Slugs Zoned Out by Whitman

Sometimes you are in the zone and sometimes you are not. For most of the night, the Whitman Missionaries played a zone defense, completely shutting down the Slugs offense as Whitman won their first game of the year 68-56. Early on, Santa Cruz worked inside out very well to take an early lead. Spencer Wells dropped in a three off of a Tyler Hunt assist to score the first Slug basket. Moments later, Trent Reeves would sneak the ball into Brent Jacobs for an easy layup followed almost immediately by a Nate Mohri steal. Moving the ball quickly, Mohri would pass to Reeves who would find a streaking Tyler Hunt for another easy layup, pushing the Slug lead to a game high of four points with sixteen minutes left in the first half. In order to slow down the fast moving Slugs, the Missionaries then switched to press along with stepping up their zone defense, completely stifling the Santa Cruz offense. For the next eight minutes the Slugs would be held to two points while Whitman changed a four-point deficit into a 10-point lead. Eventually this lead expanded to 14 points before Wells and Reeves would hit back-to-back threes to ignite a 10-point run by Santa Cruz. With 4:10 left in the first half, Santa Cruz was once again controlling the tempo of the game before the smothering Whitman zone pushed the lead back up to 10 points at halftime. With the solid play at the end of the first half, a confident Slug team appeared to take the court for the start of the second half. However, once again Whitman defense controlled the tempo of the game and the shot selection of Santa Cruz. Over the first six minutes of the second half, Whitman outscored the Slugs 14 to 6 to stretch the lead to a game high of 18. Over the rest of the game, the Whitman lead would never dip below 12 points as Whitman's defense and pressure continued to frustrate Santa Cruz. After an overtime loss on Friday night, Whitman won its first game of the year against the Slugs. Four Missionaries scored double digits with Jordan Dickson and Josh Duckworth sharing game high honors with 12 points. For the Slugs, freshman James Townsend had a career best, scoring 9 to share high scoring honors for Santa Cruz with Spencer Allen and Tyler Hunt. Jamien Jones pulled down 8 rebounds to lead the team while Trent Reeves had a game high and career best 5 assists. The Slugs had a season best 38 rebounds, 18 of them offensive to outrebound Whitman by 7. Game stats for the Whitman game are available at www.whitman.edu/athletics/livestats/xlive.htm The Slugs drop to 0-3 for the season. On Sunday night, they look for their first win of the season and first ever win against a Washington team during their annual Pacific Northwest tour when they will play Walla Walla. Walla Walla ran their record to 1-6 after an 82-75 victory over Evergreen State on Friday night. On Saturday night Walla Walla dropped to 1-7 after a 88-30 loss to 3-4 College of Idaho. Stats to that game can be found at www.collegeofidaho.edu/athlete/livestats/xlive.htm