Adrian’s clutch 3s key huge UCSB comeback

BAKERSFIELD – Kelsey Adrian hit two huge three-pointers in the
waning moments of regulation and the UCSB women’s basketball
team completed a comeback from 18 points down in the second half to stun
Cal State Bakersfield, 86-83, in overtime on Tuesday night.

The Gauchos watched as Bakersfield scored the first 11 points of the
second half and pushed its lead to 53-35 with 16:24 remaining. However,
UCSB head coach Lindsay Gottlieb employed her team into a full-court
press the rest of the way, forcing numerous turnovers and allowed the
Gauchos to get back into the game.

That set up Adrian, playing her first season at UCSB after transferring
from Cal, to hit a well-contested three-pointer from the left arc with
18 seconds left, cutting Bakersfield’s lead to 73-71.

After Tyonna Outland made just one of two ensuing free throws, Adrian
nailed another well-contested three-pointer with 2.4 seconds left to
send the game to overtime.

“She even got a tip on the ball when I was shooting it,” Adrian said of
Roadrunner defender Kristine Herman. “I was just hoping it would get
there and it went in. I was in shock. It wasn’t a pretty shot but it
went in.”

For the Gauchos, it was beautiful.

With momentum, UCSB held off the ‘Runners in overtime as freshman
Melissa Zornig calmly sank two free throws with 2 seconds remaining to
finish the amazing comeback.

UCSB (4-5) has won three straight and four of its past five games. Five
Gauchos scored in double figures – the first time that’s occurred since
March, 2008 when UCSB beat Cal Poly in the Big West Tournament – as
Emilie Johnson led the team with 16 points, Nicole Nesbit had a
career-high 13 points, followed by Sweets Underwood and Mekia Valentine
with 12 apiece and Adrian had 11.

For Adrian, it marked the sixth straight game she has reached double
figures. Valentine had her fourth double-double of the season with 11
rebounds while also adding seven blocked shots. Underwood finished with
nine rebounds. Zornig had nine points and Destini Mason added eight.

Nesbit, who made her first collegiate start in place of the injured
Angelei Aguirre, had five steals and four assists while going 6 of 7
from the floor. The 5-foot-5 freshman also had a blocked shot.

The Gauchos trailed 10-2 to open the game but took a 16-15 lead on one
of Johnson’s jumpers with 10:04 to go. It would be the team’s last lead
until Nesbit’s fastbreak layup to make it 77-76 with 3:31 to go in overtime.

UCSB continues its five-game road trip on Saturday in the St.
John’s-Chartwells Holiday Classic in New York when the Gauchos face
Fresno State at 12:00 p.m. PDT.

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