Sports Spring 2012
Women's Basketball Triumph in Big West Championships
The Gauchos are back where they belong. The UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball team completed its run through the Big West Tournament on March 10 by capturing its 14th tournament crown – easily the most in conference history – with a 63-54 victory over Long Beach State. Santa Barbara continued its typical dominance in March by making an unprecedented run through the tournament, becoming the first No. 6 seed to ever win the title. UCSB (17-15 overall) defeated the No. 7 seed Long Beach State, and is now 5-0 all-time against the 49ers in Big West championship games. Santa Barbara faced top-seeded Baylor at the NCAA Tournament on March 18, and couldn’t push past Baylor’s defense. The Lady Bears’ Brittney Griner scored 14 points in only 22 minutes, and helped the team roll to an 81-40 win over the Gauchos. It was the 14th time UCSB has appeared in the NCAA Tournament while it was Baylor’s 11th time in The Dance. UCSB’s record is now 7-14 all- time in NCAA Tournaments.
Men's Basketball Advances to Third Straight Big West Championship Game
The Gauchos (20-9) played No. 1-seeded Long Beach State for the championship. It’s the third year in a row the schools have met in the finals and the Gauchos are two-time defending champions. Tournament MVP Casper Ware scored 33 points and handed out six assists March 11 at the Honda Center to lead No. 1 seed Long Beach State to a 77-64 victory over No. 3 seed UC Santa Barbara for the championship of the Big West Conference Tournament and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The 49ers (25-8) avenged losses in the title game in each of the last two seasons to UCSB (20-10), which got 17 points from both Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally but lost to Long Beach for the third time this season. The 17 points for Johnson pushed him over the 1,800 point mark in his career. The loss is the first by the Gauchos in a Big West Tournament championship game.
Track and Field
Gauchos Come Out on Top at All-UC Track and Field Meet
Several of the University of California schools descended upon Anteater Stadium on March 3 for the All-UC Meet, the first Big West Conference meet of the 2012 outdoor season. The Gauchos had an outstanding showing beating UC Irvine, UC San Diego and UC Riverside on both the men’s and women’s side — the men’s team dominating the meet with a total of 224 points and the women capturing 185 total points. In the field events, senior Adam Shigem highlighted the men's hammer throw with a second place finish with his farthest throw measuring 190-8 and demolishing his personal record by over 12 feet. Derek Masterson had a great performance in the pole vault where he won the event with his clearance of 15-11, just a few inches shy of his personal record of 16-3. The Gaucho men swept the high jump event once again with Max Villalba clinching the first place spot with his clearance of 6-10.75. Andrea Jacobs set a new meet record in the steeplechase with her time of 10:48.53, beating former Gaucho Katie Voigtlander's meet record time of 10:49.82 set in 2009. Anthony Masci answered with a first place finish in the men's steeplechase, running 9:16.49. The women won the 4x100m relay race (Kelsey Bolden, Jessica Johnson, Lauren Kodama, and Grace Esslinger) with a time of 47.05. The men's relay team composed of Evan Walker, Jacob Vowels, Nate Harvey and Michael Aiken finished first with a time of 41.66 and a few hundredths of a second off from setting a new meet record.