It’s getting too easy for the UCSB women’s basketball team.
Cal Poly shot only 23.4 percent from the field as the Gauchos cruised to their eighth straight win, defeating the Mustangs 64-42 at Mott Gym on Saturday.
Junior guard Mia Fisher scored a game-high 17 points and went eight of nine from the line as Santa Barbara maintained a one-and-a-half game lead over second-place Pacific in the Big West Conference.
Santa Barbara nailed four of its first-five attempts from the field and jumped out to a 14-2 lead just five minutes into the game. UCSB converted on all six of its free throw attempts during the run to open the contest. The Gauchos followed that run with an 11-2 run to pull to a 25-6 lead with eight minutes to go in the game. Santa Barbara then went cold from the floor, allowing the Mustangs to tiptoe within 11 points of the Gauchos at 27-16.
Cal Poly would get no closer throughout the game as Santa Barbara scored the last five points of the half to hold a 32-16 advantage at halftime. It marked the sixth time all season that the Gauchos held an opponent under 20 points at the intermission.
Santa Barbara held Cal Poly to only 18.9 percent from the field in the first half while shooting 42.3 percent from the field. The Mustangs shot 9.1 percent from behind the arc, but the Gauchos did not fare much better, missing both of their three-point attempts.
Santa Barbara further extended its lead after the intermission, storming out to a 40-18 lead behind an 8-2 run to start the second half. UCSB pulled out to a 53-24 lead with 9:34 to go in the game as senior center Lindsay Taylor scored her 1,566th career point – moving her into fourth place all-time at Santa Barbara – during a 9-0 Gaucho run midway through the second half.
UCSB only scored one field goal throughout the rest of the contest as Cal Poly tried to slow down the Gaucho attack by sending them to the line eight times throughout the final 10 minutes of the game. Santa Barbara converted on nine of its 13 free throw attempts, and the Mustangs could get no closer than 20 points.
Eight Gauchos scored points in the contest. Fisher matched a season high with 17 points and Taylor notched her 21st career double-double – fifth of 2003-04 – scoring 13 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Junior forward Brandy Richardson scored 11 points, pulled down 8 rebounds and had three steals in 31 minutes of action.
UCSB out-rebounded Cal Poly 55-37 and forced 16 Mustang turnovers. Santa Barbara did not shoot well from the floor, converting only 38.2 percent for the game, but held Cal Poly to 23.4 percent from the field, the lowest by any Gaucho opponent all season. However, Santa Barbara did struggle controlling the ball, giving up 21 turnovers to only 11 assists.
Guard Sparkle Anderson led the Mustangs with 12 points and three assists, and forward Jennifer Dooley added eight points.
Santa Barbara travels to Stockton on Thursday to play Pacific at 7 p.m. in the Alex G. Spanos Center. The Gauchos ripped the Tigers 73-48 on Jan. 24 at the Thunderdome, vaulting UCSB into first place. Pacific has won four of its last five contests since losing to Santa Barbara. The Gauchos’ only Big West Conference loss last season was at Pacific.