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Women's Basketball

Late First-Half Run Propels Gauchos To Big West Tournament Title

Files associated with this release:
UC Santa Barbara-UC Davis Box Score
UC Santa Barbara-UC Davis Quotes

Links associated with this release:
Post game interviews


Tournament Most Valuable Player Jessica Wilson scored a team-high 16 points and led three teammates in double figures as top-seeded UC Santa Barbara clinched its 12th Big West Conference Tournament title with a 74-59 victory over second-seeded UC Davis on Saturday afternoon at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Gauchos, who improved to 23-7 overall, won their fifth-straight contest and earned the league's automatic berth into next week's NCAA Tournament with the the victory and awaits the decision of the NCAA selection committee as to their first round opponent. The field of 64 will be announced on Monday afternoon.

The Aggies, who became only the second team in league history - and the first since Long Beach State in 1986 - to make the tournament championship game in its first year in the conference, fell to 19-11 overall, but earns the league’s automatic berth into the 2008 Women's NIT.

Wilson hit 7-of-15 from the field to go with seven rebounds in five assists to lead four UCSB starters in double figures. All-tournament team selections Sha’Rae Gibbons and Whitney Warren finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Kat Suderman contributed 11 points in the victory.

Trailing 31-24 with 4:40 remaining, the Gauchos, who committed a season-low six turnovers, used a 14-0 run to erase the seven-point deficit and take a 38-34 lead into the locker room at the break. In that stretch, UC Davis was just 1-for-6 from the field, going scoreless until Genevieve Costello's three-pointer before the halftime buzzer.

UC Davis rallied back with a brief spurt to start the second half, using an 8-4 run to pull even at 42-42 with just under three minutes gone in the period, but the Gauchos' offense found its stride, using a 17-2 run to build their largest lead of the game to that point at 59-44 and they cruised from there.

The Aggies closed the deficit to single digits with an 8-2 run capped by a three-pointer by Jessica Campbell, but that would as close as UC Davis would come as UCSB hit 6-of-8 from the free throw line in the final 3:30 to ice the game.

Campbell, who also earned a spot on the all-tournament team after averaging 18.0 points per game in two tournament games, netted a game-high 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting to lead UC Davis while Heather Bates also finished in double figures with 11 points and a team-high five rebounds.

All-Tournament Team
Jessica Wilson, UC Santa Barbara (MVP)
Jessica Campbell, UC Davis
Sha’Rae Gibbons, UC Santa Barbara
Rebecca Tratter, Cal Poly
Brittany Waddell, UC Riverside
Whitney Warren, UC Santa Barbara