Strong Start Pushes Banana Slugs Past Pioneers

Strong Start Pushes Banana Slugs Past Pioneers

SANTA CRUZ, CA -- For the second consecutive game, UC Santa Cruz allowed less than fifteen points in the first half as the Banana Slugs beat Lewis and Clark College 66-39 on Sunday at Kaiser Permanente Arena.

UC Santa Cruz was coming off a 57-35 win over Lawrence University on Sunday in Santa Cruz. The Pioneers were coming off a 68-46 win over California Institute of Technology in Pasadena on December 6th.

The Banana Slugs would score the first basket of the game on a Leah Parrish layup with 18:29 left in the half. The Pioneers would take their largest lead of the game on their next possession, at one, at 3-2 after a Sarah Anderson three pointer. From there, the Banana Slugs would go on a 9-0 run that would give them the lead for good. The run was capped by a Parrish three pointer with 15:10 left in the half with UC Santa Cruz leading 11-3. The Banana Slugs would gain a double digit lead at 15-5, with 13:58 left in the half, on an Erin Joo free throw. The Banana Slugs would hold their largest lead of the half at twenty nine, at 39-10, on a Parrish layup. Lauren Wood would add a layup before the end of the half for the Pioneers as the Slugs would take a 39-12 lead into the halftime break.

In the second half, the Slugs would keep their lead over or at twenty points through the entirety of the half. The Pioneers would come as close as twenty on three occasions, the third occasion coming at 46-26 with 10:02 on an Ayisat Afolabi layup. The Slugs' lead would expand to thirty, their largest of the game, at 66-36, on an Ashley Holmes layup with thirty three seconds left. Natalie Kelly hit a three pointer for the Pioneers trimming the Slugs' advantage to 66-39, which would by the game's final tally. The win was UC Santa Cruz's fourth in a row.

Parrish had a game-high seventeen points for the Banana Slugs. Anderson had nine points for the Pioneers. Geena Giovanetti had fifteen points, Joo had fourteen points and Sarah Mackey had ten points for the Banana Slugs in the victory. Miyah Leith and Cianna Ochoco both had five points for the Pioneers.

The Banana Slugs shot 42.3% (22-52) from the field, 43.8% (7-16) from the three point line and was 78.9% (15-19) from the free throw line. The Pioneers shot 30.4% (14-46) from the field, 33.3% (5-15) from the three point line and 54.5% (6-11) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty three Pioneer turnovers scoring twenty five points off the turnovers while the Pioneers' defense forced fourteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring eight points off the turnovers. The rebounding battle was even as both the Banana Slugs and the Pioneers both had thirty three rebounds. The Banana Slugs had seven more second chance points (14-7) than did the Pioneers.

The Banana Slugs have two days until their next game as they will take on Calvin College on Tuesday at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Tipoff is set for 6 pm.