SPOKANE, WA - UC Santa Cruz fell in both its games in th Whit Classic hosted by Whitworth.
On Friday, the team lost 67-56 to Whitman. On Saturday, a furious comeback came up short in a 67-65 loss to the host Pirates.
UCSC goes to 0-3 on the young season.
Friday night was a tale of two halves. The Banana Slugs led as much as 9 points and ran to a 36-29 lead at halftime, thanks in part to a 10-12 shooting at the line while Whitman didn't have a single attempt. However, Whitman outscored UCSC 19-7 in the third quarter to take a five-point lead.
In the fourth quarter, UCSC found their shooting touch again, closing to within 1 (52-51) thanks to two Jasmin Dimson three-pointers and Michelle Poole's layup. However, Whitman answered with an 11-0 run that included four UCSC turnovers. Katie Young broke the drought with a three-pointer with 4:13 left, but the Slugs hit just one shot the rest of the way for Whitman to squelch any comeback hopes.
Young led UCSC with 14 points, and Poole added 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Chelsi Brewer of Whitman led all scorers with 15 points. Whitman scored 24 points off turnovers.
Saturday against the host Pirates, UCSC opened shooting 11-40 in the first half and trailed by 5 at the half. UCSC opened the third quarter with Katie Young's layup to get within 3 (36-33) but Whitworth then went on a 13-0 run to make it 49-33. UCSC got a 6-0 run, highlighted by a pair of Jenna Sparks layups, but Whitworth went into the last quarter up 54-42.
UCSC then played arguably its best ten minutes of the weekend. They went on a 13-0 run to take a three-point lead with 5:13 to go. The teams traded shots, but after Michelle Poole had a layup with 3:42 to go, the Pirates answered with a 7-0 run to regain the lead at 63-59.
UCSC responded with a 6-2 run to tie it at 65 from Young's layup. However with ten seconds left, Whitworth's Callie Harwood hit a shot to give the Pirates a 67-65 lead. After a timeout, UCSC set up the final play, but Poole's shot was short and Jasmin Dimson could not put back the rebound, letting the hosts escape with their two-point lead.
Whitworth's Harwood and Grace Douglas led all scorers with 27 and 23 points respectively. Whitworth shot 42.9% (24-56) for the game, including 8-20 from long-range. UCSC shot 31.2% on 24-77, and kept it close by scoring 29 points off 20 Whitworth turnovers and only lost the ball eight times. The 77 shots was the most since the school-record 87 on February 21 2015 against Bristol.
Young and Dimson each had 13 points to lead UCSC. Poole and Sparks each scored 12 and Poole was named to the All-Classic team.
UCSC continues on the road Thanksgiving weekend with a pair of games at the David Wells Classic in Claremont.