SANTA CRUZ (11-27) – The Banana Slugs played their final game of their five game homestand as they took on University of Redlands. The Bulldogs came back from a double-digit deficit to send the Banana Slugs to their third consecutive defeat 77-72.
Both teams lost their last game. The Banana Slugs lost 69-60 to Pacific University in Santa Cruz on Friday while University of Redlands also lost to Pacific University 61-59 yesterday in Santa Cruz.
In the first half, the Banana Slugs started the game on an 8-0 run capped by a Corey Cilia layup with 17:16 left. The Banana Slugs gained a double-digit lead, at 16-5, on a Dylan Holler three-pointer with 14:56 left in the half. The Banana Slugs gained their largest lead of the ballgame at sixteen, at 24-8, on a Ben Dorfman three pointer with 13:07 left in the half. The Bulldogs would get back into the ballgame and would come as close as six on three occasions; the third occasion at 41-35 on a Sean Milligan three-pointer with 1:23 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would lead 41-35 at the halftime break.
In the second half, the Bulldogs would continue to chip away at the lead. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the half at eight, at 43-35, on a Will Crain layup with 19:29 left. The Bulldogs would then go on an 16-8 run to tie the game at 51-51 on a Joey Sponheim three pointer with 10:50 left. The Bulldogs would take the lead for good, at 57-55, on a Blake O'Brien three-pointer with 8:36 left. The Banana Slugs would come as close as one on two occasions; the second occasion at 62-61 on a Cilia three-pointer with 5:36 left. The Bulldogs gained their largest lead of the ballgame at seven, at 72-65, on an O'Brien three-pointer with 2:56 left. The Bulldogs won 77-72 to send the Banana Slugs to their third consecutive defeat.
Kyle Creighton had a game high eighteen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Trevor Baker had sixteen points for the Bulldogs. Dorfman, off the bench, had seventeen points and Cilia had fifteen points for the Banana Slugs in the loss. Milligan had fifteen, Sponheim had eleven and O'Brien had ten for the Bulldogs.
The Banana Slugs shot 39.4% (26-66) from the field, 39.1% (9-23) from the three-point line and was 73.3% (11-15) from the free throw line. The Bulldogs shot 49% (25-51) from the field, 58.3% (14-24) from the three-point line and 65% (13-20) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced sixteen turnovers by the Bulldogs scoring fourteen points off the turnovers while the Bulldogs' defense forced fifteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz and scored nine points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded University of Redlands 42-31 while the Banana Slugs had twelve more second chance points (15-3) than did the Bulldogs.
The Banana Slugs will now start a four-game trip away from home. The next game for the Banana Slugs is Friday as they take on Washington University in St. Louis at 6 pm. The game will be the Banana Slugs' first of the 33rd Annual Lopata Classic.