Following its home loss to Cal State Northridge, in which it scored just 30 points, the UCSB women’s basketball team used a career night from Drew Edelman to defeat Hawaii in the Thunderdome.
Edelman, the redshirt senior, scored her team’s first six points and continued to put on a clinic in the post, finishing with a career-high 27 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
“They were playing me with single coverage and I’ve been getting double-teamed a lot so far this season, so playing one on one was nice.”
Edelman scored 19 of her 27 in the first half alone.
With Saturday’s 71-61 win, Santa Barbara is now 8-13 overall and 5-4 in conference play. After opening Big West play 3-0, the Gauchos are fifth in the conference standings.
While UCSB snapped its two-game losing streak on Saturday, Hawaii has now lost its last two games and lands it in last place of the Big West. Hawaii is now 9-14 overall and 2-8 in conference play.
Santa Barbara opened the game with a much-improved shooting effort. The Gauchos were determined to get the ball inside to Edelman early, and they did just that.
In the first quarter alone, Edelman had 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Hawaii’s offense seemed a bit disjointed in the first quarter of play, but a diversified scoring effort from five different players allowed the Rainbow Wahine to keep within a possession after one quarter of play.
Up 19-16 to start the second quarter, UCSB kept its foot on the gas, opening with an 8-0 run. The run was led by none other than Edelman, who had 8 in the quarter, and Chaya Durr. After shooting 57.1 percent in the first, Santa Barbara went on to shoot an even better 60 percent in the second.
But, the Gauchos weren’t only scoring efficiently, they held Hawaii scoreless for nearly five minutes as they constructed their run. Despite shooting 3-for-10 in the quarter, Hawaii used those three buckets to go on a 6-0 run in the last two minutes. The run placed Hawaii within a manageable 8-point deficit, but Edelman sunk two free throws at the end of the first half to go up 10 again, 34-24.
Head Coach Bonnie Henrickson spoke about her team’s performance in the second quarter, in which the Gauchos held Hawaii to only eight points.
“I thought defensively, we were disruptive and forced turnovers and then scored off those turnovers,” she explained. “We were aggressive in passing lanes, we got on the floor for loose balls.”
Consistency has been an issue for UCSB this season, but the Gauchos entered the third quarter with a sense of focus and determination to keep rolling.
A barrage of three-pointers from Akilah Jennings, Sarah Bates, and Sarah Porter capped a 15-5 stretch for the Gauchos, going up 49-29 at the 5:07 mark. Down 20, the Rainbow Wahine, led by Sarah Toeaina, needed to make something happen.
Toeaina got a pair of free throws to fall and shortly after made a layup in traffic for 4 points in 40 seconds to cap an 8-0 run, but the Gauchos stayed up 56-40 at the end of the third quarter.
Heading into the final quarter of play up 16, Santa Barbara looked to be in control, but the Gauchos’ shooting struggles resurfaced as they made only three field goals in the quarter.
Contrarily, Toeaina exploded for 13 points in the quarter as part of Hawaii’s continued comeback effort. From their 8-0 run to end the third, the Rainbow Wahine kept attacking in order to outscore the Gauchos 21-15 in the fourth. Toeaina, who struggled to get going early in the game, finished with 25 points.
Unfortunately for Hawaii, its impressive comeback effort consisting of a 24-7 run was not enough, despite getting within 6. With only 30 seconds to go, Hawaii was forced to foul, sending Bates to the line. Bates, who finished with 13 points to accompany Edelman in double-digit scoring, confidently knocked down both. The Gauchos made all 8 of their final attempts from the charity stripe to close the game out 71-61.
Behind Edelman’s 27 and 12 double-double, the Gauchos won the battle in the paint, outscoring the Rainbow Wahine 42-27 and outrebounded Hawaii 32-26.
Guards Sarah Bates and Drea Toler finished with six assists each, but 21 turnovers by Santa Barbara marked a continuing issue for a team likely to be pressed by opponents.
UCSB will look to build off its win at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton next week.