The woes are continuing for the UCSB women’s basketball team, as it lost its fourth straight game Sunday afternoon.
The Gauchos (1-4 overall) took a seven-point lead into the half against North Carolina State (4-2), but were unable to hold the margin and lost 64-55. The 16-point swing started – along with the second half – with the Wolfpack storming out of the locker room on a 19-5 run.
Santa Barbara had a strong first half, shooting 50 percent from the field. Six minutes into the game, sophomore guard Whitney Warren began a Gaucho scoring run with a drive for a layup. Junior guard Jessica Wilson drained a jumper for two, and Warren followed up with another basket to put Santa Barbara up 14-9.
UCSB led for the rest of the first half, and almost took a nine-point lead to the locker room after freshman guard Ariana Gnekow knocked down a pair of free throws with less than a minute left, to put Santa Barbara up 30-21. Junior center Jenna Green scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Gauchos, and went six-of-seven from the field for 12 points in the first half. Warren made eight of her 13 points by the half, and Gnekow had a solid performance off the bench with four points and four rebounds in 12 minutes.
Santa Barbara was impressive in holding off the Wolfpack attack in the first half. The Gauchos held North Carolina State to a 33.3 shooting percentage from the field until the break, and forced 19 turnovers – six of steals – in the game.
However, after the half, the two teams reversed roles. North Carolina State came out on fire after the break, scoring the first six points of the half. It only took three minutes and a 10-3 run for the Wolfpack to knot it up at 33-33. Ten minutes later, senior forward Marquetta Dickens made a layup to complete a 27-9 run that gave the Wolfpack its biggest lead of the night at 50-39.
Faced with an 11-point deficit, the Gauchos came back, but their efforts proved to be too little, too late. Wilson made a three-point play off a turn-around jumper and a foul with 4:57 to go, but the Wolfpack answered with three points of its own on the next possession. With three and a half to go, freshman forward Jordan Franey made the only Gaucho three of the night to cut the lead to 57-54, but two quick, unanswered baskets from North Carolina State shut the door on the Gauchos.
In a flip of the first half, the Wolfpack shot 54.8 percent, while UCSB shot 38 percent in the second half, with both teams shooting 45 percent for the game. The problem for UCSB proved to be down low, with North Carolina State outscoring UCSB 20-6 in the paint. The Wolfpack won the rebound differential 36-25, and the resulting 10-2 advantage in second-chance points hurt the Gauchos’ chances.
UCSB now takes off on an East Coast road trip, taking on # 1 Maryland on Saturday and will face Richmond on Monday.