With a desire to put an end to its struggles and terminate its six-game losing skid, the UCSB women’s basketball team traveled to face No. 7UCLA on Sunday.
The outcome did not result in Santa Barbara’s favor, as UCLA handed Santa Barbara a convincing defeat with a 74-44 victory at Pauley Pavilion.
A 28-9 UCLA run in the third quarter put the game out of reach for the trailing Gauchos.
The blowout loss was the seventh consecutive defeat for UCSB, putting it at 1-7. Having only lost one game to No. 1 UCONN, UCLA improved to 7-1.
The Bruins dominated their opponents in every aspect of the game, making the visitors work hard for each bucket they attempted.
Nothing came easy for Santa Barbara. The aggression of UCLA’s defense suppressed the Gauchos’ offense, allowing very little throughout the four quarters.
The home team held UCSB to just 34 percent shooting, while also putting pressure on the ball and causing their opponents to commit 23 costly turnovers.
The entire game was a lopsided disparity. The Bruins outperformed Santa Barbara in every statistical category.
UCLA made its presence known at home. It shot 47 percent from the field, grabbed 45 rebounds and scored a whopping 30 points off turnovers.
Despite trailing for the entire game, a bright spot for UCSB was having redshirt senior forward Drew Edelman back in uniform after she missed the team’s previous game versus Fresno State.
She led the team in scoring, tallying 12 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Edelman, along with redshirt junior guard Sarah Porter who contributed 11 points, each managed to snatch a team-leading five rebounds.
The depth and quality of UCSB’s bench has been evidently consistent and one of the most notable advantages of the team since the beginning of the season (averaging 23 points per game) – but such was not the case against the No. 7 team in the nation. The Bruins has 26 bench points, compared to their UCSB’s 19.
Poor fourth quarter play has been a recent issue for the Gauchos, but against the Bruins, it was a different tale. A positive takeaway for UCSB in this game, was their resilience in the final quarter despite allowing a huge run in the third.
Santa Barbara outscored its opponent 17-14 in the final period of the game.
UCLA was in the driver’s seat all game, scoring double-digits in every quarter, while limiting Santa Barbara to just two double-digit quarters.
While Santa Barbara was only down 14 points and trailing 32-18 at the half, UCLA busted the game wide open immediately after.
The third quarter was when the home team got increasingly aggressive, not giving its opponent any leeway as it only allowed nine points, while the Bruins exploded for 28 in the third.
There were commanding performances all around for the Bruins, as senior forward Monique Billings recorded a game-high 17 points along with bagging 10 rebounds along the way.
Alongside Billings, was senior guard Jordin Canada who added 14 points, an impressive six steals and garnished her performance with five assists.
The Bruins packed the paint, suffocating the Gauchos’ offense under the basket. The Gauchos were outscored 46-18 in the paint, and gave away 22 offensive rebounds to the Bruins.
Despite a strong fourth quarter, UCSB does not have much time to work on its woes as its next game arrives at a quick turnaround.
The Gauchos will go head-to-head versus Loyola Marymount at the Thunderdome at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7.