WHITTIER, CA -- UC Santa Cruz finished the calendar year Tuesday as they took on Salem State University. The game was the final game for the Banana Slugs' participation in the Purple and Gold Classic hosted by Whittier College. The Banana Slugs used a powerful offensive showing in the first half to win 75-41 over the Vikings.
UC Santa Cruz was coming off a 72-54 win over La Sierra University on Monday in Whittier. Salem State was coming off a 76-55 loss to Whittier College on Monday in Whittier.
The Banana Slugs would lead wire to wire in this contest. The Banana Slugs would score the first three points of the game on a Sara Crane free throw and a Leah Parrish jumper. The Vikings would close the lead to one, at 3-2, on a pair of Malissa Saad free throws with 17:52 left. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 9-0 run, capped by a Sarah Mackey jumper with 14:54 left in the half, to give the Banana Slugs a double digit lead at 12-2. The Vikings would close the Banana Slugs' lead to eight, at 21-13, on a Maggie Reilly jumper with 9:29 left in the half. From that point, the Banana Slugs would go on a half ending 31-4 run, capped by a pair of Tyler Stewart free throws with five seconds left in the half, to give the Banana Slugs a 52-17 lead going into the halftime break.
The Banana Slugs would keep their large double digit lead through the entirety of the second half. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the game, at forty two, at 61-19, with 15:16 left on a Geena Giovannetti layup. The Vikings would get as close as thirty four, at 75-41, on an Olivia Summit free throw with 1:59 left in the game. Neither team would score a basket in the time remaining as the Banana Slugs wrapped up the 2014 calendar year with a 75-41 win.
Parrish had a double double with fourteen points and eleven rebounds. Rachael Carter had a game high fifteen points for the Vikings. Giovannetti had twelve points, Stewart, off the bench, had eleven points and Crane had ten points for the Banana Slugs in the win. Reilly and Summit both had six points for the Vikings.
The Banana Slugs will finish their time in Southern California on Thursday as they take on University of La Verne in La Verne marking their first game of 2015. Tipoff is set for 2 pm.