POCATELLO, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara Women's Basketball team dropped their first road game of the season. A tightly contested contest saw the Bengals of Idaho State edge the Gauchos 70-64.
FROM HEAD COACH BONNIE HENRICKSON
"It was a see-saw battle back and forth, we would hit a few big momentum plays, but then give them right back," said Henrickson. "Turnovers hurt us, but I love that we got to the free throw line 22 times. We knew going in that we needed to make layups and free throws to manufacture offense and score. The good news is we can become better free-throw shooters because the ones that got to the line are already good free-throw shooters."
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Gauchos and Bengals opened the game at a fast pace but neither team could pull that far ahead. At the media timeout, the Gauchos would trail 7-5. Coming out of the timeout UC Santa Barbara would go on a 9-6 scoring run to end the quarter and lead 14-13 after the first quarter.
The Gauchos and Bengals kept up the pace but both teams continued to struggle shooting the ball. UC Santa Barbara would gain a five-point edge after two made shots by Alexis Whitfield. Idaho State then got their offense going as they proceeded to go on a 9-0 run and take a 22-18 lead.
The Gauchos quickly got into their offense and ended the half on a 10-4 run to take a 28-26 lead into halftime. Zoe Borter hit a big three-point jump shot to give the Gauchos a two-point lead. After a jump shot to tie the game from the Bengals, Mary McMorris regained the lead for UC Santa Barbara with a layup with just under a minute left in the second quarter.
Coming out of halftime, both offenses started to find their rhythm as both teams shot over 42% from the field. The game continued to go back and forth with neither side being able to stretch it past a two-score game. The Bengals opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run, but the Gauchos would not falter. Santa Barbara quickly got back within one score after baskets by Flora Gold and Skylar Burke. The Gauchos momentarily took the lead but again Santa Barbara and Idaho State would go back and forth and after three quarters would be all knotted up at 47 a side.
Again the Bengals would come out and take an early five-point lead in the fourth quarter but that was quickly erased with a Goed two-point jump shot and an Alexis Whitfield three-pointer. The back and forth would continue into the crunch time. Idaho State looked like they were about to pull away with just under a minute and a half left in the game but a three-pointer by Jessica Grant brought the Gauchos within one.
Idaho State proceeded to make their next two free throws after the Gauchos were forced to foul with under 30 seconds in the game. On the ensuing possession, Anya Choice was fouled and would be awarded two free throws. She would sink the first but miss the second as the Bengals gained possession. Forced to foul again ISU nailed their two free throw attempts to extend their lead to four with 23 seconds remaining.
The Gauchos were unable to find the bottom of the basket on their next possession and would foul once more. The Bengals again hit both shots and would ice the game defeating the Gauchos 70-64.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
Zoe Borter scored her first points in the Blue and Gold with a three-pointer in the second quarter.
Kathleen Hutchens saw her first action of the season helping force a turnover.
Alexis Whitfield nearly had her second 20-point outing of the season, scoring a team-high 19 points.
UC Santa Barbara will get ready to host Southern Utah on Sunday, Nov. 19. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 2 p.m. in The Thunderdome. For those unable to attend, the game can be streamed through ESPN+.
(Article courtesy of UCSB Athletics)