Gauchos Two Points Short in First Round
Despite slowing the nation’s leading scorer, UC Santa Barbara fell to Southwest Missouri State, 72-70, Friday night in a West Regional first-round game at Fort Collins, Colo.
Jackie Stiles made only five field goals and scored 18 points, eight below her average, but she made two free throws with 33.9 seconds to play to give the Lady Bears a 69-68 lead.
Erin Buescher, the game’s leading scorer with 27 points, scored on a drive from the high post to return the advantage to UCSB with 22 seconds left.
Carly Deer countered with a layup 11 seconds later for Southwest Missouri State then stole a pass on the Gauchos’ next possession, was fouled and made a free throw.
The Gauchos (26-4), the Big West Conference champions, were riding a 21-game winning streak.
“It’s been a long time since we lost and you’d think we’d forget what it feels like,” Santa Barbara Coach Mark French said. “But we didn’t forget. It hurts.”
Southwest Missouri State had 17 turnovers in the first half but only five in the second half