CLAREMONT - UC Santa Cruz shot 58.5% from the field but could not make the charity stripe pay off in a 83-75 loss at Pomona-Pitzer.
UCSC fell to 5-6.
One day after Caltech edged UCSC courtesy of a huge three-point frenzy, it was free-throw shooting that was the enemy in the loss to the Sagehens (8-1). The hosts shot 19-23 (82.6%) from the line compared to UCSC going just 6-11 (54.5%), including 1-6 in the second half.
UC Santa Cruz was 31-53 from the floor in the game, led by Sam Gabbard shooting 15-22 including 3 three-pointers enroute to 33 points to lead all scorers.
The Banana Slugs opened up a 17-11 lead 8:17 into the ballgame and repeatedly stymied Sagehen comebacks in building a 43-31 halftime lead.
The Sagehens tied it 64-all with 6:55 left in regulation however, and with the game tied at 70 with 2:59 left, the hosts closed the game with a 13-5 run, going 5-6 from the line in the final minute to survive.
Rashard Thornhill added a season-high 13 points off the bench for UCSC. Daniel Rosenbaum led Pomona-Pitzer with 22 points and 5 rebounds, while Micah Elan added 17 points.
The Banana Slugs continue their road trip with three games against Northwest Conference foes this week, starting Wednesday December 19 at Lewis & Clark.