UC Santa Cruz drops two at December Classic

Catina led UCSC this week with 16.0 points a game shooting 40% from three
Catina led UCSC this week with 16.0 points a game shooting 40% from three

SANTA CRUZ - UC Santa Cruz's women's basketball team returned home after finals to host the Mission Inn December Classic, but couldn't find a win against two fellow 2017 NCAA Tournament teams.

On Tuesday, the Banana Slugs fell 75-54 to fourth-ranked Wartburg before going toe-to-toe with Catholic University in an exciting 73-67 loss in double overtime.

UCSC falls to 2-8 on the season.

On Tuesday, the Wartburg Knights outscored UCSC 24-11 in the first quarter and kept UCSC from mounting a comeback in the 21-point win. Wartburg shot 52.7% (29-55) from the field and went 13-18 from the line compared to UCSC only hitting 32.8% (20-61) on field goals and going 3-4 from the line. Wartburg outrebounded UCSC 45-25 as well.

Kim Tom led all scorers with 17 points Tuesday. CJ Catina added 15 on a career-high 5-10 from three-point territory.

On Wednesday, the Slugs came out more confident against the Cardinals. Trailing 16-6 a the end of the first, UCSC overcame a 1-10 shooting start in the second quarter to creep back and only trail 25-21 at halftime. In the third, UCSC went on a  14-9 run to take a one-point lead on Catina's three-pointer with under 3 minutes left. The game stayed one possession for the next 13 minutes, but UCSC edged ahead 56-54 on Katilin Stephenson's jumper with 0:24 left in regulation. Mollie Reynolds tied it at 56 with three seconds left and Katie Young's jumper at the buzzer was short to send the game to overtime.

In overtime, a Catina steal led to Young's fast break layup and a 62-60 lead with 4.3 seconds left. Catholic however got a layup from Sydney Poindexter with 0.7 left to tie it and necessitate another overtime.

The Slugs however ran out of gas and the Cardinals went 4-6 from the line and a steal in the last 50 seconds to edge ahead and hold off the hosts and improve to 7-1.

Catina and Young led UCSC with 17 points each while playing 47 and 35 minutes respectively. Stephenson finished with 9 points, 15 rebounds and a season-high 4 blocks in 46 minutes. 

The schedule doesn't get less tough for UCSC as they next take on defending national champion Amherst next week at the D3hoops.com Classic in Las Vegas.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

Katie Sommer-Wartburg
Miranda Murphy-Wartburg (MVP)
Kiana Gray-Cal Lutheran
Kayla Watterson- Cal Lutheran
Payton Smith -Catholic
CJ Catina- UC Santa Cruz