Santa Cruz Defense Smothers Berry
SANTA CRUZ, CA -- UC Santa Cruz used a high pressure half court trap and a season high 10 blocks to sink the Berry College Vikings 87-63.
The Slugs defense forced 11 first half turnovers and harassed the Vikings into a number of difficult shots. When the Vikings penetrated the Slug defense, Sarah Mackey was there to swat away the shots. Mackey led the Slugs with 5 blocked shots. Berry, however, would not quit. The Vikings closed the half with a 16-1 run and trailed only 35-28 at the break.
The Slugs put this game away early in the second half. Mackey quickly scored 9 points of her game high 16 points. The Slugs would get points from a number of players. Lashay Alexander followed with two inside jumpers. Sarah Fitzgerald buried a long three. Sarah Crane and Taylor Wills made driving layups and the Slugs led 52-36 with 12 minutes to go. The defense asserted itself once again and held Berry to just 4 points over the next 7 minutes. While the defense shined, the offense pounded away. Crane converted a sweet left handed layup. Ryane Ortiz nailed a long three point shot. Alexander converted an offensive rebound and the Slugs expanded the lead to 66-39.
Three point shots by Cristina Rimicci and Jasmine Dimson added to the Slug lead. Tyler Stewart poured in 11 points down the stretch to close out the scoring. A late run by the Vikings made the final score 87-63.
A win against La Verne University on Wednesday will give the Slugs a three game sweep of the Hampton Inn Classic # 3