SANTA CRUZ (11-20) – The Banana Slugs played their third game of the 2016 Mission Inn Classic as they took on Linfield College at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Wildcats led for the majority of the ballgame and won 64-53 over the Banana Slugs.
In their last game, the Banana Slugs won 72-60 over LIFE Pacific College in Santa Cruz yesterday while Linfield lost 70-67 to California Lutheran University yesterday in Santa Cruz.
In the first half, the Banana Slugs started the game on a 9-4 spurt capped by a pair of Kyle Creighton free throws with 14:24 left in the half. The Banana Slugs gained their largest lead of the game at eight, at 20-12, on an Andrew Jones three pointer with 6:50 left in the half. The Wildcats would use a 16-3 run, capped by a Kyle Maloof jumper with 1:06 left in the half, to give the Wildcats the lead for good at 28-23. The Wildcats led 28-25 at halftime.
In the second half, the Wildcats would continue to expand their lead. The Wildcats would gain a double digit lead, at 35-25, on a Vince Romeo free throw with 15:34 left in the game. The Wildcats gained their largest lead of the ballgame on two occasions; the second occasion at 43-30 on a pair of Tyler Watts free throws with 11:39 left in the game. The Banana Slugs would come as close as five, at 52-47, on a Creighton three pointer with 3:12 left. The Wildcats won 64-53.
Corey Cilia had eleven points to lead the Banana Slugs. Romeo had a game high twenty-four points for the Wildcats. Creighton had ten points and Will Crain had eight points for the Banana Slugs in the loss. Riley Bruil had fourteen and Austin Murray had eleven for the Wildcats.
The Banana Slugs shot 32.7% (18-55) from the field, 19% (4-21) from the three-point line and was 76.5% (13-17) from the free throw line. The Wildcats shot 45.5% (20-44) from the field, 41.7% (5-12) from the three-point line and 70.4% (19-27) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced fifteen turnovers by the Warriors scoring twelve points off the turnovers while the Wildcats' defense forced fifteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz and scored seventeen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Linfield 35-31 while the Banana Slugs had seven more points off the bench (14-7) than did the Wildcats.
The next game for the Banana Slugs is Friday as they take on Pacific University at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The game starts the Scotts Valley Hilton Classic. Tip off is set for 1:30 pm.