UC Santa Barbara Claims Second Straight Tournament Crown With 64-57 Win Over Cal Poly
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UCSB-CP Box Score
UC Santa Barbara captured its second straight Big West Tournament title with a 64-57 victory over Cal Poly in Saturday’s championship game at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Gauchos overcame a 15-point first-half deficit and outscored the Mustangs 9-1 in the final 1:12. UCSB earns the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and picked up its 11th Big West Tournament title in the past 13 years.
Jenna Green and Emilie Johnson each led UCSB with 13 points, and Christine Spencer added 11. Green scored seven points in the final seven minutes, including a three-point play with 28 seconds remaining that put the Gauchos up 60-56. Green also hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds. Megan Harrison led Cal Poly with 15 points and eight rebounds.
The game was tied with less than four minutes to play. UCSB took a 55-54 lead on a free throw by Jordan Franey with 3:17 left. Cal Poly took a 56-55 lead with 1:44 remaining on a Kristina Santiago layup. A put-back layup by Christine Spencer at the other end gave UCSB the lead for good with 1:12 left. UCSB held Cal Poly with just one field goal in the final five minutes and had its largest lead of the game with the final margin.
The first four minutes of the game featured four lead changes as neither team was able to create early separation, and the score was tied 7-7 after a layup by UCSB’s Whitney Warren at the the 15:35 mark. For the next seven minutes, the momentum shifted dramatically in Cal Poly’s favor.
A tenacious Mustang defense forced the Gauchos into seven turnovers during the stretch. Cal Poly took advantage and went on an 18-3 run in a span of five minutes and 15 seconds and led 25-10 at the 9:12 mark. Harrison scored 10 of her 13 first half points during the blitz.
UCSB trailed 27-12 before going on a 9-0 run to get within 27-21 with just over four minutes left in the half. Cal Poly stopped the run with an Ashlee Stewart three-pointer at the 3:05 mark. UC Santa Barbara countered with a 10-4 run to close the half trailing 34-31.
Cal Poly scored the first four points of the second half to push the lead to 38-31. UC Santa Barbara then went on a 12-2 run. Johnson capped off the run with a three-pointer from the left corner to give UCSB a 43-40 lead, its first since holding a 7-5 advantage.
UCSB would lead 47-44 before a 7-0 run by Cal Poly put the Mustangs in front 51-47 with 7:21 remaining. Consecutive jumpers by Green tied the game at 51-51 but Cal Poly edged back in front 54-51 by the five-minute mark. Johnson hit another trey with 3:53 left to tie the game for the final time.
The Gauchos shot 43 percent while holding the Mustangs to 39 percent. UC Santa Barbara committed 19 turnovers but only six in the second half. Cal Poly finished with 15 turnovers. UCSB outrebounded Cal Poly, 38-29.
Lauren Pedersen, UC Santa Barbara (MVP)
Jenna Green, UC Santa Barbara
Megan Harrison, Cal Poly
Lisa McBride, Cal Poly
Toni Thomas, Cal State Fullerton
Tonicia Tademy, Cal State Northridge