Just like the men’s team the night before, the women’s team defeated Michigan with a comfortable 20-point lead. With the win, they have now won 18 consecutive games at home. Tonight, they travel up the coast to Santa Barbara that starts a three-game road trip for the Bruins.
The Bruins are getting results. They have a 7-1 record only having lost to then-No. 2 Baylor. Even though the wins are stacking up, their play has been met with some questions. They have the talent on their roster with players like Monique Billings who had 19 points and five steals and Jordin Canada with 16 points and 14 assists to end the night. There were also three other starters who scored 10 points or more. They have talented players, but how they play together is a problem.
Against Michigan, they recorded 17 turnovers. That is one too many for a roster like this one. Coach Close’s lineup also raises some questions seeing as she continues to play a four-guard lineup. This kind of lineup can expose the team against higher ranked schools. Against Michigan, it was not too costly and won’t be against Santa Barbara either seeing as they have a 2-6 record. However, against a team like Stanford, Oregon, or Colorado it won’t work. It exposes the team too much.
Santa Barbara will not be a big challenge. Their record speaks for itself as they have struggled so far this season. Coach Close needs to take advantage of this and help develop players that she will need come March. Games like these are just as important as ones against top-ranked teams, if not more important.
#9 UCLA Women’s Basketball (7-1,0-0)
Opponent: UC Santa Barbara (2-6,0-0)
When: 7 PM PT, Wednesday, December 13, 2016
Where: The Thunderdome, Goleta, CA
Live Stats: ucsbgauchos.com
Official Game Preview