SANTA CRUZ - UC Santa Cruz defeated the Whittier Poets 63-52 to conclude the 6th annual December Classic.
Jasmine Dimson scored 12 points and Tyler Stewart added 10 to lead UCSC(6-6), who are now at .500 for the first time all year. Daniza Rodriguez led Whittier (1-6) with 16 points.
Like the previous game against Northwestern, the Banana Slugs never trailed but needed everything to hold off their opponents. UCSC went on a 10-4 run in the last five minutes of the second quarter, pushing their 3 point lead to nine at halftime (33-24).
After an even third quarter, UCSC opened the fourth with Michelle Poole converting a three-point play to push the lead to 12, The lead never got below double-digit again to give the Slugs their third win in the last four games.
Stewart and Dimson led the team in rebounds as well, pulling down 7 and 6 respectively to help give the Slugs a 44-36 rebound advantage. UCSC shot 34% (17-50) from the field, including 6-19 (31.6%) from three.The Poets were 20-58 (34.5%) on field goals. The Slugs however dominated from the line, going 79% (23-29) compared to Whittier's 62.5%(10-16). It was the 9th time in 12 games UCSC hit over 75% free-throws, and the Slugs converted three "and-ones the second half to help secure the win.UCSC's next game is a rematch with the Poets in Whitter December 27th.