The UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball team took home the comfortable victory against UC Davis 77-64. This win for the Gauchos marked the 100th win for head coach Bonnie Henrickson, as she became just the third head coach at UCSB to reach this milestone. This win was significant as it gave the Gauchos a two-game lead over the Aggies in the standings, as a loss would’ve put UCSB behind UC Davis.
After the first quarter the Gauchos held a small lead — 15-12 — despite outshooting the Aggies by a significant margin. The second quarter is where the Gauchos got it going, as they took a 37-24 lead headed into the half. The Gauchos were shooting 7-15 with 3 turnovers as a team, while Davis shot 4-12 from the field with four turnovers. Junior guard Alyssa Marin provided the hot hand in the quarter totaling 7 points in 3 minutes of court action. Sophomore forward Alexis Whitfield put together an equally impressive quarter, adding 10 points shooting 3-3 from the field and 4-5 from the line.
The third quarter was similar to the the second quarter as the Gauchos continued to score at a high rate. Following the end of the third, the Gauchos jumped out to a 67-44 lead. Sophomore point guard Callie Cooper came in hot in the third and didn’t look back, converting all of her shots from three, two, and the line, leading to a quarter-high 11 points. Senior guard Alexis Tucker continued an impressive all-around game with 5 defensive rebounds and 2 assists in the third.
The fourth quarter did not align with the Gauchos’ impressive day, as they were outscored 20-10. The team shot 1-9 from the field in the fourth, while turning it over seven times. The Gauchos’ 3-point defense remained stout as they were able to hold the Aggies to 1-6 from three in the fourth and 5-25 in the entire game.
In the match, Cooper and senior forward and center Ila Lane ended up being the leading scorers at 14 points apiece with Whitfield not far behind scoring 12 points. Tucker produced a quiet double-double with 11 points and rebounds. The Gauchos strongest stat in the game was their free throw percentage, hitting 27-32 free throws. One area the Gauchos would like to improve is the turnovers, as they had 17 as opposed to the Aggies’ 10.
The Gauchos will travel to Irvine next to take on the Anteaters on Feb. 15. This will be a key game for them as UC Irvine would be tied with the Gauchos if they lost on Wednesday night. In their last matchup, the Gauchos were unable to slow the guards of Irvine with sophomore Hunter Hernandez and junior Diaba Konate putting up 14 points each with over 50% from the field.
The keys for the Gauchos to come out with a victory will be to control the boards as they did in their previous matchup against the Anteaters. UCSB will also have to shoot better from the 3-point line as they shot just 5-16 in their previous matchup. The Gauchos will look to move into a tie for second place in the Big West with a win on Wednesday night.
A version of this article appeared on p. 8 of the Feb. 16, 2023 print edition of the Daily Nexus.