The UCSB women’s basketball team was looking to rebound from a five-point loss on Saturday at UC Riverside when it played host to UC Davis on Thursday night at the Thunderdome.
Unfortunately for the Gauchos, their inability to get a number of defensive rebounds cost them dearly in a 56-46 loss to the Aggies.
UC Davis collected 18 offensive rebounds and turned some of them into second-chance points in improving to 3-1 in the Big West Conference, while dumping UCSB to 2-3.
“It wasn’t our first-shot defense,” Gaucho coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “We defended the 3-point line, which was No. 1 for us, but we gave up 18 offensive rebounds and gave them 58 shots. How about if we get nine of those back for nine more possessions on a night when we couldn’t shoot the ball well.
“You have to get more shots. You have to manufacture offense, and we didn’t do that tonight. Again, if we look at it, it wasn’t our first-shot defense, our first-shot defense was pretty darn good. It was the second-chance points that they scored that really hurt us.”
UCSB, which got outrebounded, 46-38, had a miserable night shooting, finishing 16-for-57 (28%) and just 5 of 24 (21%) from 3-point range.
The Gauchos had a number of good looks and open shots, but very few of them fell on the friendly confines of their home floor. UCSB scored only nine points in the first quarter, 12 in the second and seven in the third before the offense finally got going in the fourth quarter with 18 points.
“You can’t win the game in the 40s. You’ve got to be able to score, you’ve got to be able to knock down some shots,” Henrickson said. “We had wide-open looks, but we had players go o-fer on wide open looks.
“I didn’t feel like we had any rhythm with our shooting. We got some good, wide-open looks, but just couldn’t knock them down.”
The ineffective 3-point shooting was something that really had Henrickson disappointed.
“With shooters, it’s all about the discipline,” she said. “We need consistency from the 3-point line. We can’t just be up and down. We have guys who shoot 50% and then they go o-fer. We all have a job to do, and everyone’s job is different, but if you’re a perimeter player, you’ve got to knock down open shots.
“I can’t wrap that package any differently. It’s your job if you’re a perimeter player, and if you’re not, go get something else. Get to the rim, get to the free-throw line, go get an offensive rebound. Just do something.”
UC Davis did plenty.
The Aggies (8-9, 3-1 conference), who were led in scoring by redshirt senior guard Katie Toole’s 18 points, finished 24-for-58 (41.4%) and 4 of 13 (31%) from distance. Freshman guard Evanne Turner also finished in double-figure scoring for UC Davis with 11 points.
UCSB (7-11, 2-3 Big West) was led by junior point guard Danae Miller’s 14 points. Senior guard Coco Miller, who drained three of the Gauchos’ five 3-pointers, finished with 12 points. Freshman center Ila Lane collected her 12th double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Lane earned every point and every rebound, as she was double and triple teamed most of the night.
“They’re disappointed, but we bounce back,” Henrickson said. “We talked to them and they nod their heads yes. They know.
“If we’re going to have a pity party, don’t send me an invitation, I’m not coming. I’m not coming and nobody wants to come, and that’s how they are in the locker room. We just have to bounce back from this.”
It won’t be easy for UCSB.
The Gauchos travel to Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night and then hit the road the following weekend for a game at UC Davis on Feb. 1.