridge notched Johnson’s second Big West player of the week award on the season, both coming in February.
For senior forwards Mekia Valentine and Margaret Johnson, it will be their final time traveling up to San Luis Obispo to face their rivals. None of their past games however seem to have held as many implications as this one promises to.
Saturday’s tip-off against Cal Poly is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Mott Gym.