ORANGE - UC Santa Cruz shot 9-16 from long range and hit timely free-throws down the stretch to defeat old rival Chapman 72-65 on Friday night and end the Panthers' undefeated start to the season.
The Banana Slugs improved to 5-3, their best start after eight games since the 2000-01 season. It was UCSC's first win at Chapman (6-1) since 1999.
UCSC took its biggest lead with under 18:00 to play when Tre Weston's layup gave the Banana Slugs a 48-38 lead. Chapman however came back and tied the game three times in the last ten minutes. UCSC went 3-4 in free throws the last 30 seconds and got big layups to hold off the Panthers and break a four-game losing streak to Chapman.
"The guys executed and played with great effort," said head coach Ron Dubois. "Proud of the stops we got and our poise down the stretch."
Sam Gabbard led UCSC with 15 points. Kyle Creighton had 14 points on 3-4 shooting from three and Andrew Jones added 13 points off the bench going 3-5 from distance. The Banana Slugs shot 52.9% for three-pointers, and 47.3% (26-55) overall from the field.
Gabbard and Tre Weston each had 9 rebounds for UCSC, who outrebounded Chapman 34-30. Reed Smith led Chapman with 14 points.
UCSC continues its three-game road trip with a game at Caltech Saturday.