SANTA CRUZ (12-4) –UC Santa Cruz finished up the UCSC Holiday Classic as they took on Pomona-Pitzer at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Banana Slugs defeated the Sagehens 78-60 to extend their winning streak to two.
This game was a rematch of a game on November 25th won by the Banana Slugs 83-55 in Pomona as a part of the David Wells Classic. In their last game, UC Santa Cruz won 71-51 over University of La Verne yesterday in Santa Cruz while the Sagehens lost 95-53 to NAIA member Southern Oregon University also yesterday in Santa Cruz.
In the first quarter, the Banana Slugs started the game on a 5-0 spurt capped by a Tyler Stewart layup with 8:18 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would expand their lead to double digits at 16-6 on a Katie Young three pointer with 5:24 left in the quarter. The Sagehens would come as close as seven, at 20-13, on Keilani Ikehara's three pointer with 1:58 left in the quarter. The largest lead for the Banana Slugs came at twelve on two occasions; the second occasion at 27-15 on a CJ Catina layup with fifteen seconds left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs led 27-17 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Banana Slugs would hold the Sagehens at arms' length. The closest the Sagehens would come would be eight, at 27-19, on an Anita Romero layup with 9:54 left in the half. The largest lead of the quarter for the Banana Slugs would be thirteen, at 36-23, after a pair of Suhansi Perera free throws with 3:26 left in the half. The Banana Slugs led 38-30 at the halftime break.
In the third quarter, the Banana Slugs would extend their lead. The Banana Slugs started the quarter on a 10-0 run, capped by a Michelle Poole layup with 6:48 left in the quarter, to extend the Banana Slugs lead to 48-30. The Sagehens would come as close as fourteen, at 53-39, on a pair of Kacie Hitomi free throws with 1:06 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs led 53-39 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs would continue to expand their lead. The closest that the Sagehens would come would be thirteen, at 56-43, on an Alaina Woo layup with 8:29 left. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at twenty-three, at 66-43, on a Jenna Sparks layup with six minutes left.
Tyler Stewart had fifteen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Woo had a game-high twenty points for the Sagehens. Jenna Sparks had fourteen points and Poole had twelve points in the win. Poole added 21 rebounds, career-high and tying the third single-game mark in UCSC history.
Romero had sixteen points and Ikehara had fourteen points for the Sagehens.
The Banana Slugs shot 43.9% (29-66) from the field, 36% (9-25) from the three-point line and was 84.6% (11-13) from the free throw line. The Sagehens shot 37.1% (26-70) from the field, 24% (6-25) from the three-point line and 66.7% (2-3) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twelve Sagehen turnovers scoring thirteen points off the turnovers while the Sagehens' defense forced eighteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring fourteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Pomona-Pitzer 51-32 and the Banana Slugs had twenty more points off the bench (22-2) than did Pomona-Pitzer.