Banana Slugs Fall to Regals in Season Opener

Kim Tom had 15 points to lead UCSC in scoring
Kim Tom had 15 points to lead UCSC in scoring

SANTA CRUZ (11-17) - UC Santa Cruz played their first home game of the 2017-18 season as they took on California Lutheran University at West Field House. The Banana Slugs shot 30.2% from the field and lost 63-46.

The Banana Slugs had a 14-11 record in the 2016-17 season which concluded a loss in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament to University of Puget Sound. California Lutheran had a 16-10 record last season and concluded their season in the SCIAC Women's Basketball Tournament semifinals with a loss to Chapman University.

In the first quarter, the Regals started the game on an 8-1 run capped by a Kailee Yan three pointer with 5:38 left. The Regals would gain a double-digit lead at 13-3 on a Yan three pointer with 3:24 left. The closest the Banana Slugs would come would be eight on two occasions; the second occasion at 15-7 on a Kaitlin Stephenson jumper with 1:55 left. The Regals led 15-7 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Regals would expand their lead. The closest the Banana Slugs would come would be six, at 15-9, with 7:56 left in the half. The Regals would gain their largest lead of the quarter at fourteen, at 23-9, on a Natalie Ruhl three pointer with 3:23 left. The Banana Slugs would however finish the half on a 5-0 spurt, capped by a Katie Young layup with no time left, to trim the Regals' lead to 23-14 at the halftime break.

In the third quarter, the Banana Slugs would come as close as five, at 25-20, on a Kim Tom free throw with 7:44 left. The Regals would then go on a 6-0 run, capped by a Yan layup with 6:06 left in the quarter, to give the Regals a 31-20 lead. The Regals would gain their largest lead of the quarter at nineteen, at 46-27, on a Taylor Oshiro three pointer with forty-five seconds left. The Regals led 46-27 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the two teams remained scoreless for the first two minutes and nineteen seconds of clock time. The Regals would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at twenty-one, at 52-31, on a Yan free throw with 6:05 left. The Banana Slugs would come as close as sixteen on two occasions; the second occasion at 59-43 on a CJ Catina jumper with 2:41 left

Tom had fifteen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Stephenson had eleven and Catina had seven. Yan had a game-high nineteen points off the bench for the Regals while Ruhl and Kayla Watterson each had nine points.

The Banana Slugs shot 30.2% (16-53) from the field, 20% (3-15) from the three-point line and were 45.8% (11-24) from the free throw line. The Regals shot 36.2% (21-58) from the field, 33.3% (8-24) from the three-point line and 86.7% (13-15) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty-two Regal turnovers scoring twelve points off the turnovers while the Regals' defense forced twenty turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring thirteen points off the turnovers. California Lutheran outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 45-39 and had forty-one more points off the bench (49-8) than did the Banana Slugs.

The Banana Slugs will have their next game on Sunday against Pacific University at Kaiser Permanente Arena at 1:30 pm.