UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball hosted the Cal State Northridge Matadors Feb. 4 at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos defeated the Matadors, cutting it close in the final seconds.
Before the game started, senior guard Ila Lane and senior forward and center Alexis Tucker were acknowledged for their accomplishments, each reaching 1000 points scored in their collegiate basketball careers.
To start the game, CSUN led with a score of 9-3 with 6 minutes left in the 1st quarter.
The Gauchos quickly came back with the help of sophomore point guard Callie Cooper. Cooper knocked down a 3-pointer giving the Gauchos a 12-11 lead with 2 minutes left in the 1st quarter. UCSB led 16-11 to the end of the 1st quarter.
UCSB continued to extend its lead to 12 points from a jump shot from junior guard Alyssa Marin, making the score 25-13. The Matadors responded by making it close as halftime approached.
As both teams headed towards the locker room, the Gauchos led 33-29. Lane led the team in points at the half scoring 14 points.
Coming into the second half, the Gauchos maintained their lead in the 3rd quarter. CSUN cut it close by bringing the deficit to 2 points, but the Gauchos kept them from getting any closer.
With a minute left in the 3rd quarter, sophomore guard Kennedy Johnson put the Gauchos up 10, making the score 48-38.
As the 4th quarter started, the Gauchos looked to be in complete control as they continued to manage their lead. Throughout the quarter, it looked like CSUN wouldn’t be able to get within 5 points of the Gauchos.
The Gauchos wanted to cruise to a comfortable win, but the Matadors had other plans as the final seconds winded down.
In the last minute of the quarter, CSUN managed to find themselves only down by 4 points. After some missed shots and fouls, the Matadors hit a jump shot with 19 seconds left, cutting the deficit to one 1 point.
The score was 60-59 in favor of the Gauchos as Marin was fouled, sending her to the line. Marin went one-of-two at the line, making the score 61-59, giving CSUN a chance to tie the game.
CSUN missed their chance, and Tucker took advantage as she iced the game and made her free throws. The Gauchos won the nail-biter in the end: 64-61.
Tucker and Lane produced the similar stat lines, each contributing 16 points off 6 2-point field goals and 4 free throws.
The Gauchos will stay home at the Thunderdome on Thursday, Feb. 9, hosting Cal State Long Beach at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.