It is not politically correct to say that you are out for revenge.

But the Gauchos have got to have their sole Big West home loss on their mind when they tip-off against Cal Poly in San Louis Luis Obispo on Saturday afternoon.

The last time the two faced each other, the Mustangs (10-7 overall, 5-2 in the Big West) stole an 82-71 victory against Santa Barbara (10-8 overall, 5-2 Big West) in a Jan. 21 contest in the Thunderdome. Cal Poly’s energy and pressure defense overwhelmed the Gauchos, causing them to cough up 29 turnovers in the defeat.

“Certainly our pride was hurt when we played down here and lost,” Head Coach Mark French said. “I’m sure they want to do it again, I’m sure they thought it was a lot of fun to beat the Gauchos.”

Missing from last month’s contest was senior guard Karena Bonds. The team co-captain has been on and off the floor this season with an ankle injury, but is ready to play against the run and jump defense of Cal Poly.

“We’re really excited to have [Bonds] and her ball handling skills back,” French said.

Santa Barbara has been put to the test during their past two road games. After having no games decided by fewer than five points, the Gauchos recently stole road wins with a three-point victory against Northridge (5-14 overall, 2-5 Big West) and a two-point thriller against Pacific (5-14 overall, 2-5 Big West).

“It’s encouraging that we’ve been able to hang tough and win on the road,” French said. “There’s a lot to be said about grinding it out for the win. Good teams find a way to win, even when they’re not playing well.”

Cal Poly plays a very tall and athletic starting lineup. The Gauchos struggled to identify which players were post players and which were perimeter players in their last matchup. They are led by the 5’10” junior guard Jessica Eggleston, who averages 12.8 points per game.

“They started some really big guards that caused some matchup problems for us,” French said. “All of their players were between five-foot-10 and six-two, it really caused us some difficulty in matching up.”

Sophomore forward/center Jenna Green leads Santa Barbara with 14.8 points per game. She and the rest of the Gauchos will have to do a better job of boxing out than they did last time, when they allowed the Mustangs to collect 22 offensive rebounds.

Santa Barbara will look to extend an overall record of 49-10 against the Mustangs this weekend. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Mott Gym.