SANTA CRUZ (2-12) – Thirteen days after playing each for the first time this season in Monterey Park, UC Santa Cruz and Bethesda University of California played the second game of their home and home series as played each other at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Banana Slugs came back from seven down in the second half to win 59-55.
In the first game between the two teams this season, the Flames beat the Banana Slugs 87-75. In their last game, UC Santa Cruz won 65-42 over Pacific Union College on Saturday in Santa Cruz while the Flames' last game was the aforementioned game against the Banana Slugs on January 30th.
In the first quarter, the Flames started out on a 5-0 spurt, capped by an Adelina Vanaga three pointer with 8:48 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would tie the game at 7-7 on a Tyler Stewart jumper with 5:03 left in the quarter. Stewart would give the Banana Slugs the lead at 10-9 on a three pointer with 4:12 left in the quarter. The Flames would retake the lead and would expand their lead to four, at 14-10, on an Aunjanay Chambers layup with 2:55 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 6-0 run, capped by a Madison Van Zandt free throw with 1:13 left in the quarter, to give the Banana Slugs their largest lead of the quarter, at two, at 16-14. A quick 5-0 spurt by the Flames would give them a 19-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the two teams would continue to trade the lead back and forth. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the quarter at three, at 23-20, on a Jean Dulay jumper with 7:37 left in the half. The Flames would equal their largest lead of the half at five, at 32-27, on a Donquenae Townsend layup with 1:43 left in the half. The Flames would lead 32-28 at the halftime intermission.
In the third quarter, the Flames would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at seven, at 35-28, on a Vanaga three pointer with 9:29 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would get back into the game and would take the lead, at 41-40, using a 12-5 run capped by a Jenna Sparks free throw with 5:33 left in the quarter. The Flames would gain the lead back and would stretch their lead to four, at 44-40, on a Jonalynn Fuertes three pointer. The Banana Slugs would tie the game at 47-47 on a Trina Torres layup and would take the lead at 48-47 on the subsequent free throw by Torres with thirty seconds left. The Banana Slugs led 48-47 at the end of three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Flames would start the quarter on a 7-0 run, capped by a Townsend layup with 4:56 left, to make the score 54-48. From there, the Banana Slugs' defense took over as they only allowed one point through the remainder of the game. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good, at 56-55, on a Kim Tom layup with 2:55 left. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame, at four, at 59-55 on a Katie Young free throw with twenty one seconds left.
Torres had a game high seventeen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Jonalynn Fuertes had thirteen points for the Flames. Tom had twelve points and Sparks had six in the win. Chambers had a double double with twelve points and a game high seventeen rebounds and Rosa Ortiz had eight points.
The Banana Slugs shot 30.6% (22-72) from the field, 22.7% (5-22) from the three-point line and was 66.7% (10-15) from the free throw line. The Flames shot 27.9% (19-68) from the field, 25% (8-32) from the three-point line and 75% (9-12) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty one Flame turnovers scoring twenty three points off the turnovers while the Flames' defense forced twenty turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring twelve points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Bethesda 53-49 and the Banana Slugs had twelve more points off the bench (28-16) than did Bethesda.
The turnaround to get ready for their next contest will be incredibly short as the next game for the Banana Slugs will be tomorrow as they take on NAIA opponent William Jessup University at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Game time is set for 3 pm. Senior Day will be celebrated at that contest as well.