January 5, 2005
Slugs Show Signs of Improvement
SANTA CRUZ, CA -- After 14 games, more than halfway through the season, the Slugs are still looking to get their first win. It has been an up and down season for the Slugs who got off to a rough start dropping their first 3 games before Thanksgiving break. But the Slugs showed signs of improvement after the break as they traveled to Southern California facing Claremont and Pomona-Pitzer in the David Wells Classic.
Against Claremont, the Slugs had a 29-22 lead at halftime only to fall short in the end, losing by 6. They also lost a close game to Pomona Pitzer (50-55) and came back to Santa Cruz to lose another close one to Olivet Nazarene (75-82). But the Slugs hit another bump in the road as they lost their next four games by an average of 22 points. The last home game before Christmas versus Oglethorpe proved to be a heartbreaker as the Slugs lost in overtime 56-60, then bounced back to fight against DII CSUMB, where they let the game slip away in the final minutes as the Otters went on to win 63-51.
Since Christmas break the Slugs have gotten themselves together to battle against some top teams. On the 30th they faced off against undefeated Howard Payne (DIII), where they trailed by 12 at half-time. But for the first time this season the Slugs were able to fight back in the second half and outscored their opponent 29-28, but it wasn't enough as Howard Payne held on to win 67-56. Senior Amanda Brecht recorded a double double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, adding 5 steals on defense. While Senior Julie Randall lead all scorers with 20 points, Randall also had 9 rebounds (6 offensive), 3 assists and 1 block.
Last night was a rematch against visiting Dominican University, who beat the Slugs by 27 a few weeks earlier after having a commanding 37-22 lead at half time and extending that lead to as many as 37 points in the second half. But the Slugs quickly showed the Penguins that they wouldn't roll over so easily the second time as UCSC held an 11-point lead midway through the first half and a 2 point lead at halftime. The #12 ranked Penguins (NAIA Div. II) went on a 15-6 run to start off the second half and eventually won the game 52-45. Amanda Brecht lead the Slugs with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 steals on defense. While Junior guard Rachel Ocampo added in 10 points of her own to go along with her 2 assists and 3 steals.
Senior Captains Julie Randall and Amanda Brecht are leading the way for the Slugs, Randall leads the team in scoring (10.7 points per game) and free throw percentage (86%). Julie is also on her way to breaking the UCSC record for most blocks in a season (22), tallying 18 thus far. Randall is also second on the team in steals (18) behind Amanda Brecht's 27. Amanda is leading the team in rebounds with 6.7 per game, averages 8 points per game, and has recorded the teams only double double this season. The Slugs will be losing the play of Senior Shawnte Watson who averaged 7.9 points per game and was second on the team in rebounds (5.1), assists (24), and blocked shots (15).
The Junior backcourt of Rachel Ocampo, Jenna Chabot, Lauren Cardinalli, and Libby Lane, are holding down the assist category for the Slugs, Ocampo has 32; Chabot, 17; Cardinalli, 16; and Lane, 15. Chabot is averaging 7.1 points per game and leads the team in 3 pointers made (18) while also averaging 4 rebounds a game with 10 steals on the season. Ocampo leads the team in assists while also contributing on defense with 15 steals.
Sophomore forward Megan Gaynor has stepped up for the Slugs this season leading the team in field goal percentage, shooting 49% so far this season. Megan is also second on the team in rebounds per game (5) and points per game (9.7). Gaynor has also contributed 12 assists and 12 steals.
The Slugs have a tough schedule ahead of them, which includes Holy Names, and the established DIII programs of Chapman University, Cal Lu, Redlands, Colorado College, and Nebraska Wesleyan. The Slugs are looking to build on their momentum from two well-played games against Howard Payne and Dominican and are looking to get their first win early in the New Year.