TOP SPORTING EVENTS: DECEMBER 16-23
UCSB hosts the Pepperdine Waves tonight (Fri., Dec. 16) in women’s basketball, the last game in the Thunderdome until January. The Gaucho men’s team, which plays at Washington tonight, is on a five-game road trip, and the women’s team will embark on a four-game journey starting Monday at New Mexico State.
The Gaucho women (3-5) have put together a streak of strong defensive efforts. They have held their last five opponents under 50 points. But they have had trouble putting the ball in the hoop and lost three of those games. Pepperdine (5-4) had a four-game winning streak snapped by a 63-52 loss to Oregon State. Tessa Emerson, a freshman from Santa Barbara, led the Waves on the boards with eight rebounds.
UCSB’s men (5-2) survived their first road test last Monday when they held off the University of San Diego, 65-61. Their next two opponents have never lost to the Gauchos. Washington is 2-0 and California, their opponent Monday night in Berkeley, is 7-0 against UCSB. Both the Huskies and Golden Bears are among the better Pac-12 teams, although Washington’s 7-foot center Aziz N’Diaye (strained knee) will miss tonight’s game.
The Gauchos are ranked 14th in the national mid-major poll that includes the likes of Gonzaga and Butler. UCSB will conclude its road trip next Thursday at BYU, which is the 12th-ranked mid-major.
In high school boys basketball, San Marcos has an early Channel League showdown tonight against Ventura, while Santa Barbara hosts Buena.
Santa Barbara’s fourth-ranked (CIF Division 1) girls water polo team faces No. 8 Edison today and No. 7 Los Alamitos on Saturday. Dos Pueblos, ranked fifth, takes on Edison Saturday.
The Santa Barbara High Tournament of Champions will be a bonanza for girls basketball fans. Sixty-four games will be played over four days, beginning Tuesday (Dec. 20) at the SBHS, Dos Pueblos and San Marcos gyms.
Friday, December 16
High school girls water polo – Edison at Santa Barbara, 4 p.m.
High school boys basketball – Buena at Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.; Ventura at San Marcos, 7 p.m.
College men’s basketball – UCSB at Washington, 7 p.m.
College women’s basketball – Pepperdine at UCSB, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 17
High school girls water polo – Edison at Dos Pueblos, 11 a.m.; Los Alamitos at Santa Barbara, 12 p.m.
High school boys soccer – Alumni Game at Santa Barbara, 2 p.m.
Monday, December 19
College women’s basketball – UCSB at New Mexico State, 6 p.m.
College men’s basketball – UCSB at California, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 20
High school girls basketball – Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions. First-round games include: Providence Hall vs. Valencia at San Marcos, 2:15 p.m. Pacifica at San Marcos, 5:45 p.m. Yorba Linda at Santa Barbara, 7:30 p.m. Arroyo Grande at Dos Pueblos, 7:30 p.m.
High school boys basketball – Lakewood at Dos Pueblos, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, December 21
High school girls basketball – Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, second round, at Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos and San Marcos, 10:45 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
College women’s basketball – UCSB at UTEP, 5 p.m.
Thursday, December 22
High school girls basketball – Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, consolation games and semifinals at Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos and San Marcos, 10:45 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
College men’s basketball – UCSB at BYU, 6 p.m.
Friday, December 23
High school girls basketball – Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions. Finals at Santa Barbara: Green Division consolation, 10:45 a.m. Gold Division consolation, 12:30 p.m. Green championship, 5:45 p.m. Gold championship, 7:30 p.m.
RUNNING, WALKING, CYCLING
Saturday, January 1 – Resolution Day 10K/5K Run, Leadbetter Beach, 8 a.m. active.com.
Sunday, February 5 – Super Bowl 4 Miler, Stow Grove Park, 9 a.m. sbactionpro.com.
Sunday, February 26 – Roses en la Playa 5K, Leadbetter Beach, 9 a.m. sbactionpro.com.