SANTA CRUZ (2-4) – UC Santa Cruz played their first game of a two-game homestand as they took on NCCAA member Bethesda University of California at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Banana Slugs defeated the Flames 74-61 on Grateful Dead night.
Both teams won their last game. The Banana Slugs won 70-24 over USCAA member California Miramar University in San Dimas last Saturday while the Flames won 112-28 over California Miramar in San Dimas on January 25th.
In the first quarter, the Flames started the game on a 5-0 spurt capped by a Taylor Smalley layup with 8:08 left in the quarter. The five point lead was the largest of the ballgame for the Flames. The Banana Slugs would respond with a 9-2 run, capped by a Jenna Sparks layup with 2:48 left in the quarter, to take the lead for good at 9-7. The Banana Slugs would lead 16-9 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Flames would chip into the Banana Slugs lead. The largest lead of the quarter for the Banana Slugs was nine, at 18-9, on a Jasmin Dimson layup with 8:47 left in the half. The Flames would respond with an 8-2 run, capped by an Estela Gutierrez three pointer with 5:33 left in the half, to trim the Banana Slugs' lead to 20-17. The Banana Slugs would lead 30-26 at the halftime break.
In the third quarter, the Banana Slugs would hold the Flames at arms' length. The Flames would come as close as two, at 30-28, on a Brianna Davis jumper with 9:38 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would gain a double digit lead, at 44-34, on a Kim Tom three pointer with 5:18 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the quarter at fourteen, at 48-34, on a Michelle Poole layup with 3:38 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs led 55-44 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs would expand their lead. The closest the Flames would be nine on two occasions; the second occasion at 58-49 on an Adelina Vanaga three pointer with eight minutes left. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at sixteen, at 74-58, on a CJ Catina layup with twenty-six seconds left.
Michelle Poole had eighteen points and ten rebounds to lead the Banana Slugs. Vanaga had a game-high twenty points for the Flames. Tyler Stewart had sixteen, Katie Young had eleven and Dimson had ten points in the win. Gutierrez had twelve and Davis had nine for the Flames.
The Banana Slugs shot 42.2% (27-64) from the field, 27.3% (6-22) from the three-point line and were 87.5% (14-16) from the free throw line. The Flames shot 29% (20-69) from the field, 26.9% (7-26) from the three-point line and 53.8% (14-26) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced nineteen Flame turnovers scoring fifteen points off the turnovers while the Flames' defense forced twenty-one turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring sixteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Bethesda 49-46 while the Flames had sixteen more second chance points (20-4) than did the Banana Slugs.
The next game for the Banana Slugs is Thursday as they take on NAIA member Pacific Union College at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Tip off is set for 6 pm.