Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 12:16 pm | Fair 74º

 
 
 
 
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College Basketball

UCSB Women Beat Cal Poly in Big West Opener

For the first time since 2011, UCSB beat its rival Cal Poly with a 78-67 final score on Thursday night to open the Big West season.

In addition to beating the Mustangs for the first time in nearly five years, the Gauchos also picked up their first win over Cal Poly in the Thunderdome since 2010. The victory also gives UCSB its first three-game winning streak since March 2013.

Makala Roper led the Gauchos with 19 points, as she made four of her six attempts from three-point range.  Coco Miller poured in a trio of three pointers herself and ended up with 12 points to got along with her four assists. Overall, UCSB shot 50 percent from downtown – easily the team's single game season-high – and shot 55.6 percent from the field. Facilitating the offense for most of the night was Onome Jemerigbe who finished with a season-best eight assists.

In all, five Gauchos reached double figures in the scoring column, as Taylor Farris added a career-high 14 points and Chaya Durr and Jasmine Ware each added 11 points apiece. Durr finished with a double-double as well in grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.

UCSB's offense was able to thrive thanks to the team's work on the defensive side of the floor where they forced the Mustangs into 26 turnovers. The Gauchos would score 23 of their points off those giveaways. 

Santa Barbara nabbed an early lead with a 21-15 edge by the end of the first quarter. The Gauchos had a strong start shooting the ball, as they made their opening three looks, going up 7-4 by the 7:52 mark. UCSB netted 10 of its points that period off penetration drives with Jemerigbe leading the way with two of those looks.

Sporting a six-point lead, the Gauchos continued to dominate in the second quarter in scoring 17 points while holding Cal Poly to just five points. UCSB started the period with on an 8-0 run led by Farris's four points and took a double-digit lead for the first time. The Mustangs responded with their only two baskets of the quarter, as the Gaucho defense took over in the final five minutes, forcing Cal Poly into six giveaways down the stretch. In the opening half, they forced the Mustangs into 15 turnovers, turning those opportunities into 14 points.

By the halftime break, UCSB was up 38-20, but the Mustangs would make the second half interesting when they picked up their full court press. Out of the gates, the Gaucho offense was still hot, as it exploded with 13 points through the first four minutes. In that stretch, Roper made a pair of threes while Miller added one of her own.

The Mustangs, though, were able to respond with nine unanswered points in coming up with four Santa Barbara turnovers in 1:25 of play. UCSB was able to bounce back and finish the quarter strong with a 9-2 run, as Ware shouldered the load in scoring seven of those points. While she added a three-pointer in the middle of the stretch, the senior added the exclamation mark to the run in scoring on a buzzer beating reverse lay up after gathering an offensive rebound.

Cal Poly's defensive efforts continued to give the Gauchos problems in the fourth quarter, but by then, it was too late. Despite scoring 34 of their points in the final 10 minutes, UCSB maintained its double-digit lead to pull off the victory.

The Gauchos will be back in the Thunderdom on Saturday at 4 p.m. when they will put their three-game winning streak on the line against UC Riverside.

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