March 9, 2007
Anaheim, Calif. -
Jenna Green scored 27 points and Chisa Ononiwu added 12 Friday afternoon to lead No 2-seeded UC Santa Barbara to a 57-52 victory over No. 5-seed Cal State Fullerton in the semifinals fo the Big West Conference Women's Basketball Tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The Gauchos improved to 18-12 and advance to the championship game Saturday at 1 p.m. vs. UC Riverside, which beat Long Beach State, 59-53, earlier in the afternoon.
Underwood's 3-point basket with about 6 minutes to play gave Fullerton a 49-47 lead. But the Gauchos outscored the Titans, 8-0, over the next five minutes to take a 55-49 lead. Thomas made a 3-pointer to make it 55-52 with 1:08 to play but she and Andrea Adams missed game-tying shots in the final 15 seconds before Jessica Wilson hit two free throws with three seconds left.
Wilson scored 8 points and had a game-high 13 rebounds.
Green scored 9 unanswered points to turn a 39-33 deficit into a 42-39 UCSB lead midway through the second half. The teams traded baskets until Ononiwu put the Gauchos ahead to stay with a jumper at 4:30 that started the 8-0 run.
Fullerton led virtually the entire first half, by as many as 10 points, and ended up with a 6-point halftime lead.
The win was the 28th in a row for the Gauchos over the Titans, who let a 16-point lead get away from them at home earlier in the season.
More details and box score to come.