ATHERTON, CA -- UC Santa Cruz traveled to Menlo College Saturday night, losing to the Oaks 85-71 in front of a packed home crowd.
The two teams played the first half tight, with Menlo going into halftime with a five point advantage.
Menlo came out hot in the second half, pushing the advantage to ten.
Menlo (4-11) nearly let this lead escape them as the Banana Slugs (5-11) went on an 11-2 run , thanks in large part to the play of junior Trent Reeves. The Ventura, CA native scored five during the key Slugs stretch, as the 6'4" talented guard ended his night with 19, tied for the team lead with freshman Austin Steadman.
Menlo responded with 20-4 run of their own.
Just when it looked like the Slugs were starting to fade UC Santa Cruz made things interesting with a final surge towards the finish line. A lead that had at one point been as much as 17, narrowed down to seven with 1:39 to go. The Slugs' Austin Steadman had just made two technical foul free throws, and had a chance to chop further into the deficit with two more free throws, but came up empty on both attempts.
Santa Cruz then forced a turnover, but missed three consecutive 3-pointers to effectively end any hopes at an epic comeback.
Santa Cruz plays next at home vs Cal Maritime, 7PM in the Westfield House.