SANTA CRUZ (1-17) –The Banana Slugs played their final game of a three game homestand as they took on NCCAA member Bethesda University of California at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Banana Slugs outscored the Flames by twenty-four in the second half to win 101-67.
In the first half, the Flames would start the game with a Jeremiah Tardy three pointer with 19:22 left in the half. The three point lead was the largest of the game for the Flames. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 6-2 spurt, capped by a pair of Sam Gabbard free throws with 16:50 left in the half, to give the Banana Slugs the lead at 6-5. The Banana Slugs would have a one to two possession lead over the next six minutes of clock time. With 10-12 left in the half, Igli Pirgu hit a three pointer to give the Flames a 21-20 lead. Gabbard would give the Banana Slugs the lead for good, at 22-21, on a tip in with 9:59 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would gain a double digit lead, at 33-23, on a Ryan Silva three pointer with 6:44 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the half at eleven, at 39-28, on a Gabbard layup with 3:55 left in the half. The Banana Slugs led 46-36 at halftime.
In the second half, the Banana Slugs would continue to expand their lead. The closest the Flames would come would be eleven, at 52-41, on a Tardy jumper with 17:17 left. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the ballgame, at thirty-four, at 98-64 on an Eric Siegel three pointer with 1:13 left.
The win stretched the Banana Slugs' win streak to four.
Gabbard had a double-double with a game high thirty-one points and thirteen rebounds to lead the Banana Slugs. Mehran Nazarian, off the bench, had twenty-three points for the Flames. Silva had nineteen, Tyler Klingenbeck had thirteen and Will Crain had ten in the win. Tardy had fifteen, Charles Wright had fourteen and Gabriel Lemon had ten for the Flames.
The Banana Slugs shot 56.7% (38-67) from the field, 46.2% (12-26) from the three-point line and were 59.1% (13-22) from the free throw line. The Flames shot 42.4% (25-59) from the field, 40% (10-25) from the three-point line and 100% (7-7) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced eleven turnovers by the Flames scoring sixteen points off the turnovers while the Flames' defense also forced eleven turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring fourteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Bethesda 50-17 and the Banana Slugs had thirty-two more second chance points (35-3) than did the Flames.
The Banana Slugs will now hit the road for their next four games. The next game for the Banana Slugs will be Wednesday as they take on NAIA member California Maritime Academy in Vallejo. Tip-off is set for 7:30 pm.