The UCSB women’s basketball team came out of the Arizona State Holiday Classic basketball tournament Thursday rejuvenated after scorching Kent State 68-53 and the host Sun Devils 76-66 in the championship game at Ned Wulk Court in Tempe.
Senior forward Rachelle Rogers was named tournament MVP after posting up 17 points with six rebounds and 12 points with eight boards in the Gauchos’ two games. Senior forward Nicole Greathouse was also named to the all-tournament team, after averaging 11 points and seven boards in the tourney.
“It’s a big accomplishment,” Rogers said. “It felt good.”
The Gauchos tied a school record by ripping down 66 rebounds against the Golden Flashes. Freshman guard Lisa Willett paced the Gaucho attack with 13 points on 4-7 shooting, including 2-3 from long distance. Santa Barbara’s tenacious defense limited Kent State to 24.3 percent shooting in the game. All 10 Gauchos in uniform scored while senior guard Sheila Shilati saw her first action of the season and buried a free throw.
UCSB pounded Arizona State in the final game of the tourney behind hot shooting and composure against a solid defensive team in ASU that gave up an average of 49.2 points a game. The Gauchos scored 49 points in the second half alone, and put the burn on the Sun Devils by shooting an unbelievable 77.3 percent from the field on 17-22 shooting.
“It was real good that we came out and won a tournament after losing three in a row,” freshman forward Jessica Combs said. “It’s a good break for us. The tournament will get us real pumped for our next game because we’re on a winning streak.”
Santa Barbara gets a two-week break before squaring off against Northwestern at the Thunderdome on Dec. 17.