UC SANTA BARBARA WINS FIFTH STRAIGHT TOURNAMENT TITLE
Anaheim, CA -- UC Santa Barbara clinched its fifth consecutive Big West Tournament championship, defeating Long Beach State 79-76 on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,181 fans at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is the third straight year that UCSB has beaten LBSU in the tournament final. The Gauchos advance to their fifth NCAA Tournament in a row.
UCSB was led by senior Rachelle Rogers, who scored 25 points and was named Big West Tournament MVP. Rogers added eight rebounds and three steals while shooting 11 of 14 from the free throw line. Junior Kayte Christensen also turned in a big performance, posting 19 points and 10 rebounds. Six-foot-eight freshman center Lindsay Taylor chipped in 14 points on 6 of 8 shootng for the Gauchos.
Long Beach State opened the contest scoring the first 13 points and held Santa Barbara scoreless until the 15:20 mark on a free throw by Lisa Willett. UCSB chipped away at the deficit and tied the score 22-22 on the second of two free throws by Rogers. UCSB went into the locker room with a 30-28 halftime lead.
The second half was a seesaw affair in which there were 16 lead changes and five ties. Long Beach took its last lead of the game, 53-52, on a layup by Kyoko Higurashi at the 9:43 mark. The 49ers tied the score at 56-56 with 7:44 remaining, but a jumper by Christensen gave UCSB the lead back for good at 58-56. The Gauchos made 10 of 14 free throws down the stretch to hold off the 49ers.
Long Beach was led by senior Reta Sula with 24 points, including 6 of 7 from three-point range. Ekuah Ramsey, who made the all-tournament team, chipped in 16 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Guard Tamara Inoue also played a solid game with 13 points, five assists and five steals.
2001 BIG WEST ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Rachelle Rogers, UCSB (MVP)
Nicole Greathouse, UCSB
Ekuah Ramsey, LBSU
Jackie Moore, LBSU
Lindsay Taylor, UCSB
Odessa Jenkins, CP
BIG WEST WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ALL-SPECIALTY AWARDS ANNOUNCED
IRVINE, CA – The honorees for the inaugural Big West Women’s Basketball All-Specialty Team were revealed today, with two Long Beach State players collecting two of the three awards. Long Beach State juniors Ekuah Ramsey and Crystal Givens were named Defensive Player of the Year and Best Sixth Man, while Cal Poly’s Odessa Jenkins received the Best Hustle award.
The awards were voted on by the players from each of the eight teams. Each school ranked their top three vote-getters for each category, with first place receiving a three-point value, second place two points and third place one point. Players were not allowed to vote for their teammates.
Ramsey was tabbed Big West Defensive Player of the Year after leading the conference with 64 steals and 2.37 steals per game. The 5-10 forward recorded at least one steal in 25 of 27 games, including a career-high six thefts against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 4. The native of Sacramento, Calif. posted three or more steals in 10 games this season. Ramsey also had 12 blocked shots, including a streak of seven games where she rejected at least one shot during the middle of the season. In conference games only, Ramsey led all players with 2.57 steals per game and ranked eighth with 0.64 blocks per game.
Givens earned the Best Sixth Man award after averaging 7.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game during conference play. The 6-0 forward ranked second in blocks and ninth in rebounds in Big West action. Givens scored a career-high 17 points on 8 of 9 shooting, adding eight rebounds in only 21 minutes of action against Idaho on Jan. 19. The native of Long Beach, Calif. contributed 14 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals in the regular season finale against UC Santa Barbara on Mar. 3. Givens pulled down five or more rebounds in nine of her 13 conference games played.
Jenkins was honored with the Best Hustle award as the centerpiece of Cal Poly’s pressure style brand of basketball. The Mustangs, who forced a conference-high 21.7 turnovers per game, depended heavily on the exploits of Jenkins to produce those numbers. The 5-4 guard ranked second in the Big West with 54 steals (2.36 spg) and was the team’s leading rebounder among guards with 3.9 per contest. Jenkins had a season-high six steals in Cal Poly’s 76-70 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 9, which snapped the Gauchos’ Big West record 49-game winning streak against conference opponents.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Ekuah Ramsey, Long Beach State
BEST SIXTH MAN:
Crystal Givens, Long Beach State
Odessa Jenkins, Cal Poly
LONG BEACH STATE’S MOORE EARNS BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
IRVINE, CA -- The 2000-01 Big West Women’s Basketball All-Conference Team was announced today, as Long Beach State’s Jackie Moore was honored as Big West Player of the Year. UC Santa Barbara’s Lindsay Taylor and Mark French were recognized as the Big West Freshman and Coach of the Year, respectively.
Moore, a 6-2 senior center, became the first Long Beach State player since Penny Toler in 1989 to garner the Big West’s top individual honor. Moore led the Big West in scoring (18.8 ppg) and field goal percentage (.564), and was second in rebounding (8.1 rpg). She scored in double figures in 26 out of 27 games, including a career-high 35 points in the regular season finale against UC Santa Barbara. The Long Beach, Calif. native also scored 20 points or more 10 times and surpassed the 30-point barrier twice.
Taylor, a 6-8 center, became the second UC Santa Barbara player in the last four seasons to earn Big West Freshman of the Year. Taylor led the Big West in blocked shots (1.56 bpg) and ranked 13th in scoring (10.2 ppg) and seventh in free throw percentage (.735). She also tied for 12th in rebounding with 5.6 caroms per game. In conference games only, Taylor ranked fourth in the league with 14.2 points per game. The native of Chandler, Ariz. scored in double digits in 12 of her last 15 games.
French, in his 14th year at the UC Santa Barbara helm, earned his sixth Big West Coach of the Year award and fifth in the last six seasons. French led the Gauchos to their sixth straight Big West regular season title with a 12-2 record. The Gauchos won 13 of their last 15 games to finish 19-8 heading into the Big West Tournament.
A total of two seniors and four juniors were selected to the All-Big West First Team. Long Beach State led all schools with two selections to the first team, with senior Reta Sula making her first appearance. UC Santa Barbara’s Kayte Christensen, Pacific’s Selena Ho, UC Irvine’s Cindy Oparah and Boise State’s Crista Peterson also earned spots on the first team for the first time.
Please click on the link below for a copy of the complete 2000-01 Big West Women's Basketball All-Conference Team.
Pacific's Millie Kimpton was recognized on the first team, while UC Santa Barbara's Kayte Christensen and Idaho's Darci Pemberton were named to the second team.
All three players are ranked in the Big West top 10 for scoring and rebounding this season.
Kimpton's first team All-Academic selection makes her eligible for the national Verizon Academic Women's Basketball All-America ballot. First, second and third team national winners will be announced on Thursday, March 15.