Over its course of two games at Pepperdine on Sunday and Wyoming on Friday, the UCSB women’s basketball team amassed a total of 59 personal fouls. Its foul issues benefited opponents like the Waves who finished with 38 free throw attempts to edge UCSB 71-69 and the Cowgirls who had 35 attempts in their 76-67 win over the Gauchos.
The pair of losses handed Santa Barbara its fourth consecutive loss, making the Gauchos 1-6 and winless in away games. Sunday’s narrow win improved Pepperdine’s overall record to 2-5 while Wyoming is now 3-1 after its defeat of UCSB.
After 21 points last Thursday, sophomore shooting guard Makala Roper had a career night on the road against Pepperdine, scoring 27 points and recording five assists.
For the first time since the home opener versus Cal State Bakersfield on Nov. 19th, freshman forward Kali Jones notched a double-digit scoring total with 17 points and was just one rebound shy of a double-double.
Yet, nearly matching Roper’s performance were Pepperdine’s backcourt of guards in junior Allie Green and freshman Erica Ogwumike. They combined for 46 points on 18-35 shooting and made 9-15 attempts at the free throw line. Green led the team with 24 points and was 5-5 at the line while Ogwumike scored 22 points and was 4-10 shooting free throws.
Compared to Pepperdine’s field goal percentage of 35 percent and its three-point percentage of 20 percent, UCSB had a stronger performance shooting, 41.4 percent from the field and meagerly were better from three with a 28.6 percentage.
However, the Waves’ 71.1 free throw percentage was better than Santa Barbara’s 55.6 percentage and proved to be the deciding factor in Sunday’s game.
Leading the Waves’ 11-2 run to begin the game was Ogwumike with seven points. Despite allowing the scoring run, a make from beyond the arc by Roper sparked UCSB’s 11-0 run to take a 13-11 lead, forced a Pepperdine timeout and eventually ended with a 15-15 tie to end the quarter.
The Gauchos’ 28-27 lead with 2:35 left in the second quarter would be their last of the game. But jumpshots by Jones and sophomore forward Chaya Durr resulted in UCSB trailing 32-33 at the end of the first half. Durr registered a game-high 10 rebounds.
Pepperdine’s 10-point, 48-38 lead was its largest of the game at the 3:21 mark of the third quarter. Contributing to the lead was the duo of Green and Ogwumike, scoring 17 points. The Waves’ lead lasted until the 1:43 mark of the quarter but was trimmed to 48-54 by UCSB’s 6-1 run to end the third.
Two layups by Jones for UCSB, a layup by Ogwumike and a free throw for Pepperdine were scored to start the fourth quarter prior to neither team scoring for nearly the next two minutes.
Similar to UCSB, Pepperdine found itself in foul trouble as well, committing a total of 28 fouls. But, ending the game’s scoreless streak was Roper, making a pair of free throws. Her ability to make free throws was most crucial in the fourth quarter as she made 10-11 and scored 14 points in the quarter.
A missed layup by Pepperdine freshman guard Kayla Blair led to senior Dioseline Lopez scoring a layup to bring the Gauchos within two at 69-71. This prompted Santa Barbara’s plan to intentionally foul which landed Ogwumike at the free throw line.
Ogwumike missed both free throw attempts while Jones grabbed the rebound for UCSB and led to the Gauchos calling a timeout with five seconds remaining in regulation. With little time remaining, Lopez attempted a game-winning three-pointer but came up short as UCSB loss 69-71.
Santa Barbara has struggled to consistently knock down free throws in each game so far this season. Its 53.3 free throw percentage on Friday certainly was an influence in its loss.
Season-highs in scoring, field goal and three-point percentage still weren’t enough in UCSB’s contest against Wyoming on Friday.
The Gauchos shot 50 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from behind the three-point line to score 67 points, but a series of scoring runs in the second half and their ability to make free throws helped the Cowgirls defeat UCSB 76-67. Wyoming made 27-35 free throws for a 77.1 percentage.
It was a career night for freshman shooting guard Coco Miller, recording career-highs with 24 points, four steals, and two blocks.
A total of four Wyoming players scored 12 or more points on Friday. The Cowgirls established their offensive dominance early, opening the first quarter with a 10-2 run. Wyoming outscored UCSB 19-8 to finish the quarter. Combining for 12 of the team’s points were senior guard Marquelle Dent and freshman forward Marta Gomez. They ended the first with six points apiece as Dent shot 3-3 and Gomez went 2-3 from long distance.
Dent led Wyoming in points with 17 and had a game-high six assists while Gomez was just one-point behind her lead with 16.
Santa Barbara a just three fouls in the first quarter but would commit many more through the second quarter and beyond, allowing Wyoming to build upon its lead at the free throw line. Wyoming’ largest lead of 15 points appeared in the second quarter.
However, UCSB responded with a 9-0 run of its own to trim the Cowgirls’ lead to 21-27. Scoring Santa Barbara’s last five points to close the quarter was Miller as the Gauchos trailed 28-34 to head into halftime. Her performance in the second quarter was most pivotal as she scored 10 of her 24 points.
Although UCSB managed to bring Wyoming’s lead within a single figure deficit, the emergence of senior guard Jordan Kelley to start the second half increased the Cowgirls’ lead back to double digits. She scored Wyoming’s first seven points to begin the third quarter to extend their lead to 41-31. Kelley concluded the game with 13 points and six rebounds.
Helping UCSB to counter Wyoming’s scoring was its bench, outscoring the Cowgirls 26-9. Providing a career-high 11 points off the bench was sophomore small forward Taylor Farris to go along with a team-high five rebounds.
An 8-0 run to close out the third quarter helped UCSB reduce Wyoming’s lead as a three-point basket by Miller brought Santa Barbara within four at 51-55. But the Gauchos found themselves down by double-figures at the start of the fourth quarter as Wyoming went on a 7-0 run to take a 62-51 lead with 8:17 remaining in the game.
Though UCSB’s 11 steals was its second-highest this season, Wyoming‘s 14 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter was its most throughout the entirety of the game and ultimately led the Cowgirls to their 76-67 win over UCSB. Dent shot all nine of her free throw attempts in the quarter, making seven and scoring nine points in the fourth. Nearly perfect from the line was sophomore guard Liv Roberts, finishing 8-9 at the charity stripe.
UCSB will begin the month of December hosting Santa Clara this Tuesday in the Thunderdome at 7:00 p.m. Currently on a four-game winning streak, the Broncos are 4-2 overall and beat UCSB 47-33 in last season’s matchup in Santa Barbara.