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Cori Close wins in Thunderdome return as UCLA pulls away from UCSB

Jordin Canada made sure her head coach Cori Close’s return to UCSB was a successful one as No. 9 UCLA pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Gauchos 71-52.

Canada scored a game-high 30 points as the Bruins improved to 8-1 and dropped the Gauchos to 2-7.

Close was a star point guard for UCSB in the early 1990’s and later became an assistant coach with the Gauchos from 1995-2004. UCSB won the Big West in each of those seasons that Close was an assistant under head coach Mark French.

After a slow start, UCSB was tied wtih UCLA at 22 late in the second quarter before the Bruins took a 33-26 lead into halftime.

UCLA led 50-40 heading into the fourth quarter when they put the game away by outscoring the Gauchos 21-12 in the final quarter.

UCSB’s Sarah Porter scored all of her team-high 11 points in the second quarter.

Before the game, all of the Gauchos stood during the National Anthem. The majority of the team had been kneeling during the National Anthem which upset some of their most loyal fans.

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