College Hoop Update: Men’s Teams Try to Break out of Slumps

Gaucho Women Unbeaten in Big West

It has been a rough ride for three men’s basketball teams since The Independent‘s midseason report, while the college women’s teams continue to hold their own.

UCSB‘s men have lost four of their last five games, as have SBCC‘s Vaqueros. Westmont has dropped five of six, erasing it completely from the NAIA poll after being ranked No. 14 in the nation.

Both UCSB teams lost heartbreakers last week. The Gaucho men fell 72-70 to Cal State Northridge when Jordan Weiner‘s potential game-winning 3-pointer caromed off the rim in the final seconds; and the women yielded a layup at the buzzer in a 69-67 non-conference defeat at Cal State Bakersfield. It was the first loss of 2009 for Coach Lindsay Gottlieb‘s team, which saw a 10-game winning streak come to an end.

The Gaucho women are still undefeated (8-0) in the Big West, and they will launch the second round of conference action at the Thunderdome this week with games Thursday night against Cal State Fullerton and Saturday afternoon against UC Irvine. UCSB’s men, tied for last place (2-6) with Cal Poly, will play those same schools on the road.

SBCC hosts a pair of double-headers this week - the men playing at 5 p.m. and the women at 7 - on Wednesday against Hancock and Saturday against Cuesta. The Vaquero women (19-10) are vying for their third 20-win season in five years under Coach Sandrine Krul. They went 4-2 in the opening round of the Western State Conference, including a tough 84-81 overtime loss to top-ranked and undefeated Ventura.

Westmont will host Concordia on Thursday night in a double-header to tip off the second round of the Golden State Athletic Conference. In their December meetings, Concordia swept the Warriors at Irvine. Concordia’s men are ranked 19th in the NAIA. Westmont’s women are ranked 15th and are aiming for payback against Concordia, the only unranked team to beat them in conference play.

John Moore, head coach of the Westmont men, announced the signing of La Habra High’s Jordan Sachs, the third highest scorer in the CIF Southern Section with an average of 28.6 points per game.

For a listing of local games through this weekend, see The Independent‘s sports calendar.

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