Gaucho basketball games to be televised by ESPNU and ESPN2
UCSB’s streaking men’s basketball team, which will seek to tie a 32-year-old school record on Friday when it goes for its 11th straight win, is getting some national attention from the television networks and at least one national poll voter.
ESPN is putting two of the Gauchos’ games on its main platform. Friday’s home contest against Cal State Bakersfield will be aired on ESPNU while the Feb. 26 game at UC Riverside will be carried by ESPN2. Both games have had their start times moved back to 8 p.m.
UCSB (14-3, 8-2 Big West Conference) received a vote in the Associated Press sportswriters and broadcasters poll for the first time since opening the 1988-89 season with a 15-1 record. Although ESPN, USA Today and CBS Sports all show the Gauchos with two points in this week’s ranking, the Associated Press website lists only one.
The Gauchos are also ranked No. 20 in this week’s CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.
UCSB coach Joe Pasternack sought to keep the TV appearances and ratings upgrades from affecting his team when he addressed the situation during practice this week.
“I told them that a lot of things are never as good as they seem and never as bad as they seem,” he said. “Although we’ve had some wins, the reality is that a couple of them could’ve gone either way. We have to figure out why that is and fix it.
“Our biggest test of the season is on Friday.”
WESTMONT 64, VANGUARD 45
Stefanie Berberabe scored 28 points to lead the fourth-ranked Warriors to their win at No. 12 Vanguard on Tuesday.
Her play helped Westmont (6-1, 3-0 Golden State Athletic Conference) overcome a slow start in which it trailed the Lions (5-2, 2-2) 17-8 late in the first quarter.
Vanguard still led 34-31 before the Warriors went on a 10-0 run to take command of the game.
Berberabe had five assists and four rebounds to go with her 28 points. Iyree Jarrett added 15 points.
Westmont would secure an automatic berth to the NAIA National Tournament by winning either of this weekend’s home games against Vanguard. Both Friday and Saturday’s contests will tip off at 4:30 p.m. Although spectators are not allowed, the games can be viewed by accessing Westmont’s athletic website at athletics.westmont.edu.
WESTMONT 3, VANGUARD 0
Fourth-ranked Westmont College, which hadn’t played a women’s volleyball match in more than three weeks, showed little rust while sweeping Vanguard 25-21, 25-19, 25-17 in its Golden State Athletic Conference opener at Murchison Gym on Tuesday.
“It was exciting to be back in Murchison Gym after 451 days (since Westmont’s last home game),” coach Ruth McGolpin said. “The team was super-focused yesterday in practice and continued to be focused in the match.
“Obviously, there are lots of things we need to work on. We have one day to work on them before facing Vanguard again on Thursday.”
Lexi Malone had 11 kills with a hitting percentage of .321 and three blocks while Patty Kerman added 10 kills and hit .400. Brooklynn Cheney led in digs with 18. Westmont (4-0) out-hit Vanguard (3-2) .186 to .084.
“The people who stuck out to me were Lexi Malone, Patty Kerman and Madison Morrison,” McGolpin said. “Patty was hitting the seams and throwing the dip tips. Lexi was utilizing her angles for attacking.
“Maddy orchestrated the defense well. It is so nice to see things you worked on in practice come to fruition.”
The Warriors and Lions will play again tonight at 7 o’clock in Costa Mesa.
UCSB PICKED FOR SECOND
The Big West Conference coaches picked UCSB to finish second behind Hawaii in their annual preseason poll.
The Gauchos, who are ranked third in the AVCA national poll, had a record of 14-2 when last season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hawaii, ranked No. 2, finished first in the Big West poll with all six first-place votes and 36 points. All six coaches also voted UCSB second, giving it 30 points.
The Gauchos were followed in the poll by UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge.