Santa Cruz Wins Exhibition Game Over Academy of the Arts

For senior Sam Allen, the comfortable confines of Kezar Pavillion led to a career high night as he helped lead the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs to an 82-68 exhibition victory over the Academy of Art University, a NCAA Division II programs. The Slugs were able to hold off the San Francisco program with scholarships and Division I kickbacks. In a game that was tight for the entire 40 minutes, there were 23 lead changes and 10 tie scores. The final margin of victory by the Slugs was the largest lead of the game. The first half was a little tentative as both teams struggled from the field early. With less than 11 minutes left in the first half, the Urban Knights held a slim 12-11 lead off of a long range bomb by William Orton, their leading scorer for the night. Scoring picked up a tad over the next 10 minutes, but the margin stayed the same at half as freshman Roget Romain would hit a three at the buzzer to give the Knights a 32-31 lead at halftime. The second half remained tight with the Knights controlling the lane, forcing the Slugs to move outside until senior Brent Jacobs attempted a monster dunk on a put back with just under 8 minutes left in the game. While the dunk hit off the back rim and rebounded all the way out to mid court, it seemed to signal a shift in the Slugs game. With the game tied at 51, Santa Cruz began pushing the ball inside. 30 seconds after the missed dunk, Jacobs would take a lead pass from Sam Allen to throw down a dunk that did not come out. Two minutes later, senior Kevin Konopelski would curl off of a Jamien Jones screen to hit a short jumper. From then on, the Slugs were inside for the duration. In the end, this would be good enough for the victory. Offensively, Sam Allen led the Slugs with 21 points while shooting 6 for 7 from the field and 7 for 9 from the line. He also pulled down 8 boards and led the team with 4 assists. Brent Jacobs scored 16 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. Defensively, the Slugs stood up to the challenge, blocking 4 shots, including 3 by sophomore Nick Hipwell. The scrambling defense of the Slugs held the Urban Knights to just 30.3% from the field. Czar Robotham (21) and William Orton (18) would go off for Academy of the Art, but the rest of the team was held to just 23 points. The Slugs, with no starter over 6'5, would also win the battle of the boards as they pulled down 47, five more than the Urban Knights. Next up for the Slugs is the annual Alumni game scheduled for 6pm on Saturday, November 12 at the Slugdome. The first regular season game will be against UC Davis, a Division I program on Tuesday, November 15 at Davis.