On the road against the Matadors, Santa Barbara came out on top of what was a thrilling matchup that came up to the last few minutes of play.
The outcome of this game puts Cal State Northridge at 8-8, and 1-1 in the Big West, while UCSB is 6-9, and sitting atop the Big West at a commanding 3-0.
The game was neck and neck the entire time, both teams going blow for blow until the fourth quarter, where the Gauchos edged out with a one-point advantage over their opponents.
After the half, the game was a stalemate, with both teams sitting at 34 points.
Neither team was able to hold on to a lead bigger than four points, until the home team managed to gain a six-point advantage over Santa Barbara halfway through the third period. Directly after, the Gauchos struck back by going on a powerful 9-0 run to gain a three-point lead.
The score was tied once again at the end of the third quarter, all knotted up at 56.
The visitors opened up the forth on an 8-0 run, which included three pointers being scored by both freshman guard Sarah Bates and redshirt sophomore guard Tal Sahar, with Bates again contributing 2 more points to cap off the run.
CSUN wouldn’t lie down, though, as they kept the game close. Calling a timeout with 32 ticks on the clock left to play, Cal State Northridge went to their junior center Channon Fluker, who intensified the closeness of the game by scoring a clutch layup to create a 73-70 score at 20 seconds, UCSB still holding the lead.
After the score, sophomore guard Hayley Tanabe forced a turnover for the Gauchos and came up with the pivotal steal in crunch time and called a timeout immediately after the grab.
Down three points and going for the tie, the Matadors put the game in the hands of their junior guard Claudia Ramos, who’s three-point attempt ended up missing the mark.
After the three-pointer from Ramos fell short, Redshirt senior forward Drew Edelman snagged the rebound. Upon grabbing the board, Edelman was fouled by Fluker.
While at the charity stripe, Edelman missed her initial free throw attempt, but drained the second free throw with just four seconds left to play in regulation.
The home team, with possession and no timeouts left, quickly inbounded the ball and gave it to Ramos, who splashed in a three-pointer to beat the final buzzer.
Though exciting, the basket by Ramos was futile, as the final score was officially 74-73 at the end of regulation – with Santa Barbara taking the win.
While UCSB had a slightly better field goal percentage (40.0%) than the Matadors (39.4%), the home team also won some standout stats the sheet. The most notable discrepancy between the Gauchos and their opponents was the domination of the points in the paint by the home team.
CSUN scored a tremendous 48 points in the paint, compared to the less than half 22 points Santa Barbara had scored in the paint.
In the game, Bates exploded for a team-leading 23 points for UCSB, going 6-11 from the field and shooting 5-7 from beyond the arc. Bates also led her team in assists, dishing out 5 dimes during regulation.
Senior small forward Chaya Durr grabbed 9 boards, tying Matador junior center Channon Fluker for the game high in rebounds.
For CSUN, senior forward Tessa Boagni scored a game-high 25 points, and her teammate Tanabe dispensed a game-high seven assists.
Sitting at 3-0 in the conference, Santa Barbara looks to hold onto their streak in the Big West this weekend as they face UC Irvine on the road at Bren Events Center on Saturday January 13 at 7:00pm.