SANTA CRUZ (11-25) – The Banana Slugs played the first game of the Scotts Valley Hilton Classic as they took on Pacific University at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Boxers held the lead for the majority of the game and won 69-60 over the Banana Slugs.
In their last game, the Banana Slugs lost 64-53 over Linfield College in Santa Cruz on Sunday while Pacific defeated NCCAA member Portland Bible College 83-45 Tuesday in Forest Grove.
In the first half, the Boxers started the game on a 7-2 spurt capped by a Michael Joseph three pointer with 16:29 left in the half. From that point, the Banana Slugs would go on a 10-0 run, capped by a Tre Weston layup with 10:18 left in the half, to give the Banana Slugs 12-7 lead. The five point lead for the Banana Slugs was their largest of the ballgame. The Boxers would respond with an 11-4 run capped by a JJ Spitler to give the Boxers the lead for good at 18-16 with 7:08 left in the half. The Boxers would take a double digit lead at 31-21 on a KC Harrison three pointer with 4:10 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would come as close as three at 31-28 on a Will Crain jumper with forty seven seconds left. The Boxers led 33-28 at the halftime break.
In the second half, the Boxers would keep control of the lead for the entire half. The Banana Slugs would come as close as two on two occasions; the second occasion at 38-36 on an Adam Marlow layup with 15:37 left. The Boxers would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at thirteen, at 63-50, on a Nate Olowo free throw with 2:51 left.
Dylan Holler, off the bench, and Weston both had twelve points to lead the Banana Slugs. Olowo had a game high twenty-one points for the Boxers. Marlow had nine points and Austin Jones and Vinay Narayanam had eight points apiece for the Banana Slugs in the loss. KC Harrison had twenty and Michael Joseph had eleven for the Boxers.
The Banana Slugs shot 43.1% (22-51) from the field, 23.5% (4-17) from the three-point line and was 57.1% (12-21) from the free throw line. The Boxers shot 43.6% (24-55) from the field, 30% (6-20) from the three-point line and 65.2% (15-23) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced seventeen turnovers by the Boxers scoring twenty-one points off the turnovers while the Boxers' defense forced fifteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz and scored eight points off the turnovers. Pacific outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 36-34 while the Banana Slugs had twenty-one more points off the bench (28-7) than did the Boxers.
The next game for the Banana Slugs is Sunday as they take on University of Redlands at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The game completes the Scotts Valley Hilton Classic. Tip off is set for 2 pm.