During the same week UCSB announced two basketball ticket promotions, Gaucho women’s coach Lindsay Gottlieb sought to focus her team’s emotions. “They delivered tenfold,” Gottlieb said of the Gauchos after they defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack 59-37 on Thursday night at the Thunderdome.
Meanwhile, the Gaucho men concluded a five-game road trip with a 62-57 victory over Utah Valley State at Orem, Utah.
UCSB is offering free tickets to all emergency responders who worked the recent Tea and Gap fires. Each individual can claim two tickets for next Saturday’s (Dec. 13) men’s game between the Gauchos and Loyola Marymount, and the Dec. 17 women’s game between the Gauchos and Harvard.
UCSB has also set aside a total of 500 men’s and women’s basketball tickets that are available free of charge to any victims of the Tea Fire. These tickets are good for all remaining home games this season and individuals may request up to four.
The next game at the Thunderdome is Sunday (Dec. 7) at 2 p.m., when the Gaucho women (2-3) face Gonzaga (8-1). Children 13 and under will be admitted free.
UCSB’s women came home this week from a tough 0-3 stretch on the road. At USC last Sunday, the Gauchos had a nine-point lead in the second half but let it slip away and lost by nine (62-53).
“I didn’t see enough of a fire,” Gottlieb said of her team’s effort. “I’m never going to settle for: ‘We played a Pac-10 team close.’ My expectation level is not going to change.”
Prompted by their coach to play with “heart, passion, and communication,” the Gauchos charged out to a 38-12 halftime lead over a Nevada team that had been rolling on a three-game winning streak. The Pack averaged 85 points in those victories, including an 85-82 upset of then-No. 7-ranked Louisville last Saturday.
The Gauchos, who made 68 percent of their shots in the first half, got double-digit scoring from guards Lauren Pedersen (15), Emilie Johnson (12), and Whitney Warren (10). They combined to make 14 of 23 shots from the floor. Pedersen went 3-for-4 from 3-point range and made both her free throws to remain perfect (20-for-20) from the line this season.
Defensively, UCSB stifled Nevada’s transition game and held the Pack to 23.7 percent shooting. Gaucho center Jenna Green blocked five shots.
UCSB’s men will take a 4-4 record into next Saturday’s game. Jesse Byrd’s double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) led the Gauchos to their victory over Utah Valley. Leading scorer Chris Devine missed the game with a sprained ankle.