The Men’s Basketball Banana Slugs defeat the Linfield Wildcats to advance in the Hilton Winter Slugs Tournament.

SANTA CRUZ, CA -- The UC Santa Cruz Men's Basketball Team beat the Linfield Wildcats 60-54 to advance in the Hilton Winter Slugs Tournament at Kaiser Permanente Arena.

The Slugs dominated the game, as they never gave up the lead the whole game, except from the when the Wildcats tie it at 9:02 of the first half. The Banana Slugs outrebounded the Wildcats 35-29 and shot 50 percent from the field to Linfield's 42.

The game was close through the first 15 minutes before UC-Santa Cruz closed the first half with 9-3 burst. Leading 34-26 at intermission, the Slugs eventually built their lead to as many as 20, 60-40, with just under 10 minutes to play. Linfield closed the gap to seven points in the final minute on a 3-pointer by the Linfield's Ryan Potter.

 Slugs were lead by Matthew Ponce, who lead the team with 16 points and five assist. Not far behind in scoring was James Townsend's 15 points, Jared Ponce's 12 points, and Austin's double-double of 11 points and 15 Rebounds.
The win brings the Slugs to (2-1), as the head into the Hilton Slugs Winter Tournament Championship Game against the St. Vincent Bearcats tomorrow at 3PM.
--Gil Castillo