SANTA CRUZ (12-15) – The Banana Slugs returned home to take on Whitworth University in their first game of the UCSC December Classic. The Pirates won 70-60 to break the Banana Slugs' three game winning streak.
Both teams won their last contest. UC Santa Cruz defeated California Institute of Technology 65-30 on Tuesday in Pasadena while the Pirates defeated Southwestern University on Sunday in Walla Walla.
In the first quarter, the Pirates would jump out to a 4-0 lead after an Alexis McLeod layup with 8:44 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would go on a 5-0 run of its own and would take their largest lead of the quarter, at 5-4, on a Michelle Poole layup with 8:06 left. The Pirates would return the favor with a 6-0 run, capped by a KC McConnell layup with 6:41 left, to give the Pirates a 10-5 lead. The five-point lead was the largest of the quarter for the Pirates. The Pirates led 17-16 after one quarter of play.
In the second quarter, the Banana Slugs would take the lead, at 18-17, on a Kim Tom jumper with 8:56 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the game at two on two occasions; the second occasion was at 26-24, on a Trina Torres three pointer, with 3:49 left in the half. The Pirates would counter with an 8-0 run, capped by a Faith Emerson three pointer with 1:26 left, to make the score 32-26. The Pirates led 32-28 at the halftime break.
In the third quarter, the Pirates would build upon their lead and gain their largest lead of the quarter at eight, at 36-28, on a pair of McConnell free throws with nine minutes left. The Banana Slugs would claw their way back into the game and took the lead, at 49-48, with 1:20 left on a Jasmin Dimson free throw. The lead was not meant to be, however, as on the ensuing possession Chloe Quinnett gave the Pirates the lead for good at 50-49 with 1:05 left in the quarter. The Pirates led 51-49 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Pirates would quickly expand their lead. The Pirates' lead reached double digits, at 61-51, on a McConnell jumper with 6:04 left. The Pirates would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at fifteen on three occasions; the third coming at 70-55 on a Quinnett jumper with fifty-two seconds left. The Pirates won 70-60.
Trina Torres had twelve points to lead the Banana Slugs. McConnell had a game high thirty-three points for the Pirates. LaShay Alexander had nine points and three players (Ashley Holmes, Poole and Tom) had eight points in the loss. Emerson had eleven points for the Pirates.
The Banana Slugs shot 35.5% (22-62) from the field, 25% (5-20) from the three-point line and was 64.7% (11-17) from the free throw line. The Pirates shot 46.7% (28-60) from the field, 22.2% (4-18) from the three-point line and 71.4% (10-14) from the foul line. The rebounding battle was tied at 38-38 and the Pirates had four more blocks (4-0) than did the Banana Slugs.
The Banana Slugs have less than twenty-four hours to get ready for their next game. The Banana Slugs' next game will be tomorrow as they take on Earlham College at 5 pm at Kaiser Permanente Arena.