Santa Cruz- In one of the most exciting and entertaining games of the season, the Banana Slugs lost 74-73 off of a Cal Lutheran 3-pointer with two seconds remaining. UCSC's last game of 2017-18 at Kaiser Permanente Arena kept the audience of 125 people on the edge of their seats up until the buzzer.
The game would give UCSC their 8th loss of the season bringing their record to 16-8 and Cal Lutheran went to 7-13
In the first six minutes of the first half, Cal Lutheran would start very strongly scoring 20 points to UCSC's 2. With 10:27 remaining Sam Gabbard stopped Cal Lutheran's eventual 25-2 run with a layup and a free-throw for the and-one. UCSC would battle back, ending the half down 13 with a score of 27-40.
The Slugs started the second half powerfully with a 16-0 run with Gabbard's rebound and layup tying the game at 40-40 with 14:30 remaining. An Andrew Jones 3-pointer off of a Tre Weston assist energized the Slugs and set the pace for the rest of the half. The rest of the game would be neck and neck and with only two minutes remaining the score was tied at 68-68. What followed next was a layup by Gabbard bringing the Slug lead to 70-68. During the next Cal Lutheran possession, a steal by Weston gave the Slugs the ability to call a timeout.
With 36 seconds on the clock, Cal Lutheran would answer with a three-pointer bringing the score to 70-71. With only 20 seconds left on the clock Jones found some space between him and his defender and was able to shoot a three-pointer giving the Slugs the lead back (73-71). The crowd was on their feet watching as the clock was winding down and UCSC blocked three-straight shots, but with only two seconds remaining Palmer Chaplin's three-pointer would end the game with a final score of 73-74 in favor for Cal Lutheran.
Gabbard scored a career-high 36 points to go with 11 rebounds and Jones had 19 points. The Slugs shot 25 for 58 from the field and 8 for 25 from the three point line.
UCSC plays their last game of the season on February 11th at the West Field House against Simpson.