The UCSB women’s basketball team went to Fresno State last night hoping to come away with a win. What they could not foresee, however, was a Bulldog shooting performance for the record books.
Fresno State hit a school record 16 three-pointers on the way to a 71-54 victory Thursday night, in which the Gauchos never came close. After scoring first, UCSB quickly surrendered an 18-3 run, giving the Bulldogs a big early lead at 18-5.
“They hit a lot of threes,” Gaucho Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb said of the Bulldog sharpshooters. “Credit to them, they knocked down a ton of shots.”
In fact, Fresno State’s first 30 points were on three-pointers. At that point, the Bulldogs were shooting at an absurd 71.4 percent clip from beyond the arc.
With four minutes to go in the first half, the Fresno State lead had reached 20 points, and the Gauchos would never get it back to single digits.
“We tried to mix some things up to stop their shooters,” Gottlieb said. “Obviously, we didn’t do a good enough job.”
Leading the way for Fresno State was senior forward Bailey Amundsen, who tallied 26 points. She, like many of her teammates, seemingly could not miss from long-distance and sunk six of her nine three-pointer attempts. Sophomore guard Jaleesa Ross scored 15, all coming on threes.
UCSB mounted a bit of a comeback in the second half, narrowing the deficit to 10 with 5:54 to go. Fittingly, Amundsen ended that run just 19 seconds later with a dagger of a three-pointer. UCSB never threatened again.
“We need to be able to be mentally tough enough to come back when a team is making a run at us,” Gottlieb said. “What I was disappointed with is that when we did cut it to 10 or 11, we gave up a couple of offensive rebounds.”
For the Gauchos, senior guard Lauren Pedersen led in almost every statistical category. She had more points (15), rebounds (seven), assists (five) and steals (two) than anyone else on the team.
Junior guard Jordan Franey was close behind Pedersen with 13 points, as well as six rebounds and four assists. These numbers were all good for second among Gauchos.
Santa Barbara’s imposing frontcourt of seniors Jenna Green and Kat Suderman never found a rhythm, scoring just nine points and contributing a paltry three rebounds between them. On the game, the Gauchos were out-rebounded by a disappointing 41-28 total.
UCSB’s record moves to 1-1 with the loss, while Fresno State’s improves to 2-0. Up next for the Gauchos is the University of Arizona, which they will play Sunday at the McKale Center in Tuscon, Ariz.