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Tuesday, November 20 , 2018, 10:37 pm | Fair 50º

 
 
 
 
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College Basketball

Drew Edelman’s 20 Points Power UCSB Past Northern Arizona

Behind a career-high 20 points from Drew Edelman, UCSB (2-2) defeated Northern Arizona (2-2) 60-51 on Sunday to go to 2-0 at home so far this season.

"My teammates are great about throwing me the ball," Edelman said. "I can just get the deep seal and they pass it to me and it's a wide-open layup, I don't even have to make a move or anything. They weren't double-teaming me so it was pretty easy, just catching down low, turn and score."

From the opening tip, it was clear that Edelman would be the focal point of the offense, as the Gauchos moved the ball around constantly trying to find openings for her. When she was able to get the ball deep in the paint, she was nearly automatic, setting career-highs in both field goal makes and attempts by going 10-14 from the field. Over her last three games, she is now averaging a team-leading 17.3 points per game on an excellent 67.6 field goal-percentage.

Junior Taylor Farris also provided a big spark off the bench, picking up team-highs with six rebounds and two steals while scoring eight points on 4-6 from the field.

"Coach Bonnie always preaches, 'What are you doing when you're not scoring?' So I thought that was a big thing for us," Farris said. "If we're not hitting three-pointers, if our outside shot's not falling, take it inside and try to bring it back outside or try to take advantage of other things that are available to us."

After what was mostly a sluggish game through three quarters, the Gauchos found themselves holding on to a slim 47-46 lead with just under five minutes to go. UCSB, which had struggled with its shooting early on, suddenly got hot when it needed to most. The Gauchos would score on four consecutive possessions, capped off by Sarah Porter's third triple of the night, to take a 56-50 advantage with 1:52 to go. Santa Barbara would go on to finish off the Lumberjacks at the free-throw line.

Porter was one of three Gauchos in double-digits, finish 3-5 from beyond the arc on her way to 11 points and five rebounds. Onome Jemerigbe was just 0-3 from the field until late in the fourth, when she converted a layup with 4:42 remaining to start UCSB's late scoring barrage. She was the Gauchos' most aggressive player on the night, setting career-highs for free-throw makes and attempts by going 9-10 from the line for 11 points. Jemerigbe also tied teammate Coco Miller with a game-high five assists.

The Gauchos shot a season-high 42.3 percent from the field, knocking down 50 percent of their shots in the second half, while holding NAU to just 32.1 percent, the lowest of any opponent this season.

"It's good to be at home," Head Coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "We've never discounted how much the crowd's energy helps us, especially on a quick turnaround coming from Seattle where we didn't play well. We appreciate the energy in the building to help us."

UCSB trailed 16-13 after a sluggish first quarter, but its defense would keep the home side in the game as the Lumberjacks went on a 7:47 scoring drought. The Gauchos would go on a 10-1 run during that time, taking a 21-17 lead with 3:50 left in the opening half.

After going into the half tied 25-25, the Gauchos would begin to find their shot, scoring 18 points in the third, more than any other quarter for either team. Santa Barbara had gone 1-11 from three-point range until Porter hit her second triple of the night to put her team up 36-33. The Gauchos would go on to end the third on a 12-4 run, capped off by a three from Miller with 31 seconds left to head into the final period up 43-37.

Santa Barbara would then shoot 60 percent in the fourth on its way to a 60-51 win. Although their shot wasn't falling early, the Gauchos were able to stay in the game by taking care of the ball. They finished with a season-low 13 turnovers.

Northern Arizona's Brittani Lusain finished with a team-high 17 points on 6-13 from the field to go along with nine rebounds. She also led all players with nine rebounds.

The Gauchos will be back on the road this Friday to face San Diego as they look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

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