It’s tough to win when you keep giving your opponent the ball.
The UCSB women’s basketball team found that out on Saturday night against visiting Santa Clara. The Gauchos committed an eye-popping 30 turnovers and paid the price in a 73-51 loss to the Broncos at the Thunderdome.
It was Santa Clara’s second consecutive win in as many night’s against UCSB following Friday night’s 82-60 defeat of the Gauchos.
No matter what plays UCSB coach Bonnie Henrickson called, a good portion of the time it was all for not after her team turned the ball over. As was the case on Friday, UCSB had a terrible time trying to break Santa Clara’s press. That was especially true in the fourth quarter, when the Gauchos were outscored, 24-8.
If only UCSB could have taken what it did in the first half into the second 20 minutes. The Gauchos played solid defense and, despite 16 turnovers in the first half, led 30-26 at the break. Redshirt senior guard Doris Jones was the lone bright spot for UCSB (0-4), as she scored a team-high 14 points on 6 of 13 shooting from the field. After connecting on 7 of 14 3-point attempts in the first half, the Gauchos were just 1-for-12 in the second half. Conversely, the Broncos were just 1-for-13 from 3-point range in the first half before hitting up from distance in the second half.
What could go wrong, did go wrong for UCSB, which will enter Big West Conference play next Sunday at home against UC Irvine.
Santa Clara (3-2) had five players in double-figure scoring, led by reserve Merle Wiehl, who had 20 points. Lana Hollingsworth and Ashley Hiraki also finished in double figures off the bench. Hollingsworth had 11 points — which included a 3-for-5 performance from beyond the arc — while Hiraki had 10 points. Arroyo Grande native Ashlyn Herlihy, who had a game-high 20 points on Friday night, finished with 12 on Saturday, while Lexie Pritchard had 11.
UCSB, as it did on Friday, played with only seven players. One of those absent from the game was senior center Natalia Bruening, who missed her second straight game with an injury.