Pacific beats UCSB for its fifth-straight win

Pacific beats UCSB for its fifth-straight win

Pacific women's basketball (6-1) kept rolling with its fifth-straight win today over UC Santa Barbara, 69-53 at the Alex G. Spanos Center.

The Gauchos stepped out to a 9-5 early lead to start the game, but Pacific took it back at the 5:24 and only allowed UCSB to lead for 30 more seconds in the remainder of the game. Sophomore guard Valerie Higgins continued her stellar start at Pacific with her sixth-straight game in double figures as she shot 7-9 from the field for 19 points while pulling down nine rebounds. Brooklyn McDavid also chipped in 19 points and had eight rebounds of her own. On the defensive end, Pacific was stifling. It held the Gauchos to 30% shooting in the game and to less than 20% from the field in the second and third quarter.

The Gauchos were hot to start the game making three of their first six shots, but struggled to keep that rate, but made just one shot in the final 3:58 of the first quarter to let the Tigers claw back and lead by the end of the quarter, 23-17.

Higgins had an outstanding start to the game as she stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, 4 assists, three steals and two rebounds in the first ten minutes.

The Gauchos' scoring woes continued into the second quarter which allowed the Tigers to step out to a 35-25 lead heading into halftime.

McDavid sparked a stellar third quarter with the Tigers when she made a smooth layup by making several moves to beat UCSB defenders to get to the rim with the opening bucket of the quarter. Her two points were the first of a 20-point quarter for Pacific. The team made half of its 16 shots in the quarter while UCSB shot just 2-11. Pacific did eight fouls in the quarter which helped the Gauchos stick around; they made 7 of their 10 free throws.

Senior guard Ameela Li dropped seven points in the fourth to help the Tigers keep the game out of reach and lock up the team's fifth-straight victory. Li finished with 11, and like Higgins, has scored in double-figures in all six games this year.

The Tigers are riding their longest win streak since the 2014-15 season when the Tigers won their first five games in December. A win on Monday at UCF would tie the third longest win streak in program history. The Tigers have won six games eight times in program history and did so most recently in the 2013-14 season. The longest streak in program history in nine wins, which has been done three times. Pacific did that last in the 2002-03 season.

The Tigers go on an eight-day hiatus before taking the floor again in the first game of a three-game road trip against UCF on Dec. 17.

Game Summary

First Quarter:

  • UCSB led for the first five minutes of the game, but Pacific rallied to lead 23-17 at the end of one.
  • Valerie Higgins led the way with eight points, four assists, three steals and two rebounds. She was 3-4 from the field and 2-3 from the line in the quarter.
  • Ameela Li recorded four steals in the quarter.

Second Quarter:

  • Points were hard to come by in the quarter, but the Tigers outscored UCSB 12-8.
  • The Gauchos only shot 14% from the field in the quarter.
  • McDavid and Lianna Tillman led all players with four points in the quarter. McDavid added three points and two blocks to her stat line.

Third Quarter:

  • Pacific outscored UCSB again in the third quarter 20-11 while the Gauchos again shot under 20% from the field.
  • Seven of UCSB's 11 points came from the free-throw line.
  • Higgins led all players with eight points and three rebounds in the quarter.
  • Tillman played in just four minutes, but scored five points and made a three-pointer as time expired. She also had a block and a rebound.

Fourth Quarter:

  • UCSB fought back, but couldn't regain the lead. They outscored Pacific 17-14 in the final quarter.
  • Li led all players in scoring with seven points. She was 3-5 from the field and knocked down her sole three-point attempt. She also secured four rebounds.
  • Isabelle Parker came off the bench and had four rebounds in six minutes as well as a block.

Notables:

  • Higgins and Li have scored in double figures in all seven games this season. McDavid finished in double figures for the sixth time this year.
  • Li tied her career-high for steals in a game with five; it was the fourth time she's had that many. She also tied a season-high with five rebounds.
  • Parker set a career-high for rebounds in a game with six.
  • Tillman scored nine points for the second-straight game, tying her career high.
  • Pacific's five-game win streak is the longest since the 2014-15 season.
  • The Tiger's 6-1 start is the best since the 2012-13 season when Pacific won their first seven games and went 8-2 through their first 10 games.