MCMINNVILLE (12-13) – UC Santa Cruz played their second game in as many nights in the state of Oregon as they took on Linfield College in McMinnville. The Banana Slugs won 66-65 over the Wildcats to break their five game losing streak.
Both teams lost their last game. UC Santa Cruz lost 80-64 to George Fox University yesterday in Newberg while Linfield lost 63-49 to Whitworth University in Spokane last Saturday.
In the first half, the Banana Slugs would jump out with a 9-3 run which was capped by a Jared Ponce layup with 14:36 left in the half. The six-point lead would be the largest lead of the ballgame for the Banana Slugs. The Wildcats would get back into the game and would take the lead, at 17-16, on an Eric Daul free throw with 6:51 left in the half. The Wildcats would gain their largest lead of the half at four, at 20-16, on an Austin Daniels layup with 5:36 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 14-5 run which was capped by a pair of Andrew Jones free throws with 1:02 left in the half to make the score 30-25 in favor of the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs led 30-25 at the half.
In the second half, the Wildcats would go on a quick 8-0 run, capped by a Vince Romeo three pointer with 18:57 remaining, to make the score 33-30. The two teams would play back and forth for the remainder of the ballgame. The Wildcats would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at five on three occasions; the third occasion was at 64-59 with 3:19 remaining on a Cameron Frank three pointer. The Banana Slugs would methodically work their way back into the ballgame. After Jared Ponce trimmed the Wildcats' lead to one, at 65-64, the Wildcats would call timeout. With eleven seconds left, Daniels would miss a layup which would give the Banana Slugs one more chance. Sam Gabbard got the rebound off the miss and threw a pass to a streaking Adam Marlow who would make a layup with 0.6 seconds left to give the Banana Slugs a 66-65 lead. On the final possession of the game, the Wildcats inbounds pass was tipped at the timeline, finalizing the game, and the Banana Slugs losing streak, 66-65.
Gabbard had a game-high thirteen points for the Banana Slugs. Daniels, off the bench, also had a game high thirteen points for the Wildcats. Marlow had eleven points and Will Crain had ten points in the win. Maloof and Mason Rodby both had nine points for the Wildcats.
The Banana Slugs shot 47.2% (25-53) from the field, 33.3% (6-18) from the three-point line and was 62.5% (10-16) from the free throw line. The Wildcats shot 42% (21-50) from the field, 39.1% (9-23) from the three-point line and 73.7% (14-19) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced nine turnovers by the Wildcats scoring eleven points off the turnovers while the Wildcats' defense forced thirteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring eleven points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Linfield 37-27 but the Wildcats had nine more points off the bench (28-19) than did the Banana Slugs.
The Banana Slugs will start a four game homestand. The next game for the Banana Slugs will be Wednesday as they take on California Institute of Technology at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Tipoff is set for 3 pm.