Despite a milestone night for junior center Jenna Green, the UCSB women’s basketball team dropped Saturday’s game against Cal Poly 71-68.
Green threw down a career-best 29 points, which were enough to make her the 21st Gaucho in school history to score more than 1,000 points in their career. The mark was the third-best performance in the Big West this season, but was not enough to hold off the Mustangs (11-12 overall, 6-4 in the Big West) in Santa Barbara’s (14-11 overall, 7-3 Big West) lone game of the weekend. Cal Poly stretched its winning streak to six and has pulled itself out of the depths of the Big West to sit firmly in the middle of the pack.
Green was just seven points shy of joining the 1,000 point club coming into the game, and scored her seventh and eighth of the night in the paint with 7:53 remaining in the first half. She is the first player to reach the milestone since Mia Fisher (2001-2005) did it in 2005. Green also grabbed 12 rebounds in the game.
Junior guard Jessica Wilson notched 16 points in the match, 10 of which were from the charity stripe, and was the only other Gaucho to score in double-digits on the night. She also had a career-best 14 rebounds along with the game-high six assists, a pair of steals and a block.
With the loss, the Gauchos have solidified their second-place position in the Big West standings, and first place UC Riverside (17-9 overall, 11-1 Big West) has not shown signs of slowing down. The Gauchos have to win their last four games if they want a chance at sharing the Big West championship with UCR, which has only two games left to play. Junior guards Chisa Ononiwu and LaShay Fears did not shoot as well as usual, and both notched seven points in the game.
Santa Barbara held an early lead, but a 7-0 run gave the Mustangs an 11-7 lead with 13 minutes left. Cal Poly kept the momentum on its side, and took a 33-25 lead into the half. UCSB shot poorly in the first period, sinking only 10 of 29 shots from the field.
Cal Poly came out of the locker room in the second half just as strong as in the first, and stretched its lead to 41-32 with 14 minutes left. Wilson then knocked down four points to spark an 11-0 run to give the Gauchos the lead at 43-41.
The Mustangs came back with a run of their own, and stretched out a nine-point lead with five minutes left. Santa Barbara came back with a 12-2 run to tie the score at 63-63. The two teams traded the lead until the final seconds, but Santa Barbara could not get a good look from beyond the arc to tie it.