SANTA CRUZ (12-28) – UC Santa Cruz played their fifth game of a seven-game homestand as they took on Grove City College. The two teams played back and forth basketball throughout the entire game and, in the end, the Banana Slugs won a thrilling contest 71-69 in overtime.
In the first quarter, the Wolverines would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at nine at 11-2 on a Laura Buchanan layup with 4:59 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs then went on an 11-5 run, capped by a Savannah Henson three pointer with 1:04 left in the quarter, to trim the Wolverines' lead to three at 16-13. The Wolverines led 21-13 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Banana Slugs would start the quarter quickly on a 13-3 run, capped by a Henson free throw with 6:46 left, for a 26-24 lead. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the half at five at 38-33 on Ashley Kowack's layup with 0:45 left in the half and led 38-35 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Wolverines would start the quarter on a 7-2 spurt, capped by a Jess Bowen three-pointer with 7:26 left in the quarter, for a 42-40 lead. The two teams would trade baskets, and the lead, for the majority of the quarter. After the Banana Slugs took the lead at 50-48 on a Kaylee Murphy layup with 2:39 left, the Wolverines would go on a 9-0 quarter-ending run for a 57-50 lead at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs started on a 9-2 run, capped by a Kowack layup, to tie the game at 59-59 with 5:23 left. UCSC would take their largest lead of the half at three, at 64-61, after a pair of Murphy free throws with 2:27 left in regulation. The Wolverines would tie the game at 64-64 with forty-eight seconds left in regulation. Both teams would miss baskets on their ensuing possessions and Buchanan would miss a buzzer-beater to send the game into overtime.
In the extra frame, the Banana Slugs would lead for the entire period. The Banana Slugs took the lead for good at 66-64, on a Katilin Stephenson layup with 4:15 left and would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at 70-64, after a pair of CJ Catina free throws with 2:48 left. The Wolverines would come as close as one at 70-69 with 1:21 left. On the ensuing possession after a Banana Slugs' miss, Murphy blocked on a layup by the Wolverines with 0:34 left. Murphy was fouled and made one of two free throws with 0:27 left. Kate Balcom would have the final shot of the game for the Wolverines but missed with no time left.
Kowack had a game-high nineteen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Henson had eighteen and Murphy had a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds in the win.
Bowen had a double-double with a game-high nineteen points and twelve rebounds for the Wolverines.
The Banana Slugs shot 40.6% (26-64) from the field, 36.8% (7-19) from the three-point line and were 75% (12-16) from the free throw line. The Wolverines shot 39.7% (27-68) from the field, 40% (4-10) from the three-point line and 61.1% (11-18) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced thirteen Wolverines' turnovers scoring twelve points off the turnovers while the Wolverines' defense forced nineteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring sixteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded 50-38 and the Banana Slugs had ten more second chance points (16-6) than did the Wolverines.
The next game for the Banana Slugs will be Sunday as they take on Franklin & Marshall at Kaiser Permanente Arena at 1 pm.