THOUSAND OAKS (12-28) – The Banana Slugs played their final game of the calendar year as they took on Pacific Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. The game was a chance for the Banana Slugs to end their two game losing streak. It was not meant to be, however, as the Lutes led wire-to-wire for a 62-49 win
Both teams lost their last game. UC Santa Cruz lost 73-52 to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks yesterday while the Lutes fell to Illinois Wesleyan University in Tacoma on December 19th.
In the first quarter, the Lutes would start with a 6-0 run capped by a pair of Lacey Nicholson free throws with 8:50 left in the quarter. The closest the Banana Slugs would come would be two, at 6-4, on a Michelle Poole layup with 7:45 left in the quarter. The Lutes would then go on a 9-0 run, capped by an Ionna Price jumper with 5:29 left in the quarter, to push their lead to double figures at 15-4. The Banana Slugs would respond with a 6-0 run of their own capped by a pair of Jasmin Dimson free throws to make the score 15-10. The Lutes would lead 18-12 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lutes would slowly extend their lead. The Lutes' lead would reach double digits once again, at 24-14, on a Megan Abdo free throw with 7:25 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would come as close as seven, at 28-21, on a Poole three pointer with 4:26 left in the half. The Lutes would end the quarter on a 13-3 run, capped by a Michela Edgers free throw with seventeen seconds left in the half, to give the Lutes a 41-24 lead. The seventeen-point lead was the largest of the half for the Lutes. The Lutes led 41-24 at the halftime break.
In the third quarter, it was the defense for both teams that shined the brightest as both teams combined for only twenty-two points. The Banana Slugs would come as close as thirteen, at 41-28, on a Jenna Sparks layup with 7:49 left in the quarter. The Lutes would then go on a 12-0 run, capped by a pair of Madis Green-Hayward free throws, to give the Lutes their largest lead of the ballgame at twenty-five, at 53-28 with 1:17 left in the quarter. The Lutes led 53-30 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs would methodically get back into the ballgame. The Banana Slugs would get as close as eleven, at 60-49, on a Poole free throw with forty-three seconds left. The Lutes would win 62-49 to send the Banana Slugs to their third consecutive defeat.
Poole and Trina Torres both had ten points apiece to lead the Banana Slugs. Poole also had ten rebounds for the double double. Abdo had a game high fifteen points for the Lutes. Dimson and Sparks both had eight points, off the bench, in the loss. Nicholson had thirteen points and Price had eleven points for the Lutes.
The Banana Slugs shot 31.7% (20-63) from the field, 10% (2-20) from the three-point line and was 63.6% (7-11) from the free throw line. The Lutes shot 36.5% (23-63) from the field, 35.3% (6-17) from the three-point line and 50% (10-20) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced fifteen Lute turnovers scoring fourteen points off the turnovers while the Lutes' defense forced seventeen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring fourteen points off the turnovers. Pacific Lutheran outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 48-41 and had four more points off the bench (24-20).
The Banana Slugs will now have eighteen days off before their next ballgame. The next game for the Banana Slugs will be January 15th versus NAIA opponent Simpson University at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Game time is set for 7 pm.