ANGWIN (2-6) – The Banana Slugs finished off their back-to-back road trip as they took on NAIA opponent Pacific Union College in Angwin. The Banana Slugs ended their two game losing streak as they won 65-42 win over the host Pioneers.
Both teams lost to Simpson University in their last game. UC Santa Cruz lost 70-59 to the RedHawks last night in Redding while the Pioneers lost 77-59 to Simpson last Saturday in Angwin.
The first few minutes of the first quarter belonged to the Pioneers. The Pioneers would take their largest lead of the ballgame at four, at 4-0, on a Makana Kaaikala-Caban jumper with 8:31 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the quarter at one on two occasions; the second occasion came at 7-6 on a Katherine Mauldin field goal with 4:13 left in the quarter. The Pioneers would get the lead back and extend their lead to three on two occasions; the second occasion at 14-11 on a Kaelea Alonzo free throw with 1:30 left. Trina Torres would make a three pointer to tie the game at 14-14 with twenty-seven seconds left in the quarter. The game was tied at 14-14 going into the second.
In the second quarter, the Banana Slugs' defense would take over. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good, at 16-14, on a Madison Van Zandt jumper with 9:46 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would extend their lead to double digits, at 31-19, on a Tyler Stewart three pointer with 2:03 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the half at sixteen, at 35-19, on a Jenna Sparks jumper with one second left. The Banana Slugs led 35-19 at the halftime intermission.
In the third quarter, the Banana Slugs would continue to use their defensive tenacity. The Banana Slugs started the third quarter on a 6-0 run, capped by an Ashley Holmes jumper with 7:04 left, to make the score 41-19. The Banana Slugs defense only allowed six points by the Pioneers in the quarter. The Banana Slugs took their largest lead of the quarter at twenty nine on two occasions; the second occasion at 54-25 on a Mauldin free throw. The Banana Slugs led 54-25 at the end of three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs would continue to expand their lead. The Banana Slugs gained their largest lead of the ballgame at thirty four, at 61-27, on a Morgan Tomberlin jumper with 6:41 left. The Pioneers would then go on a 12-0 run, capped by a pair of Alexis Lyers free throws, to make the score 61-39 with 2:58 left. The Banana Slugs would go on to win 65-42 to break their two game losing streak.
Torres had nine points to lead the Banana Slugs. Lyers had a game high twelve points for the Pioneers. Four players (Holmes, Jenna Sparks, Stewart, and Madison Van Zandt) had eight points apiece in the win. Ariel Barnes had a double double with eleven points and a game high eighteen rebounds and Jade Mena had six points for the Pioneers.
The Banana Slugs shot 36.2% (25-69) from the field, 17.4% (4-23) from the three-point line and was 68.8% (11-16) from the free throw line. The Pioneers shot 27.5% (14-51) from the field, 0% (0-6) from the three-point line and 77.8% (14-18) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty-four Pioneer turnovers scoring twenty-three points off the turnovers while the Pioneers' defense forced thirteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring ten points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Pacific Union 36-35 while UC Santa Cruz had eighteen more points in the paint (36-18) than did Pacific Union.
The next game for the Banana Slugs will be another rematch game on Friday as they take on Bethesda University of California at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Game time is set for 7 pm.