SANTA CRUZ - UC Santa Cruz defeated Pacific Lutheran 74-52 on Sunday to close the UCSC Thanksgiving Classic.
UCSC (3-2) outrebounded the Lutes 43-30 to bounce back from Saturday's loss to Willamette.
It looked like Pacific Lutheran (2-2) would turn the game into a shooting contest as they hit their first three treys for an early 9-7 lead. However the Lutes went just 3-18 from long range the rest of the day as the Banana Slugs controlled both inside and outside the arc.
The Banana Slugs took the lead for good on after an 11-0 run made it 18-9 with under 12 minutes until halftime. They led 45-28 at the break thanks to shooting 55.6% (15-27) from the field and outrebounding PLU 18-13.
PLU got to within 10 with 10:12 left after opening the second half with a 19-12 run. However, Sam Gabbard relentlessly crashed the boards and got a tip-in to start a 12-2 run that let UCSC push its lead again and never let PLU fight back.
Andrew Jones had a season-high 17 points while shooting 5-10 on three-pointers. Gabbard matched his Saturday totals exactly with 23 points and nine rebounds, but unlike Saturday didn't commit a single foul as he battled down low against the Lutes. Overall, the Banana Slugs hit 46.6% (27-58) from the field, including 10-30 from three-point land.
UCSC goes on the road the next five weeks, starting with Redlands and Caltech next weekend at the Lee Fulmer tournament in Redlands.
All Tournament Team