The UCSB women’s basketball team continued charging with a 90-64 dismantling of UC Davis this Saturday, in a record-setting afternoon.
The Gauchos (12-10 overall) have won eight of their last 10, and the win over the Aggies (9-14) was an impressive finish in nonconference play. The Gauchos averaged 49.2 percent from the field and shot their highest point total of the season. Also setting an all-time record with a perfect 23-of-23 shooting from the charity stripe, Santa Barbara bested their previous total of 20-21 set Jan. 30, 1999. This record comes just a week after UCSB set two school records for three-point shooting.
“Twenty-three points [off free-throws] is a huge swing,” freshman forward Jordan Franey said. “It’s nice to make them pay for their errors.”
The game was fairly even through the first half, with both teams shooting in the 42 percent range while the Aggies made three three-pointers to the Gaucho’s two. The difference was at the free throw line, at which both teams were perfect. UCSB capitalized on all of its 16 chances, but Davis only got seven opportunities at the line. The nine-point swing was most of the difference in the half, and the Gauchos took a 42-32 lead into the locker room for the break.
The second half started out evenly matched for the two teams before Davis managed to bring the game to within eight with four minutes to play in the half after a trey from senior guard Laura Thomas. However, by the 10-minute mark the Gauchos held a 17-point lead, and ran away with it until they reached their biggest lead of the game at the buzzer. The Gauchos shot lights-out in the second half, with an incredible 58.3 percent average from beyond the arc after shooting only 28.6 percent in the first half. Overall, UCSB was 29-59 from the field and nine-of-19 from three-point land.
Junior guard Chisa Ononiwu led the Gauchos with 20 points, the second time she has posted that many points against the Aggies this season. Ononiwu came close to double-double territory with a team-leading nine boards and shot an excellent nine-of-15, one of the five Gauchos in double digits on the night.
Junior center Jenna Green rallied for 17 after being quieted by Davis earlier in the season, along with five rebounds and a pair of blocks. Freshman forward Jordan Franey was next with 14, and junior guard LaShay Fears dropped 12 along with a team-best seven assists. Junior guard Jessica Wilson, who missed Thursday’s game against Stanford due to a concussion, came back in solid form with 11 points and three steals – a Gaucho best.
“I think a big emphasis for us was their zone and hitting our cutters,” Green said. “Their zone leaves the middle wide open and we had to take advantage of that.”
The game was exactly what the Gauchos needed after last week’s 84-59 beat down by #8 Stanford (19-4). UCSB now heads to UC Irvine (6-17) this Thursday.