Kingsmen Use Large First Half to Defeat Banana Slugs

SANTA CRUZ (11-28) – UC Santa Cruz wrapped up the Mission Inn Thanksgiving Classic as they hosted California Lutheran University at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The game was tale of two halves as the Kingsmen used a thirty-nine point first half to defeat the Banana Slugs 65-61. 

Both teams lost their last game. UC Santa Cruz lost 77-63 to Whitman College on Friday in Santa Cruz while California Lutheran lost 74-68 to Whitman College in overtime in Saturday in Santa Cruz.

In the first half, the Kingsmen would start the game on a 17-2 run, capped by a Connor McGuire free throw, with 10:43 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would get back into the ballgame with a 17-5 run, capped by a Corey Cilia three pointer, to make the score 22-19 with 7:12 left in the half. The Kingsmen would push their lead back to double digits and would lead 39-28 at the halftime break.

In the second half, the Kingsmen would hold the Banana Slugs at arms' length for the majority of the half. The Kingsmen would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at seventeen, at 54-37, on a pair of Dan Wade free throws with 11:38 left. The Banana Slugs would work their way back into the ballgame and would come as close as three, at 64-61, on an Adam Marlow free throw with eleven seconds left. The Kingsmen would win the game 65-61.  

Cilia had a career high seventeen points, off the bench, for the Banana Slugs. Wade had a game high twenty three points for the Kingsmen. Ilan Zur had thirteen points in the loss. Sulker-Hall had fifteen points and Lanaki Apele had ten for the Kingsmen.

The Banana Slugs shot 38.3% (18-47) from the field, 36.4% (8-22) from the three point line and was 68% (17-25) from the free throw line. The Kingsmen shot 41.7% (15-36) from the field, 33.3% (2-6) from the three point line and 75% (33-44) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced sixteen turnovers by the Kingsmen scoring eighteen points off the turnovers while the Kingsmen defense forced sixteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring fifteen points off the turnovers. California Lutheran outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 34-27 while the Banana Slugs had twenty two more bench points (36-14) than did the Kingsmen.

The next game for the Banana Slugs will be Saturday as they hit the road to take on California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Tip off is set for 5 pm.