SANTA CRUZ (12-6) – The Banana Slugs hosted Whittier College in the final game of the UCSC December Classic. The Banana Slugs led wire-to-wire as they won 77-50 over the visiting and gained their second win in a row.
Both teams won their last contest. UC Santa Cruz defeated Colorado College 74-42 on Friday in Santa Cruz while Whittier defeated Colorado 68-56 yesterday in Santa Cruz.
In the first quarter, the Banana Slugs would start the game with an 8-2 run, capped by a Madison Van Zandt jumper with 7:50 left in the quarter. The Poets would come as close as three, at 8-5, on a Carly Buechler three pointer with 7:15 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 11-4 quarter ending run, capped by a Trina Torres layup with 1:13 left in the quarter, to make the score 19-9. The Banana Slugs led 19-9 at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, the Poets would trim the Banana Slugs' lead to six, at 19-13, on a pair of Amia Thrash free throws with 8:29 left. The Banana Slugs would expand their lead back to double digits, at 28-18, on a Michelle Poole free throw with 4:13 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the half at thirteen, at 37-24, on a Poole free throw with seven seconds left. The Banana Slugs would lead 37-24 at the halftime intermission.
For the second consecutive game, the Banana Slugs would expand their lead in the third quarter. The Banana Slugs outscore the Poets 17-4 in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the quarter at twenty-six, at 54-28, on a pair of Jasmin Dimson free throws with no time remaining. The Banana Slugs led 54-28 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Poets would come as close as twenty-four on two occasions; the second occasion coming at 55-31 with 8:33 left on a Tarryn Clark free throw. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at thirty four, at 70-36, on a Katie Young three pointer with 3:59 left. The Banana Slugs would win the game 77-50
Poole had a game high thirteen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Buechler had twelve points for the Poets. Ashley Holmes had twelve points and Dimson had ten points, off the bench, in the win. Priscilla Rodriguez had nine points for the Poets.
The Banana Slugs shot 45% (27-60) from the field, 27.6% (8-29) from the three point line and was 71.4% (15-21) from the free throw line. The Poets shot 19.2% (14-73) from the field, 26.7% (4-15) from the three point line and 75% (18-24) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced fifteen Poet turnovers scoring fourteen points off the turnovers while the Poets' defense forced nineteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring thirteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Whittier 54-44 and the Banana Slugs had twelve more assists (23-11) than did the Poets.
The Banana Slugs will have nine days to prepare for their next game. The next game for the Banana Slugs will be Tuesday December 15th as they take on California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Tip off is set for 6 pm.