While many people argue over the pronunciation of her name, nobody can argue over the talent that forward Ofa Tulikihihifo possesses.

Tulikihihifo, one of the most electrifying players in the Big West conference, comes to the Thunderdome tonight at 7 as the UCSB women’s basketball team hosts Cal State Northridge.

After garnering Freshman of the Year honors a season ago, the sophomore from Hawthorne, Calif., leads the Big West conference at 8.6 points per game while averaging a team-high 13.6 points per game. Tulikihihifo averaged 16 points and 5.5 rebounds in two games against the Gauchos last season.

The Matadors (3-11, 2-4 in the Big West) also feature talented senior forward Brezya Rhodes and freshman guard LaJoyce King. Rhodes is second in scoring on the team, averaging 8.8 points per game. King is right behind Rhodes at 8.6 points per game and is second on the team with a 46.1 shooting percentage. Northridge enters the contest in eighth place in the Big West and are currently in the midst of a nine-game losing streak to UCSB. The Matadors have not beaten the Gauchos since the 1984-85 season.

Santa Barbara (10-5, 4-1 in the Big West) is one and a half games behind Pacific for first place in the conference after a 69-45 victory over Cal Poly on Saturday night in the Thunderdome. UCSB shot close to 50 percent for the contest but also committed a season-high 23 turnovers against the Mustangs.

Senior center Lindsay Taylor and junior guard Mia Fisher each scored a team-high 15 points, and Fisher finished with a personal season-high five assists.

“I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates. Passing is only half of it; they have to make their shots,” Fisher said. “There were a lot of great cuts out there, especially in the first half, so I was able to find [my teammates].”

The Gauchos host conference-leading Pacific on Saturday in a matchup that could be for first place in the Big West.

Junior forward Autumn Nichols, a transfer from Cowley County Community College, is petitioning the NCAA for a medical redshirt after tearing her medial collateral ligament during the first half against Texas Tech University on Nov. 20. To be eligible for a medical redshirt a student athlete must appear in no more than six games and none past midseason.