February 13, 2013

Men’s Basketball Honors Faculty in Win Over Pacific Union

SANTA CRUZ, CA -- The Men's Basketball team honored 11 members of the UC Santa Cruz faculty as a part of the first annual faculty-appreciation night. 

Each player selected a faculty member who influenced their academic and athletic success and invited them to Wednesday nights game against Pacific Union. 

In a pre-game ceremony, each faculty member was introduced to the home crowd and acknowledged for the impact they had made on the student-athletes. 

Perhaps inspired by a full crowd and the on looking faculty, the Banana Slugs got off to a hot start, opening the game with a 22-6 run.  Freshman Tyler Ponce, Jared Ponce and Dylan Holler contributed to the hot start with their defensive efforts, slick passing and hot shooting. 

Despite the early defecit Pacific Union College, from Angwin, CA, started chipping away at the lead. The Pioneers clamped down on defense, holding UC Santa Cruz to 10 points over the final 10 minutes of the first half.

The second half featured 20 minutes of competitive and intense basketball.  The Banana Slugs, led by Sophomore captain James Townsend, battled to keep the lead against a surging Pacific Union. 

Townsend, who ended the game with a team high 24 points and 6 rebounds on 8-11 shooting, put the Slugs on his back down the stretch, scoring 12 points in the last 7 minutes of the game.

The Banana Slugs needed every one of Townsends points considering Pacific Union guard Ben Vincent hit a 3 with 0:36 seconds to play, to pull within two points. After two consecutive turnovers, one by Santa Cruz and one by Pacific Union, it became a game of free throws.
 
The Banana Slugs hit theirs down the stretch and sealed the home victory 73-67.
 
The victory brings the teams home record to 3-2 on the season and 8-16 overall. The Slugs play their final game Saturday Night 7PM at the Westfield House against Cal St. San Marcos.