THOUSAND OAKS - UC Santa Cruz had a spirited late comeback, but couldn't overcome timely shooting by Cal Lutheran in a 78-75 road loss to the Regals.
UCSC fell to 1-2 while the Regals went to 1-1.
Down most of the game, the Banana Slugs took the lead at 70-68 with 5:17 left in the fourth courtesy of a 12-0 run capped by Ashley Kowack's three-pointer. The teams traded shots the next few minutes until CLU took the lead for good with 1:26 left on a three-pointer that made the score 75-74 and then used free-throws down the stretch to earn the win.
Kowack led UCSC with 28 points off the bench. Senior Katilin Stephenson added a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Cameron Mallory led the Regals with 19 points.
UCSC shot 38.5% (25-65) from the field compared to CLU's 43.3% (29-67). UCSC had a 42-35 advantage in rebounds.
The Banana Slugs return home to host their Thanksgiving Classic next Saturday and Sunday at Kaiser Permanente Arena.