Nexus File Photo

The visiting UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball team defeated the California State University Bakersfield Roadrunners with a final score of 77-63 on Friday night at the Icardo Center, shattering CSUB’s two-game winning streak. With this win, the Gauchos improved their record to 4-12 overall and 4-8 in Big West Conference play. UCSB remains at No. 8 in the Big West, while CSU Bakersfield dropped to No. 5 in the conference. 

The Gauchos were seen throughout the game consistently holding up three fingers in the air as they ran back to play defense, signifying a made 3-point field goal. In total, the Gauchos connected on 15 3-point shots from the field, tying a program record in the process. In all, the Gauchos shot 15 for 27 from behind the arc, making a sizzling 56% 3-point shot rate. Overall for the game, the Gauchos shot 44% from the field versus the Roadrunners’ 40%.  

The Gauchos were once again led by forward/guard Taylor Mole. Mole recorded 20 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists to go along with her 4 blocks and 2 steals. It was quite a night for the junior transfer from Colorado State. Mole leads the entire Big West Conference in rebounds per game with an average of 10. She is also fourth in the conference for points per game with a whopping average of 15.2, as well as second in blocks per game with an average of 1.8. 

UCSB had an astonishing four additional players finish with double digits for points scored in the game. Senior shooting guard Doris Jones had 15, senior point guard Danae Miller had 14, senior guard Megan Anderson had 12 and freshman guard Alyssa Marin finished with 11 points.

In their previous match up in December of the 2019-20 season, the Roadrunners were able to overcome a 14-point deficit to defeat the Gauchos, but on Friday night, that was not the case. The Roadrunners clawed their way back to come within 9 points of the Gauchos at the 1:49 mark of the fourth quarter but were unable to mount another comeback in this contest. Prior to Friday’s game, the Gauchos were 6-4 against the Roadrunners with only two wins against CSUB at away games. With this win, the Gauchos have broken their Icardo Center losing streak against the Roadrunners. 

The two teams were poised to play each other again the next day on Saturday afternoon, but the game was canceled due to the CSUB Roadrunners suspending all women basketball operations as a result of university and department-wide health and safety protocols.

The Gauchos have four games remaining in their regular season schedule. The final two home games of the 2020-21 season will be played on Feb. 26 and 27 against the UC Riverside Highlanders. The game on Feb. 27 is also set to coincide with UCSB’s Senior Night, in which the team honors all the current seniors for their contributions to the program. The last two games will be played at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo on March 5 and 6.