SANTA CRUZ (2-6) – The Banana Slugs started their final homestand of the season as they took on NAIA member Pacific Union College at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Pioneers outscored the Banana Slugs by double digits in each half and won 75-48.
In their last game, the Banana Slugs lost 67-66 to NCCAA member Life Pacific College in San Dimas last Monday while the Pioneers won 79-60 over La Sierra University in Angwin yesterday.
In the first half, the two teams would trade baskets for the first two and a half minutes. The Banana Slugs would take the lead, at 7-5, on a Ben Dorfman three pointer with 17:19 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at four, at 9-5, on an Adam Marlow layup with 16:58 left in the half. The Pioneers would respond with a 9-3 run, capped by a Jayson Marquez layup, to take the lead for good at 14-12. With 3:03 left in the half, Adam Marlow picked up his ninety seventh steal of his career, surpassing Jared Ponce and placing him seventh all-time in career steals. The Banana Slugs would come as close as one on three occasions; the third occasion at 26-25 on a Matthew Nerland free throw with 2:59 left in the half. The Pioneers would gain a double-digit lead, at 37-27, on a Damon Jones layup with fifty-one seconds left in the half. The Pioneers would lead 39-27 at the halftime intermission.
In the second half, the Pioneers would expand their lead. The closest the Banana Slugs would come would be ten, at 39-29, on a Cilia layup with 17:31 left. With 2:15 left in the game, Will Crain recorded his sixty third block of his career, and fourth of the game, to place fifth in the all-time career blocks list. The Pioneers would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at twenty-seven, at 75-48, on a Quinton Hamilton layup with 1:21 left. The loss for the Banana Slugs marked their second consecutive loss.
Dorfman had eleven points to lead the Banana Slugs. LeRoy Anderson had a game high twelve points for the Pioneers. Marlow had ten points and Andrew Jones, off the bench, had eight points for the Banana Slugs in the loss. Kwaun Guerrero and Chad Young both had nine points for the Pioneers.
The Banana Slugs shot 30% (18-60) from the field, 33.3% (8-24) from the three-point line and were 40% (4-10) from the free throw line. The Pioneers shot 47.5% (28-59) from the field, 56.3% (9-16) from the three-point line and 83.3% (17-21) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty three turnovers by the Pioneers scoring eighteen points off the turnovers while the Pioneers' defense also forced twenty three turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring twenty four points off the turnovers. Pacific Union outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 45-31 and the Pioneers had eighteen more points off the bench (35-17) than did the Banana Slugs.
The next game for the Banana Slugs is Saturday as they take on NCCAA member Shepherd University at Kaiser Permanente Arena at 1:30 pm.