SAN FRANCISCO (2-17) – UC Santa Cruz started their final road trip of the regular season as they took on NCAA Division II member San Francisco State University. The Gators defeated the Banana Slugs 75-52.
Both teams won their last game. UC Santa Cruz won 64-51 over William Jessup University on Saturday in Santa Cruz while the Gators defeated CSU San Marcos 50-48, in overtime, on Thursday in San Francisco.
In the first quarter, the two teams would trade baskets for the first two minutes of play. The Banana Slugs would take the lead, at 6-4, on a pair of Madison Van Zandt free throws with 8:07 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at seven on three occasions; the third occasion at 17-10 on a Trina Torres layup with twenty seconds left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs led 17-12 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Gators would start the quarter on a 6-0 run, capped by a Laura Lawson layup with 8:19 left in the half, to give the Gators the lead at 18-17. The Banana Slugs would take the lead back, at 19-18, with 7:31 left in the half on a Torres layup. The Gators took the lead for good, at 20-19, on a Tatsiana Dashkevich layup with 4:58 left in the half. The Gators would gain their largest lead of the quarter at six on four occasions; the fourth occasion coming with fifty six seconds left on a Kayla Watterson jumper to make the score 31-25. The Gators would lead 31-28 at the halftime break.
In the third quarter, it would be the Gators' defense that would clamp down on the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs would get as close as one, at 33-32, on an Ashley Holmes layup with 8:04 left in the quarter. The Gators would then go on a 13-0 run, capped by a Lawson jumper with 5:19 left in the quarter, to make the score 46-32. The Gators would gain their largest lead of the quarter at nineteen, at 53-34, on a Kiara Ginwright jumper with forty three seconds left. The Gators led 53-34 at the end of three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Gators would hold the Banana Slugs at arms' length. The Banana Slugs would come as close as thirteen, at 62-49, on a Torres layup with 4:14 left. The Gators would again extend their lead and would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at twenty three on two occasions; the second occasion at 75-52 on a Bobbie Johnson layup with twenty seven seconds left. The Gators won 75-52 snapping the Banana Slugs' three game winning streak.
Holmes had a game high fourteen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Felicia Villarruel also had a game high fourteen points for the Gators. Torres had thirteen points and Madison Van Zandt had eleven in the loss. Tatsiana Dashkevich had thirteen points and Ginwright and Lawson had ten points apiece.
The Banana Slugs shot 30% (18-60) from the field, 13.3% (2-15) from the three-point line and was 93.3% (14-15) from the free throw line. The Gators shot 49.2% (30-61) from the field, 33.3% (4-12) from the three-point line and 73.3% (11-15) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced ten Gator turnovers scoring five points off the turnovers while the Gators' defense forced twelve turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring eighteen points off the turnovers. San Francisco State outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 41-34 and the Gators had fourteen more points off the bench (21-7) than did UC Santa Cruz.
The next game for the Banana Slugs will be Saturday as they have a rematch with NAIA opponent CSU Maritime Academy in Vallejo. Game time is set for 6 pm.