The UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball team put together a late rally but it wasn’t enough for the Gauchos overtake Pacific, as the Tigers won 63-53 on Thursday night at the Thunderdome.
Down by 12 entering the fourth quarter, the Gauchos were looking for a spark.
They got it on one of their first possessions of the final period, when redshirt senior guard Coco Miller sank a three-pointer with 9:27 to go to cut the Tigers’ lead to nine.
Then, freshman guard RyAnne Walters brought the gap down to seven points with a driving layup with 8:47 left in regulation.
Coco Miller completed an 8-0 run with a triple to make the score 44-40 to Pacific, forcing the Tigers to call timeout.
Pacific fixed things immediately as Callie Kaiser scored on both of the Tigers’ possessions after the break to get them ahead 49-40.
Later in the quarter, Santa Barbara went on another run, with junior guard Danae Miller and redshirt senior guard Tal Sahar each connecting from deep to get the Gauchos back within one possession, trailing 53-50 with under three minutes left.
The comeback came ever closer to completion thanks to another Sahar trey to answer a pull-up jumper from Brooklyn McDavid that had put Pacific back up by 5.
However, the Tigers made the most of their chances at the free throw line and UCSB couldn’t come up with makes down the stretch as Pacific closed the game out, winning 63-53.
“Some defensive effort and hustle and momentum plays got us back in it. But it’s the same thing- we can’t turn the ball over in the second half of games. We still have to manufacture some offense in transition,” said head coach Bonnie Henrickson after the game to the “Voice of the Gauchos” Gerry Fall.
The Gauchos take a break before playing future Big West opponents CSU Bakersfield away on Dec. 14.