SANTA CRUZ (11-15) –UC Santa Cruz's women's basketball team opened their 2016-2017 campaign as they hosted NAIA Division II #20 Oregon Institute of Technology. The Owls used a 26-13 second quarter to defeat the Banana Slugs 67-49.
UC Santa Cruz finished their 2015-2016 season with a 15-12 record overall. The last game for the Owls was last night as they defeated UC Merced 56-41.
In the first quarter, the Owls started the game on a 9-4 spurt capped by a Morgan Roberts-Ili three pointer with 5:53 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would respond with an 8-2 run, capped by a Jenna Sparks free throw with 2:43 left, to give the Banana Slugs a 13-11 advantage. The two point lead as the Banana Slugs' largest of the ballgame. The Banana Slugs would lead 15-14 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Owls would take the lead for good, at 16-15, on a Ashleigh Vandenbrink jumper with 9:14 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would come as close as five, at 29-24, after a pair of Alaina Alverez free throws with 4:17 left. The Owls would then go on an 8-0 run, capped by a Carly McIsaac three pointer with 1:48 left, to give the Owls their largest lead of the half at 37-24. The Owls led 40-28 at the halftime break.
In the third quarter, the Owls would hold the Banana Slugs at arms' length. The Banana Slugs come as close as eleven on two occasions; the second occasion was at 45-34 on a Michelle Poole layup with 4:48 left in the quarter. The Owls would expand their lead again and would take their largest lead of the quarter at nineteen, at 57-38, on a McIsaac layup with thirty seconds left. The Owls led 57-38 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Owls would hold onto their commanding lead. The Owls would gain their largest lead of the game at twenty-four, at 62-38, on a Roberts-Ili three pointer with 7:35 left. The Banana Slugs would come as close as eighteen, at 65-47, on a Katie Young three pointer with 2:18 left. The Owls won the game 67-48.
Young had ten points to lead the Banana Slugs. Nohea Waiwaiole had a game high thirteen points for the Owls. Three players (Jasmin Dimson, Michelle Poole and Tyler Stewart) had eight points apiece in the loss. McIsaac had twelve points and Bayley Toney, off the bench, had eleven points for the Owls.
The Banana Slugs shot 31.4% (16-51) from the field, 20% (4-20) from the three-point line and was 86.7% (13-15) from the free throw line. The Owls shot 44.6% (25-56) from the field, 46.7% (7-15) from the three-point line and 58.8% (10-17) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty Owl turnovers scoring twelve points off the turnovers while the Owls' defense forced twenty-one turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring twenty-four points off the turnovers. Oregon Tech outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 41-30 and the Owls had eleven more assists (21-10) than did UC Santa Cruz.
The Banana Slugs now start a four game trip on the road. The next game for the Banana Slugs is Friday as they take on Whitman College in Spokane as a part of the Whit Classic hosted by Whitworth University. Tip off is set for 4 pm.