MCMINNVILLE,OR - Host Linfield used a 23-10 first quarter to take control and kept UC Santa Cruz off the boards in a 76-60 win on Sunday afternoon.
UCSC dropped to 2-6 on the year while Linfield evened their record at 4-4.
After trailing by 13 at the end of one quarter, the Slugs opened the second with a 6-0 run to get within seven. Linfield used rebounding to keep the Slugs from getting closer, and eventually led by 13 again at the half.
UCSC opened the third by hitting the first six shots again to get within 6 at 38-32. With the game getting close, Linfield again answered, outscoring the Slugs 11-0 in the last five minutes of the quarter to stretch a seven-point lead to 18 points and UCSC never got within single digits again.
The Wildcats outrebounded UCSC 49-21 in the game.
UCSC committed a season-low five turnovers but could not get second-chance points. The Slugs shot 32% (19-59) from the field compared to the Wildcats' 53% (31-58).
Kory Oleson led four Wildcats in double figures with 20 points.
UCSC returns home for Finals before hosting a pair of NCAA Tournament teams in the 7th annual Christmas Classic.