SANTA CRUZ (12-31) – UC Santa Cruz played the final game of the calendar year as they took on Worcester State University at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The game featured fifteen ties and eleven lead changes but, in the end, the Lancers topped the Banana Slugs 60-56.
In the first quarter, the Banana Slugs started the game on a 7-0 run capped by a Suhansi Perera free throw 7:10 left in the quarter. The seven point lead was the largest of the ballgame for the Banana Slugs. The Lancers would then go on a 17-7 run, capped by a Kate Surprenant three pointer with twenty-five seconds left in the quarter, to take the lead at 17-14. The Lancers led 17-16 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the two teams would trade baskets, and the lead, for the entire quarter. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the quarter at two, at 24-22, on a pair of Katilin Stephenson free throws with 4:37 left in the half. The Lancers would gain their largest lead of the quarter at three, at 30-27, on a Brittany Herring layup with 1:13 left in the half. The two teams were tied at 30-30 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the back and forth pace would continue. Neither team would gain a larger lead than three. The Banana Slugs held the three point lead, at 43-40, after a Kaylee Murphy layup with four seconds remaining in the quarter. The Banana Slugs led 43-40 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs gained their largest lead of the quarter at three, at 45-42, on a Savannah Powell jumper with 9:11 left. The Lancers would then go on a 7-2 spurt, capped by a Herring layup with 7:05 left, to take the lead at 49-47. The two teams would again play back and forth basketball for the next four and a half minutes of clock time. The Banana Slugs would take the lead, at 55-52, on a Kaylee Murphy three pointer with 2:43 left. The Lancers would then go on a 6-1 run, capped by a pair of Herring free throws, to give the Lancers the lead for good at 58-56.
Stephenson had fourteen points to lead the Banana Slugs. Kaitlyn Berkel had a double-double with a game-high twenty points and ten rebounds for the Lancers. Savannah Henson and Murphy both had ten in the loss. Surprenant had fourteen, Herring had a double double with twelve points and seventeen rebounds and Sam Maglione had eleven for the Lancers.
The Banana Slugs shot 34.5% (20-58) from the field, 40% (4-10) from the three-point line and were 75% (12-16) from the free throw line. The Lancers shot 48.9% (22-45) from the field, 36.4% (4-11) from the three-point line and 60% (12-20) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty-six Lancers' turnovers scoring fifty-one points off the turnovers while the Lancers' defense forced sixteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring forty-three points off the turnovers. Worcester State outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 43-25 and the Banana Slugs had twelve more bench points (25-13) than did the Lancers.
The Banana Slugs will now have eighteen days for rest. The next game for the Banana Slugs will be January 18th as they take on University of Saint Katherine in San Marcos. Game time is set for 1:30 pm.