SANTA CRUZ - UC Santa Cruz's women's basketball team returned home after finals to host the Mission Inn December Classic, but couldn't find a win against two fellow 2017 NCAA Tournament teams.
On Tuesday, the Banana Slugs fell 75-54 to fourth-ranked Wartburg before going toe-to-toe with Catholic University in an exciting 73-67 loss in double overtime.
UCSC falls to 2-8 on the season.
On Tuesday, the Wartburg Knights outscored UCSC 24-11 in the first quarter and kept UCSC from mounting a comeback in the 21-point win. Wartburg shot 52.7% (29-55) from the field and went 13-18 from the line compared to UCSC only hitting 32.8% (20-61) on field goals and going 3-4 from the line. Wartburg outrebounded UCSC 45-25 as well.
On Wednesday, the Slugs came out more confident against the Cardinals. Trailing 16-6 a the end of the first, UCSC overcame a 1-10 shooting start in the second quarter to creep back and only trail 25-21 at halftime. In the third, UCSC went on a 14-9 run to take a one-point lead on Catina's three-pointer with under 3 minutes left. The game stayed one possession for the next 13 minutes, but UCSC edged ahead 56-54 on Katilin Stephenson's jumper with 0:24 left in regulation. Mollie Reynolds tied it at 56 with three seconds left and Katie Young's jumper at the buzzer was short to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, a Catina steal led to Young's fast break layup and a 62-60 lead with 4.3 seconds left. Catholic however got a layup from Sydney Poindexter with 0.7 left to tie it and necessitate another overtime.
The Slugs however ran out of gas and the Cardinals went 4-6 from the line and a steal in the last 50 seconds to edge ahead and hold off the hosts and improve to 7-1.
Catina and Young led UCSC with 17 points each while playing 47 and 35 minutes respectively. Stephenson finished with 9 points, 15 rebounds and a season-high 4 blocks in 46 minutes.
The schedule doesn't get less tough for UCSC as they next take on defending national champion Amherst next week at the D3hoops.com Classic in Las Vegas.