The UCSB women’s basketball team defeated the University of Pacific 56-47 on Saturday at the Thunderdome. Freshman guard Nicole Nesbit sparked the Gauchos with 12 points, five rebounds, and five steals off the bench.
The Gauchos are now 8-7 overall (2-1 Big West), while Pacific falls to 4-13 (1-3 Big West). Senior forward Mekia Valentine recorded 11 points, 17 rebounds, and six blocks, good enough to put her at second all-time in career blocks for UCSB.
“Coach [Lindsay Gottlieb] told us that we were completely flat and we needed to turn up the energy,” Nesbit said. “That group went in and agreed we needed to turn up the energy. It starts with ball pressure in the front-court and everyone bought in to it and that really sparked our run.”
Up by two with just under nine minutes left in the game, the Gauchos received a much-needed basket when Nesbit stole the ball and took in to the basket for a lay-up. The bench scored 21 points for UCSB and provided a big boost of energy for the Gauchos.
“Sometimes you circle wins on the schedule that have a lot of meaning,” Gottlieb said. “This was a really good win for us and for this group to understand that they have the ability to figure out how to win no matter the night.”
Sophomore forward Sweets Underwood scored eight points and pulled down 11 rebounds, and junior guard Emilie Johnson added 10 points.
The Gauchos travel to Irvine on Jan. 13 to take on the Anteaters. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.