SANTA CRUZ (1-26) – UC Santa Cruz played their final game of a three-game homestand as they took on NCCAA member University of Saint Katherine at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Three players scored in double figures for the Banana Slugs in the 84-50 victory. The win extended the Banana Slugs' season-long winning streak to four.
In the first quarter, the Firebirds started the game on a 6-2 spurt capped by a Briana Lampkin layup with 6:53 left in the quarter. The four-point lead was the largest of the ballgame for the Firebirds. The Banana Slugs went on a 6-0 run, capped by a Savannah Henson free throw with 5:33 left in the quarter, to give the Banana Slugs the lead at 8-6. After Kylie Chan made a three to give the Firebirds the lead at 9-8, Emily Mitchell would give the Banana Slugs the lead for good at 10-9 with 5:06 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs led 15-12 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Banana Slugs would go on a 6-0 run to start the quarter, capped by a pair of Kaylee Murphy free throws with 8:05 left in the half, to extend the Banana Slugs lead to 21-12. The Firebirds would come as close as 26-23 on a Jordyn Martinez layup with 3:55 left. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 13-2 half-ending run, capped by a pair of Savannah Henson free throws with twenty-two seconds left in the half, to give the Banana Slugs their largest lead of the half at 39-25.
In the third quarter, the Banana Slugs started on a 20-2 run, capped by a Jenna Sparks layup with 1:55 left to give the Banana Slugs a 59-27 lead. The Banana Slugs gained their largest lead of the quarter at 66-29, on a Katherine Mauldin layup with ten seconds left in the quarter and led 66-32 at the end of the third.
In the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at forty-two, at 74-32, on a Kaylee Murphy free throw with 8:06 left. The Firebirds would come as close as thirty-three, at 80-47, on a pair of Malea Lopez free throws with 2:09 left.
Ashley Kowack had a game-high nineteen points. Lampkin had fifteen points for the Firebirds. Murphy had a double-double with fourteen points and a game-high eighteen rebounds. Mauldin had twelve off the bench. Monae' Hobson had twelve points and Keondra Smith had nine points for the Firebirds.
The Banana Slugs shot 44.4% (32-72) from the field, 33.3% (10-30) from the three-point line and 66.7% (10-15) from the free throw line. The Firebirds shot 26.3% (15-57) from the field, 27.3% (6-22) from the three-point line and 73.7% (14-19) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty Firebirds' turnovers scoring twenty-four points off the turnovers. The Firebirds' defense also forced twenty turnovers by UC Santa Cruz, scoring fifteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Saint Katherine 60-27 and the Banana Slugs had thirty-four more bench points (37-3) than did the Firebirds.
The Banana Slugs will be on the road for the next four games, starting February 9th at 1pm as they take on University of La Verne in La Verne.