WBK: Turnovers lead to UCSB’s loss to Long Beach

LONG BEACH – With Long Beach State scoring 27 points off 25 UCSB turnovers, the Gauchos were unable to keep pace in a 68-38 loss despite a career game from Taylor Farris at the Walter Pyramid on Thursday night.

“We can say that it takes defense to win championships, but you still have to make your shots,” UCSB Head Coach Carlene Mitchell said following the game. “We had our open looks tonight, but we just couldn’t make them.”

UCSB falls to 0-9 in conference play, while its overall record moves to 0-22. With the win, the 49ers improve to 20-4 with a 7-3 mark against Big West opponents.

In making her first start in 11 games, Taylor Farris played every minute of the contest and finished with six points, four rebounds, a team-high three steals, and a trio of blocks. Her scoring and blocking figures were career-highs.

“As a coach, you have to put your most talented players out on the floor,” Mitchell said. “She has been playing well since coming back from injury and she again competed hard all night.”

This game followed up a personal-best eight-rebound performance at Hawai’i for the freshman.

Leading the Gauchos in scoring was Makala Roper with nine points through 32 minutes off the bench. Following her was Clair Watkins with six points, which complimented her game-highs of seven rebounds and four blocks.

As a team, UCSB shot 32 percent from the field and went 2-11 from downtown. On the other end, Long Beach State finished the game with a 44.8 percent shooting clip and made five of its 17 three-point looks. Devin Hudson (center) and Lauren Spargo (guard) both paced the game with 12 points apiece.

Long Beach State carried a 37-16 lead heading into the halftime break, as UCSB shot 26 percent in the opening 20 minutes. But the Gauchos found a quick spark at the start of the second half by opening with four unanswered points.

The 49ers had the ball first, but Watkins picked up a hard-fought defensive rebound a dealt it over to Roper who glided through the lane and made the open layup. The run was continued thanks to a Kendra Morrison block, denying Anna Kim her short jumper.

While Kristine Brance missed the initial attempt of the possession, Watkins hauled in the offensive board and found Farris open underneath the basket for the uncontested shot.

Head Coach Jody Wynn immediately called a timeout following Farris’s basket and made a five-player substitution. From there, Long Beach State never looked back and closed out the game on top.

UCSB will be back in the Thunderdome on Saturday night when they will host Cal State Northridge during its annual Pink Game, which supports the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. During the game, there will be a silent auction for the Gauchos’ customized warm up shirts, as well as a pink pom-pom giveaway for those in attendance. To get your tickets, visit the Ticketing Office at the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, call 805.893.UCSB (8272), or go online here.