SANTA CRUZ (2-11) – The Banana Slugs played their second consecutive game at home as they took on NCCAA member Shepherd University at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Banana Slugs tied a program high with fifteen three pointers made and won 101-62.
Both teams lost their last game. The Banana Slugs lost 75-48 to NAIA member Pacific Union College at Kaiser Permanente Arena on Monday while the Thundering Herd lost 69-63 to Life Pacific College in San Dimas on Wednesday.
In the first half, the Thundering Herd would start the game on a 7-3 spurt capped by a Knigel Key three pointer with 17:31 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 7-0 run, capped by an Adam Marlow three pointer with 15:25 left in the half, to give the Banana Slugs for good at 10-7. The Banana Slugs would gain a double digit lead, at 25-15, on a Corey Cilia jumper with 7:52 left in the half. The Thundering Herd would come as close as seven, at 25-18, on a Geordan Sayles three pointer with 7:34 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at sixteen on three occasions; the third occasion at 42-26 on a pair of Will Crain free throws with thirty three seconds left in the half. The Banana Slugs led 42-26 at the halftime break.
In the second half, the Banana Slugs would expand their lead. The Thunderig Herd would come as close as nine, at 43-34, on a Darius Spates jumper with 17:45 left. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at forty four, at 99-55, on a Sean Gardner layup with 1:04 left.
Crain had fourteen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Key had a game high nineteen points for the Thundering Herd. Matthew Nerland, off the bench, had thirteen points, Andrew Jones, off the bench, had twelve points for the Banana Slugs and Corey Cilia, off the bench, and Tre Weston had ten points apiece in the win. Sayles and Spates both had fifteen points for the Thundering Herd.
The Banana Slugs shot 60% (39-65) from the field, 57.7% (15-26) from the three-point line and were 66.7% (8-12) from the free throw line. The Thundering Herd shot 39.7% (25-63) from the field, 34.8% (8-23) from the three-point line and 44.4% (4-9) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced fourteen turnovers by the Thundering Herd scoring seventeen points off the turnovers while the Thundering Herd defense also forced fourteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring eighteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Shepherd 46-23 and the Banana Slugs had fifty six more points off the bench (56-0) than did the Thundering Herd.
The next game for the Banana Slugs is Monday as they take on NCCAA member Bethesda University of California at Kaiser Permanente Arena at 7 pm. The game marks a Celebration of Diversity at UCSC and is also Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night.