Banana Slugs Survive Second Half Push to Win First

SANTA CRUZ (11-21) – UC Santa Cruz finished up the weekend as they took on Lewis & Clark College at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Banana Slugs were outscored by fourteen in the second half but they won their first game of the 2015-2016 campaign 73-70. 

In their last game, UC Santa Cruz lost 69-54 to Pacific University yesterday in Santa Cruz while Lewis & Clark won 66-62 over University of Redlands in Santa Cruz yesterday.

In the first half, the Banana Slugs started the game with a 15-3 run which was capped by a Corey Cilia layup with 13:23 left. The Boxers would get as close as six on two different occasions; the second occasion coming with 10:21 left in the half, at 21-15, on a pair of Kupa'a Harrison free throws with 10:21 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would expand gain their largest lead of the half at seventeen on two different occasions; the second occasion at 41-24 on a Sam Gabbard buzzer-beater. The Banana Slugs led 41-24 at the half.

In the second half, the Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at eighteen, at 42-24, on a Will Crain free throw with 19:18 left. From there the Pioneers would go on a 28-10 run, tying the game at 52-52 with 7:36 remaining on a Cory Coombe three pointer. The two teams would trade baskets, and the lead, for the next six minutes of clock time. A layup by Jared Ponce would give the Banana Slugs the lead for good at 66-64 with 1:41 left. Markel Leonard, for the Pioneers, made a layup to trim the Banana Slugs to one at 71-70 with sixteen seconds left. Adam Marlow and Ben Dorfman would make free throws for the final margin as the Banana Slugs won 73-70.

Crain and Sam Gabbard had sixteen points for the Banana Slugs. Cannen Roberson had a game high seventeen points for the Pioneers. Marlow had a triple double with thirteen points, ten rebounds and a UC Santa Cruz single-game record thirteen assists. Harrison had twelve points and Leonard had ten points in the loss.

The Banana Slugs shot 56% (28-50) from the field, 44.4% (4-9) from the three point line and was 52% (13-25) from the free throw line. The Pioneers shot 32.4% (23-71) from the field, 28% (7-25) from the three point line and 65.4% (17-26) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced seven Pioneer turnovers scoring thirteen points off the turnovers while the Pioneers' defense forced eighteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring seventeen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Lewis & Clark 42-41 and the Banana Slugs had five more assists (21-16) than did the Pioneers.

The next game for the Banana Slugs will be Friday as they take on Whitman College at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Tip off is set for 2 pm.