January 16, 2012

Slugs And Hawks Battle Till The End At Holy Names

In a hard fought, fast paced game Monday night played in front of a noisy crowd in Tobin Gymnasium on the Holy Names campus, the Holy Names Hawks barely outlasted the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, 75-73. In the first half, the Hawks roared out to a 10-point lead, 17-7 in the first four minutes. The Slugs, behind the inside play of Brent Jacobs kept cutting into the lead. However, speedy Karlos Greir of the Hawks answered back with steals and driving lay ups to move the lead back up to double digits. With just over 7 minutes left in the first half, Greir converted another lay up to put the Hawks up 29-19 before Kevin Konopelski answered by splashing down two shots from way behind the arc to cut the lead to four. Holy Names responded with a three by Adam Smith. Moments later, two free throws by Greir stretched the lead back up to nine points before a Nathan Morhi to Brent Jacobs alley oop sliced it back to seven points with just under a minute to go in the half. Karlos Greir concluded the scoring of the first half with another lay up in traffic to push the Hawks halftime lead to 40-31 and give Greir 14 points for the first half. At the beginning of the second half, Holy Names scored the first two baskets, giving the Hawks their biggest lead of the game, 44-31 a minute into the half. For the next seven minutes, Brent Jacobs was an absolute beast scoring 11 of the Slugs next 13 points on a variety of inside moves, cutting the Hawks lead to just five points. From here, it became a three-ball contest with Kevin Konopoleski matching Holy Names Obie Woods, with both of them hitting a couple. A three by Trent Reeves from the top of the key knotted the game up at 58-58 with seven minutes left. Over the next two minutes, Holy Names once again built up a five-point lead before the Slugs responded with a three from Spencer Wells and another inside basket by Brent Jacobs. With 3:42, Trent Reeves hit a very deep three to give the Slugs their first lead of the game, 67-64. 40 seconds later, Richard Craig answered with a three to tie it back up and the game was on. After a couple of possessions for each team, Trent Reeves swooped in for a steal at mid court and took it all the way in, giving the Slugs a 69-67 lead with 2:17 left. Ian Collins tied the game up at 69-69 on a put back at the 1:13 mark. As the clock ticked down to 29 seconds, Patrick Turner of the Hawks grabbed an offensive rebound and scored his only basket of the game to give Holy Names a two-point lead. The next time down the court, the Slugs were called for an offensive foul, giving the ball back to the Hawks with just over 14 seconds left. With the Slugs forced to foul, the Hawks were solid from the foul line, making all four free throws at the end, maintaining the two-point margin. For the Hawks, Karlos Greir ended up with 23 points. Mike McElroy grabbed 10 rebounds for the Hawks including a crucial offense board that helped lead to Turner's go-ahead basket at the end. Obie Woods was very solid from outside, hitting three of four threes and scoring 11 points, all in the second half. For the Slugs, Brent Jacobs was the man in the paint. Scoring 23 points including four dunks, he also pulled down eight rebounds. In addition, although the stats sheet does not show it, he blocked four shots and altered several other attempts from Hawks. Kevin Konopelski was four for six behind the arc for 12 points to help lead the comeback effort. Spencer Wells dropped in 12 and Trent Reeves had 10 points. Next up for the Slugs is Chapman University at the Slug Dome on Friday, January 20. A long time nemesis for Santa Cruz, the Panthers are currently 11-5 for the season. They defeated the Slugs earlier this year 74-65 in the third place game of the Lee Fulmer tournament at Redlands University. The men's game is part of a double header with the women playing 5pm and the men scheduled to tip off at 7:30. The Slugs are currently undefeated for the season at the Slug Dome. On Sunday, the men travel to Merced to play UC Merced at 3pm.