WHITTIER (12-27) – UC Santa Cruz started a three game road trip to Southern California as they took on Whittier College. The game was the Banana Slugs' first of the Purple and Gold Poet Classic. The Banana Slugs held the Poets to under 30% from the field and won the game 69-56.
This game was a rematch of a game played on December 22nd in Santa Cruz which was won by the Banana Slugs 63-52. The game also marked the last game that each team played.
In the first quarter, the Poets started the quarter on an 8-2 run capped by a Priscilla Rodriguez layup with 7:26 left in the quarter. The six point lead marked the largest lead of the game for the Poets. The Poets would not score a point during the remainder of the quarter as the Banana Slugs finished the quarter on an 11-0 run. The Banana Slugs took their largest lead of the quarter at five, at 13-8, on a Michelle Poole free throw with no time remaining in the quarter. The Banana Slugs led 13-8 at the end of the first period.
In the second quarter, the Banana Slugs would continue the run they had started in the first quarter. The Banana Slugs took a double digit lead at 18-8 on a Jasmin Dimson free throw with 8:59 left in the half. The overall run was 17-0 and it was capped by the second Dimson free throw with 8:59 left to give the Banana Slugs a 19-8 lead. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the half at sixteen on four occasions; the fourth occasion was at 40-24 on a Katie Young free throw with twenty seconds left. The Banana Slugs led 40-24 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Banana Slugs would hold the Poets at arms' length. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at eighteen, at 42-24, on a Poole layup with 8:35 left in the quarter. The Poets would come as close as ten, at 53-43, on an Emily Underwood jumper with 1:19 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs led 54-43 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs would expand their lead. The Poets would come as close as eleven on two occasions; the second occasion at 63-52 on an Ana Youngblood layup with 4:57 left. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the quarter on two occasions; the second occasion at 69-54 on a pair of CJ Catina free throws with twenty six seconds left. The Banana Slugs won 69-56 over the Poets for their third consecutive victory.
Young had seventeen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Underwood had a game high eighteen points for the Poets. Poole had sixteen points and Dimson had twelve points in the win. Cali Cubel had fourteen and Emily Dy seven points for the Poets.
The Banana Slugs shot 42% (21-50) from the field, 18.2% (4-22) from the three-point line and was 79.3% (23-29) from the free throw line. The Poets shot 29.9% (20-67) from the field, 16.7% (4-24) from the three-point line and 50% (12-24) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced nine Poet turnovers scoring thirteen points off the turnovers while the Poets' defense forced twenty one turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring fourteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Whittier 51-30 and the Banana Slugs had six more second chance points (14-8) than did the Poets.
The next game for the Banana Slugs is tomorrow as they take on California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Tip-off is set for 3 pm.