Banana Slugs drop wild one to Whittier

Banana Slugs drop wild one to Whittier

Despite career-highs from Kyle Creighton and Tre Weston, UC Santa Cruz couldn't overcome the Whittier Poets in an 87-81 loss at KP Arena.

UCSC (5-8) was led by Tre Weston's 22 points and 16 rebounds, his second-straight double-double and career-high points. Creighton added a career-high 21 points.  Andrew Jones (11) and Adam Marlow (10) also scored in double figures for the Slugs.

Whittier (2-4) had six players in double-figures, led by Conner Longmire with 26.

The back-and-forth game started with Whittier opening up a 14-5 lead courtesy of Chris Kapano's and Louis Kurihara's three-pointers. UCSC fought back to cut it to one at 20-19. After another Kurihara three-pointer made it 23-19, UCSC responded with a 14-2 run to give them a 33-25 lead 2:26 until halftime. Another run by the Poets cut the deficit to just two (37-35) at the half, punctuated by Nick Potthoff's three at the buzzer.

UCSC scored the first 4 points of the second half to make it 41-35. Whitter however tied it at 51 with 13:33 left, helped by three Longmire treys. The Poets then added a 13-4 run to lead by nine with 8:50 left in regulation.

Down 74-67, the Slugs began a comeback with under 3:00 left. Andrew Jones hit his fourth three of the night to make it 74-70. Adam Marlow went 1-2 from the line, then Creighton's jumper with under :30 left made it 74-73.

The Slugs fouled and Whittier's Chris Kapano made 1-2 of his free throws to make it 75-73 with 0:20 left. The Slugs responded and tied it at 75 with 0.9 seconds left on Weston's alley-oop layup from Marlow's inbound pass. Creighton then knocked away the Poets' inbounds pass to send the game to overtime.

12 seconds into the extra session, UCSC went ahead for the first time since it was 51-48 on Creighton's free-throw that made it 76-75. However, Whittier had four field goals the rest of the period- including two threes- and held the Slugs to just one made shot.

UCSC outrebounded the Poets 50-32, shot 42.6% (20-61) for the game and was 24-38(63.2%) from the free-throw line. Whittier shot 47.6% (30-63) from the field, including 13 three pointers on 27 attempts.

The Banana Slugs next play at the Classic in Las Vegas next week.