PORTLAND (12-19) – The Banana Slugs started a three-game trip to the Pacific Northwest as they took on Lewis and Clark College in Portland. The Banana Slugs outscored the Pioneers by twelve in the second half en route to a 77-74 victory.
In the first half, the two teams would trade baskets for the first three and a half minutes of clock time. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the half at three, at 9-6, on a Sam Gabbard layup with 16:25 left in the half. The Pioneers would then go on a 7-2 run, capped by an Andrew Panicacci three pointer with 13:46 left in the half, to give the Pioneers a 13-11 lead. After the Banana Slugs gained the lead, at 16-13, on a Vinay Narayanam three pointer, the Pioneers would go on an 8-0 run, capped by a Matt Brown layup, to take a 21-16 lead. The Pioneers would gain a double-digit lead, at 39-29, on a Mak Hutson three pointer with 1:30 left in the half. The Pioneers would lead 41-32 at halftime.
In the second half, the Banana Slugs would work their way methodically back into the ballgame. The Pioneers would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at fourteen, at 46-32, on a Kody Kennedy layup with 18:30 left. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 24-9 run, capped by a Hakkon Ullrich layup with 9:27 left, to give the Banana Slugs a 56-55 lead. The Pioneers would respond with an 8-3 run of their own, capped by a pair of Kyle Owens free throws with 6:23 left, to give the Pioneers a 64-59 lead. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 7-2 run, capped by a Russell Taylor layup with 3:24 left, to tie the game at 66-66. The two teams would trade baskets back and forth for the next two minutes of clock time. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good, at 73-70, on a Gabbard three pointer with thirty-nine seconds left. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the game at four, at 74-70, on a Simon Mueller-Landsvik free throw with twenty-two seconds left.
The win broke the Banana Slugs' three game losing streak.
Will Crain and Gabbard both had a game-high sixteen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Gabbard also had a double-double as he pulled down ten rebounds. Hutson had fifteen points for the Pioneers. Russell Taylor had fifteen and Mueller-Landsvik had twelve for the Banana Slugs in the win. Daelon Floyd had fourteen, Kennedy had twelve and Owens had ten for the Pioneers.
The Banana Slugs shot 43.5% (27-62) from the field, 29.4% (5-17) from the three-point line and were 69.2% (18-26) from the free throw line. The Pioneers shot 47% (31-66) from the field, 26.3% (5-19) from the three-point line and 100% (7-7) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced eight turnovers by the Pioneers scoring eleven points off the turnovers while the Pioneers' defense forced fourteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring sixteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Lewis and Clark 39-26 and the Banana Slugs had six more second chance points (14-8) than did the Pioneers.
The next game for the Banana Slugs will be tomorrow as they take on Willamette University in Salem. Tip-off is set for 2 pm.