December 29, 2011

Keelhaulers Sink UC Santa Cruz's Comeback Effort

In a first round game of the Purple and Gold Poet Classic at Whittier College, Cal State Maritime Academy defeated the Banana Slugs 69-61. The Slugs took their only lead of the game, 2-0, just over a minute into the game on a short Brent Jacobs jumper. Maritime tied the game 30 seconds later on two free throws by Ryan Pearson and took the lead for good just over two minutes into the game on a Hamilton Chang lay up. The Keelhaulers stretched their lead to a game high 14 points with just over 7 minutes left in the first half, but the Slugs responded with a Brent Jacobs dunk and went on a 14 to 6 run over the rest of the first half with Nate Morhi's acrobatic jumper with 50 seconds left being the final points of the first half. Even though the Slugs appeared to be out of sync the first half, committing 11 turnovers and 11 fouls, their shooting from the field kept them close. Hitting almost 53% of their shots in first half, they ended the half on a solid performance and appeared optimistic for the start of the second half. The Keelhaulers, started their scoring in the same way as the first half with Ryan Pearson hitting two free throws just 45 seconds into the half to expand the lead to nine. Keven Cambell of Maritime hit a jumper to stretch the lead to 11 before the Slugs battled back. An 11-2 Slug run capped by a Brent Jacobs hook cut the lead to 2 with 14 minutes left in the game. The Slugs continued to hang around and with two free throws by Sam Allen, they were again within 4 points at the 9:21 mark. A pattern developed with Maritime making a short run to expand the lead and the Slugs responding. With just over seven minutes to go, a Keven Cambell jumper pushed the lead back up to 11 points, only to have Santa Cruz slowly nibble away at it. Sam Allen hit a three with 4:54 cut the lead back to 4 . With time running out, Santa Cruz was forced to foul. The Keelhaulers went 8 for 8 at the charity stripe down the stretch, never allowing the Slugs to get any closer than six points. Isaiah Moore of Maritime went 7 for 11 from the field for 17 points along with a game high 12 rebounds. Keven Campbell added 13 points to the cause. The Slugs shot a very credible 50% from the field, and Sam Allen was solid from the field, scoring 20 points including a perfect 4 for 4 from behind the arc. Brent Jacobs and Jamien Jones scored 9 each and Spencer Wells added 8. Outscoring the Keelhaulers from the floor 47 to 43, the Slugs undoing once again was the free throw line, shooting just 58% from the line while Maritime hit 26 of 31 for almost 84%. UCSC had a season high of 21 turnovers and that proved to be too much for the Slugs to overcome. Tonight, the Slugs play American Sports University at 6pm in the third place game while the Keelhaulers will play Whittier for the championship.