CHICAGO (2-13) – UC Santa Cruz finished their three game road trip with a trip to the Land of Lincoln to take on Illinois Institute of Technology. The Banana Slugs withstood a late rally by the Scarlet Hawks to win 74-64.
Both teams lost their last game. UC Santa Cruz lost 85-74 to Whittier College in Whittier on Monday while Illinois Tech lost 98-73 to Rockford University in Rockford on Tuesday.
In the first half, the two teams struggled to get going offensively with both teams only having eight points combined through the first seven minutes of play. The Scarlet Hawks would take their largest lead of the ballgame at four, at 6-2, on a Ryan Barnes jumper with 13:24 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good, at 8-6, on a Will Crain layup with 9:52 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would extend their lead to double digits, at 26-15, on a Sam Gabbard jumper with 3:28 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the half at twelve on two occasions; the second occasion at 33-21 on Crain jumper with 1:14 left in the half. The Banana Slugs led 33-25 at the halftime break.
In the second half, the Banana Slugs would hold the Scarlet Hawks at arms' length. The Scarlet Hawks would come as close as four, at 39-35, on a Jason Morris free throw. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at nineteen, at 61-42, on a pair of Will Crain free throws with 7:01 left. The Scarlet Hawks would trim the lead to eight, at 72-64, on a pair of Jake Bruns free throws with twenty one seconds left. The Banana Slugs would go on to win 74-64.
Crain had nineteen points for the Banana Slugs. Anthony Mosley Jr. had a game high twenty one points for the Scarlet Hawks. Three players (Corey Cilia, Kyle Creighton and Gabbard) had eleven points apiece in the win. Jake Digiorgio had sixteen and Bruns had fourteen for the Scarlet Hawks.
The Banana Slugs shot 48.4% (30-62) from the field, 42.9% (6-14) from the three-point line and was 66.7% (8-12) from the free throw line. The Scarlet Hawks shot 44.9% (22-49) from the field, 45.5% (5-11) from the three-point line and 65.2% (15-23) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty one turnovers by the Scarlet Hawks scoring twenty six points off the turnovers while the Scarlet Hawks' defense forced ten turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring eight points off the turnovers. Illinois Tech outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 39-28 while the Banana Slugs had twenty four more points off the bench (28-4) than did the Scarlet Hawks.
The next game for the Banana Slugs will be next Saturday as they take on West Coast Baptist College at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Tipoff is set for 3 pm. Senior Day will be celebrated at that contest.