SANTA CRUZ (1-20) – UC Santa Cruz came home for their first home contest of the calendar year as they took on NCCAA member Bethesda University of California at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Banana Slugs hit a school record eighteen three pointers in a 91-63 win over the Flames.
In the first quarter, the Flames would score the first basket of the ballgame on a Sydney Gray jumper with 9:50 left in the quarter. The two point lead was the largest of the contest for the Flames. The Banana Slugs would take the lead on their first possession on a Maddie Brauer three-pointer with 9:38 left. The two teams would trade baskets back and forth over the next two minutes of clock time. The Flames took the lead, at 9-8, on a Tiffany Lucci three pointer with 7:46 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good, at 10-9, on a Kaitlin Stephenson layup with 7:08 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the quarter, at twelve, on an Emily Mitchell three pointer with seven seconds left.
In the second quarter, the Banana Slugs' lead would continue to swell. The closest the Flames would come in the quarter would be fourteen, at 34-20, on an Aoloni Robinson three pointer with 8:58 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the half at twenty-three on two occasions; the second occasion at 52-29 on a Jenna Sparks layup with 1:06 left in the half. The Banana Slugs led 52-31 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Banana Slugs would continue to add to their advantage. The closest the Flames would come would be seventeen, at 52-35, on a Lauryn Dodd jumper with 7:28 left. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the quarter, at twenty-eight, at 63-35 on a CJ Catina three pointer with 4:37 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs led 74-47 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs would hold the Flames at arms' length. With 8:33 left, Catina would hit a three that tied the single game team record for three pointers made in a game with sixteen. On the next offensive possession, with 8:03 left, Savannah Henson would make the three pointer that broke the record. The previous record of sixteen was set on November 25th, 2016. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at thirty-five, at 85-50, on an Aubrey Wagner layup with 6:12 left.
The win marked the second in a row for the Banana Slugs.
Ashley Kowack had twenty points to lead the Banana Slugs. Henson had fourteen, Mitchell had thirteen and Catina had twelve in the win.
Sydney Gray had a double-double with a game-high twenty-four points and fifteen rebounds for the Flames. Lucci had fourteen points and Robinson.
The Banana Slugs shot 48.6% (34-70) from the field, 56.3% (18-32) from the three-point line and were 62.5% (5-8) from the free throw line. The Flames shot 36.4% (24-66) from the field, 28.6% (9-14) from the three-point line and 64.3% (9-14) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty-one Flames' turnovers. scoring twenty-one points off the turnovers. The Flames' defense forced nineteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring fifteen points off the turnovers. Bethesda outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 42-39 and the Banana Slugs had thirty-eight more more bench points (40-2) than did the Flames.
The next game for the Banana Slugs will be January 24th as they take on Pacific Union College at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Game time is set for 6 pm.