Despite a career-high 19 points from freshman guard Alyssa Marin, the UCSB women’s basketball team dropped their sixth consecutive game after their 69-56 loss to UC Irvine.
With the loss, the Gauchos fall to 0-6 on the year and 0-2 in the conference, while the Anteaters improve to 4-4 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
After a close loss last night to Irvine, UCSB played the Anteaters tough for much of the night. Importantly, the Gauchos got Irvine big Sophia Locandro into foul trouble early. In the first quarter, Irvine largely tried to funnel their offense through the sophomore big, eager to take advantage of the Gauchos’ lack of size in the paint. While Locandro put up 8 of her 10 total points in the first quarter, that strategy would ultimately backfire when Locandro picked up her third foul in the second quarter.
But even without Locandro for much of the night, the Anteaters proved to be too lengthy for the ‘Chos. In total, Irvine outrebounded Santa Barbara 41-30; perhaps most tellingly, the Anteaters outscored the Gauchos 50-10 in the paint on the night.
Still, Santa Barbara managed to hang around due to their proficiency behind the arc. In the first half, UCSB hit 6 three-pointers, accounting for 18 of their 28 points. In particular, Marin was lethal from deep, scoring 12 of her 19 points from behind the arc. After a late 13-5 second quarter run from Irvine, the Gauchos found themselves down 33-28 at the half.
In the third quarter, however, the wheels fell off a bit for the Gauchos. Early in the quarter, senior guard Danae Miller picked up a knock. Miller — who averages 12.3 points per game — was eager to re-enter the game, but Head Coach Bonnie Henrickson and the coaching staff opted to hold her out for the remainder of the game for precautionary reasons.
Without their starting point guard on the floor, the Gauchos offense struggled to find a rhythm. In the quarter, the ‘Chos turned the ball over seven times; more importantly, Irvine took advantage, scoring easy buckets in transition.
“We just weren’t getting the ball stopped [after the turnovers],” Henrickson said. “We’re not matching up in transition”.
In total, Irvine outscored UCSB 15-5 in transition points, while also turning the ball over 10 less times than the Gauchos. After a 21-10 third quarter advantage, Irvine easily cruised en-route to its 69-56 victory over Santa Barbara.
Despite the 0-6 start to the season, UCSB was still hustling until the final whistle on Monday. Still, it was the fundamentals that propelled Irvine past Santa Barbara, with the Anteaters winning the rebounding and turnover battle by a sizable margin.