REDLANDS- UC Santa Cruz opened the game with an 11-0 run and got some timely defense and free-throws to beat Caltech 71-68 in the Lee Fulmer Classic.
The Banana Slugs (4-3) never trailed but had to work extra hard in the last five minutes against a determined Beaver squad. Caltech fell to 0-5.
UCSC opened the game with an 11-0 run and led by that margin at halftime (44-33).
The Beavers opened the second half however with a 15-6 run in 6:20 to get within 2 (50-48). UCSC answered with six points courtesy of Patrick Ramos and Sam Gabbard to push the lead back to eight, but Caltech stayed in single digits the rest of the game.
A three-point play by Ross Carter made it a 1 point game with 2:54 left. UCSC missed shots down the stretch and with under 30 seconds left the Beavers had a chance to take the lead. The Beavers turned it over however, and UCSC broke the press and got a dunk from Gabbard for the final tally. Caltech had one last chance to tie it but their three fell short allowing UCSC to escape with the win.
UCSC finished the game shooting 54.3% from the field (25-46) and 89% (16-18) from the free-throw line. Gabbard led UCSC with 21 points and was named to the All-Tournament team. Patrick Ramos had 10 off the bench along with a team-high 3 steals.
Spencer Schneider had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Beavers. Gee added 13 points.
The Banana Slugs return to southern California next weekend for three games, starting with Chapman on Friday night.