The UCSB women’s basketball team has been hot on the road as of late, and it will try to keep the pressure on in an Oregon road trip this weekend.
The Gauchos (3-3 overall) have won their last two on the road, including an explosive 95-82 victory at Santa Clara last week. Tonight they face Portland State (6-1), and will try to carry their momentum across town for a Saturday match against Oregon (4-3). The pair of games will be a good chance for Santa Barbara to pick up some rhythm after playing only two games over the last two weeks.
Despite missing their go-to scorer in senior center Jenna Green, the Gaucho offense has been executing very well as of late. The 95 points is the most since UCSB threw down 105 on Northridge in 2002, and is a sure sign of its scoring prowess. Even without Green, six Gauchos still managed to score in double digits off 52.5 percent shooting. If Santa Barbara can stay anywhere near those numbers, they should prove to be extremely difficult to beat.
The Gaucho offense has turned on just in time to complement its traditionally strong defense. Green’s lingering back injury has left Santa Barbara without its biggest presence down low, but the rest of the squad has done a good job of filling in. Heading to Portland, the Gauchos are leading opponents in rebounding, turnovers and steals.
The Gauchos have faced the Vikings only three times, but lead the all-time series 2-1. Most recently, UCSB blasted Portland for an 88-73 victory in last year’s opener in the Thunderdome. The Vikings are unbeaten in five contests at home, and bring a quick-scoring offense to the table. With three starters averaging double digits, Portland State is averaging 72 points per game. The key for the Gauchos will be to lock their defense down in order to rein the Vikings in.
Saturday, Santa Barbara will face a much tougher test in the Ducks. Last year Oregon defeated the Gauchos twice, and leads the all-time series 3-1. In contrast to Portland State, Oregon is led by a powerful defense that will make scoring tough. However, if Santa Barbara can stay hot shooting like they did in Santa Clara, they should match up well with the Oregon team.
Tonight’s tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 in Cavalier Gymnasium.