Santa Barbara, CA (Jan. 2, 2003) Jennifer Leitner's 14th career double-double which consisted of 18 points, 12 in the first half, and 17 boards was not enough for the Cougar women as they fell to No. 22 UCSB, 65-51, Thursday.
Poor shooting and a smothering defensive front by the Gauchos were just too much for BYU's women's basketball team who finished the afternoon shooting a low 28 percent from the field.
Five minutes into the game the score was 12-3 for UCSB when Kali Taylor ended the Cougars scoring drought hitting a short-range jumper at the 15:05 mark. Then a 10-2 run by the Gauchos in the final minutes of the first half left the BYU team trailing by 10, 35-25 after 20 minutes of play.
It was more of the same in the second half as UCSB kept its defensive pressure on the Cougars extending their lead by 21, 50-29 with 13:42 left in the contest. The BYU team stayed focused and kept battling back, cutting the lead down to nine when Danielle Cheesman completed a three-point play with just over two minutes remaining. Forced to foul, BYU sent the home team to the line where they hit four straight free throws to seal the Gauchos victory.
Leitner and UCSB's Lindsay Taylor each scored 18 points in the contest with Leitner's game high 17 rebounds. BYU's sophomore forward Danielle Cheesman finished the afternoon game with 14 points and six rebounds, fouling out with just under two minutes in the game. All-American Erin Thorn was held to just eight points.
Despite the loss and the poor shooting effort by the Cougars, the coaching staff was pleased with the overall team effort. "Our team effort was good. They pressured us and took us out of a few things," said assistant coach Jonas Chatterton. "We battled throughout the whole game and we had a chance in the final minutes of the game and that says a lot about our team effort. Our guards didn't score and that hurt us," added Chatterton.
The 7-4 Cougars return home to host the University of Denver on Saturday, Jan. 4 in a 1 p.m.,tip off. The game will air live locally on KBYU-TV, Channel 11 and on BYU-TV on the Dish Network and on Direct TV.