Angie Banks/Daily Nexus

Coming off a tough loss against UC San Diego last week, the UCSB women’s basketball team will return to the Thunderdome for a two-game homestand starting this Friday. The Gauchos will be taking on the No. 2 Big West Conference team, the UC Davis Aggies. 

UCSB comes to the game with a 2-7 overall record and 3-2 conference record, after narrowly losing to the UCSD Tritons by 73-71 in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter last Saturday. UC Davis will be tough to beat, as they are currently undefeated in the conference at 2-0 and have an overall record of 3-0 after defeating the University of San Francisco in November and beating UC San Diego twice last week. The Aggies have won the Big West Conference for four years in a row and are certainly on track to dominate this season as well. 

The UC Davis Aggies are currently averaging 73.3 points per game, with 6’3” post player Sage Stobbart leading the team with an average of 15 points per game. Stobbart, a junior from North Vancouver, British Columbia, will be the one to watch in the upcoming game against UCSB. The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Tuesday that Stobbart was one of 15 Division I athletes to be named to the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year watch list. She is one of four players from a non-“Power Five” conference to make the list. Stobbart’s recognition is well deserved as she currently leads the nation in blocks per game (4.0 bpg) after recording 12 blocks in her last 3 games. 

The Gauchos will look to redeem themselves against UC Davis this weekend after losing to the Aggies twice in the 2019-20 season. Additionally, following UCSB’s loss against UCSD last week, UCSB’s Head Coach Bonnie Henrickson hopes to improve upon their performance in their next game.

  “Our defensive intensity wasn’t where it needed to be,” Henrickson said. “We were slow to loose balls and gave up offensive rebounds. We’ve got to finish possessions and keep playing.”

True to Henrickson’s words, the Gauchos have struggled on the defensive end this season, allowing 73.6 points against them per game. Perhaps more importantly, UCSB is getting outrebounded by more than 8 rebounds per game; without fixing these two issues, Santa Barbara will continue to struggle in conference play.

Gaucho junior guard/forward Taylor Mole will be pivotal in these corrections as she leads the team in both points per game and rebounds, with 16.2 and 8.8, respectively. Senior guard Danae Miller (#0) will also be a crucial component against UC Davis with her average of 4.4 assists per game — the most among any of the Gauchos. 

UCSB will play UC Davis at 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, and again at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, this weekend.