After an impressive victory against UC Irvine, the UCSB women’s basketball team was unable to pick up their second win in a row as they lost to Cal State Fullerton.
Santa Barbara would keep it close throughout the entire game and enter the fourth quarter tied but would be outscored by 12 points in the final period. This loss puts the ‘Chos at an overall record of 6-19 with a 3-9 conference record.
Redshirt junior guard Coco Miller started the game strong on both ends of the floor with a quick four points along with a rebound and a steal. Coming off one of her best performances of the season against UC Irvine, it would be crucial for her to replicate a similar effort in order for UCSB to come away with the victory.
For Cal State Fullerton, they were paced by redshirt sophomore Raina Perez who was on fire in the first quarter. Perez scored 10 points, including two three-pointers, to help put her team up one going into the second quarter.
UCSB would play a very well rounded second quarter as they were able to outscore Fullerton by four points in the period. With no turnovers in the second quarter, Santa Barbara was able to score fairly easily behind strong play from Miller who had two three-pointers in the period.
Although it was a strong quarter for the ‘Chos, Fullerton was still shooting 60 percent from the field which meant that UCSB would have to lock in defensively to keep them from continuously scoring easy baskets.
The third quarter was much of the same for both teams as they were both able to score without much resistance. Cal State Fullerton had eight more free throw attempts than Santa Barbara which could be attributed to them constantly putting pressure on the basket. CSUF’s senior Jade Vega got to the free throw line six times in the period and made all of her shots to help tie the game heading into the fourth.
Fullerton was able to take over the game in the fourth quarter behind strong play from senior Hannah Thompson who erupted for 10 points in the period alone. At the four minute mark in a one-point contest, they would go on an 11 to nothing run to seal the win.
Miller struggled mightily in this period as she went two for eight from the field, including one for seven from behind the three-point line. With UCSB lacking production from their most consistent scorer, it made it difficult for them to keep up with a red hot Fullerton squad.
CSUF ended up shooting 59 percent from the field in the final quarter compared to a lowly 31 percent for UCSB, which was the reason why Santa Barbara was outscored by 12 points.
In order for the gauchos to be able to close out similar games in the future, they will need a second scorer to emerge behind Miller. Sophomore point guard Danae Miller has shown flashes throughout the season but has been unable to be consistent throughout the year.
In UCSB’s wins, both Millers have not only played outstanding but have also provided important leadership to their younger teammates. It will be important for them to continue being vocal as the season comes closer to an end.
With just four games remaining in conference play, the gauchos will look to gain some momentum and improve their seed in the conference tournament which is coming up very soon.
Santa Barbara is back in action at Long Beach State this Saturday, where they will look to pick up their fourth conference win at 4 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.