SANTA CRUZ (12-22) – UC Santa Cruz played their final home game of the 2015 calendar year as they took on University of Puget Sound at Kaiser Permanente. The game was the final game of the Mission Inn Holiday Classic. The Loggers would withstand a strong Banana Slugs start and would win 81-70.
Both teams had their last contest against Whittier College. UC Santa Cruz lost 81-70 to the Poets on Sunday in Santa Cruz while the Loggers beat Whittier College 81-70 yesterday in Santa Cruz.
In the first half, the Banana Slugs started the game with a 9-0 run capped by a Will Crain free throw with 16:54 left in the half. The nine point lead was the largest of the ballgame for the Banana Slugs. The Loggers would get their way back into the game and would take the lead for good, at 14-13, on an Adam Feinberg free throw with 11:46 left in the half. The Loggers would gain their largest lead of the half at thirteen, at 32-19, on a pair of Keith Shattuck free throws with 7:46 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would come as close as four, at 32-28, on a pair of Jared Ponce free throws with 5:31 left in the half. The Loggers led 40-34 at the halftime break.
In the second half, the Loggers would hold the Banana Slugs at arms' length for the entire half. The Loggers would expand their lead back to double digits at 45-34 on a Zach Miller layup with 15:48 left. The Banana Slugs would come as close as sixteen, at 64-48, on an Andrew Jones three pointer with 9:04 left. The Loggers would gain their largest lead of the game at twenty-six, at 81-55, on an Eric Rauch three pointer with 3:30 left. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 15-0 run to close out the game, but the Loggers won 81-70.
Crain had eighteen points for the Banana Slugs. Rauch had twenty-seven points, off the bench, for the Loggers. Ben Dorfman had fifteen points and Jared Ponce had ten points in the loss. Both Timmy Saunders and Shattuck had eleven, off the bench, for the Loggers.
The Banana Slugs shot 36.8% (21-57) from the field, 21.7% (5-23) from the three-point line and was 74.2% (23-31) from the free throw line. The Loggers shot 37.7% (29-77) from the field, 41.9% (13-31) from the three-point line and 83.3% (10-12) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced nine turnovers by the Poets scoring twelve points off the turnovers while the Loggers' defense forced twenty turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring twenty-eight points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded University of Puget Sound 45-44 and while the Loggers had forty-seven more bench points (73-26) than did the Banana Slugs.
The next game for the Banana Slugs will be next Tuesday as they take on University of La Verne in La Verne. Tipoff is set for 5 pm.