POMONA (12-8) – UC Santa Cruz started their two-game road trip as they took on Pomona Pitzer in Pomona. The Sagehens topped the Banana Slugs 71-68.
In their last game, the Banana Slugs won 83-44 over NAIA member Pacific Union College last Sunday in Santa Cruz while the Sagehens lost 85-74 to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Wednesday in Pomona.
In the first quarter, the Banana Slugs started the game on a 14-6 run capped by a Kaylee Murphy layup with 4:04 left. The eight point lead was the largest of the game for the Banana Slugs. The Sagehens would then go on an 8-2 quarter-ending run, capped by an Amara Chidom layup with three seconds, to trim the Banana Slugs lead to two at 16-14.
In the second quarter, the Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the quarter at three, at 19-16, on an Ashley Kowack three pointer with 9:24 left in the half. The Sagehens would go on a 10-4 spurt, capped by a Renae Tamura layup, to take the lead at 26-23 with 5:23 left in the half. The Sagehens would gain their largest lead of the half at six, at 31-25, on a Madison Quan layup, with fifty-three seconds left in the half. The Sagehens led 31-27 at the halftime intermission.
In the third quarter, the Sagehens would hold the Banana Slugs at arm's length. The Sagehens gained a double-digit lead, at 37-27, on a Tamura layup with 8:52 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 13-3 run, capped by a pair of Maddie Brauer free throws with 5:24 left in the quarter, to tie the ballgame at 40-40. The Sagehens would end the quarter on a 16-7 run, capped by a Kamil English free throw, with twenty-one seconds to give the Sagehens a 56-47 lead at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Sagehens would continue to hold off the Banana Slugs. The Sagehens gained their largest lead of the game at thirteen, at 60-47, on a pair of English free throws with 8:22 left. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 21-11 run, capped by a Kaitlin Stephenson free throw, to trim the Sagehens' lead to 71-68 with 1:06 left. However, the Banana Slugs would get no closer.
Kowack had a game high seventeen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Chidom and Tamura had fifteen points apiece for the Sagehens. CJ Catina had fourteen and Kaylee Murphy had eleven points in the loss. English had thirteen points and Quan had nine for the Sagehens.
The Banana Slugs shot 41.5% (22-53) from the field, 33.3% (4-12) from the three-point line and were 55.6% (20-36) from the free throw line. The Sagehens shot 45% (27-60) from the field, 7.7% (1-13) from the three-point line and 72.7% (16-22) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty-seven Sagehen turnovers scoring twenty points off the turnovers while the Sagehens' defense forced twenty-two turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring twenty-six points off the turnovers. Pomona-Pitzer outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 41-30 and the Sagehens had five more points off the bench (24-19) than did the Banana Slugs.
The Banana Slugs will finish up their Southern California road trip tomorrow as they take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in Claremont at 3 pm.