ORANGE, CA (12-15) –UC Santa Cruz started their two-game road trip to Southern California as they took on Chapman University in Orange. The game featured six lead changes and four ties but in the end, the Banana Slugs won 64-58.
Both teams lost their last game. UC Santa Cruz lost 85-39 at NCAA Division I Santa Clara University on Sunday while the Panthers lost 74-68 to NAIA member Biola University on Sunday in Pomona.
In the first quarter, the two teams would start the game trading baskets for the first four minutes of the game. The Banana Slugs gained their largest lead of the quarter at seven on two occasions; the second occasion at 15-8 on a Jenna Sparks layup with 1:45 left in the quarter. The Panthers would score the last five points of the quarter as the Banana Slugs led 15-13 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the two teams would play back and forth basketball. The Panthers would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at four, at 23-19, on a Rachel Williams layup with 3:37 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would work their way back into the game and would take the lead for good at 24-23 on a Tyler Stewart three pointer with 2:16 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the quarter at three on two occasions; the second occasion at 28-25 after a pair of Jasmin Dimson free throws with twenty nine seconds left in the half. The Banana Slugs led 28-25 at the halftime break.
In the third quarter, the Banana Slugs would hold the Panthers at arm's length. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the quarter at seven on three occasions; the third occasion at 40-33 on a Tyler Stewart layup with 6:05 left in the quarter. The Panthers would then go on a 9-2 run, capped by a Jaime Hum-Nishikado three pointer with 2:35 left in the quarter, to tie the game at 42-42. The Banana Slugs led 47-44 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs would expand their lead. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the game at ten, at 58-48, on a Dimson layup with 4:02 left. The Panthers would come as close as two on two occasions; the second occasion, at 60-58, on a Hum-Nishikado free throw with twenty seven seconds left. The Banana Slugs would hit four free throws down the stretch and won 64-58.
Dimson had a game high twenty-one points to lead the Banana Slugs. Sparks had twelve points and Stewart had ten points in the win. Jaryn Fajardo had twelve points for the Panthers, while Megan Charles and Katelyn Serizawa had ten points apiece.
The Banana Slugs shot 35.7% (20-56) from the field, 21.7% (5-23) from the three-point line and was 82.6% (19-23) from the free throw line. The Panthers shot 32.3% (20-62) from the field, 14.3% (1-7) from the three-point line and 85% (17-20) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced fifteen Panther turnovers, scoring fourteen points off the turnovers. The Panthers' defense forced twenty-seven turnovers by UC Santa Cruz, scoring fourteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Chapman 48-32 and the Panthers had fifteen more points off the bench (21-6) than did UC Santa Cruz.
The next game for the Banana Slugs is Saturday as they take on California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Tip-off is set for 4 pm.