Banana Slugs Slip to Stags in Opener

SANTA CRUZ (11-15) – UC Santa Cruz started their season as they took on NCAA Division III opponent Claremont Mudd Scripps. The Stags shot over 40% from the three point line as the Stags won 69-55.

UC Santa Cruz had a 12-13 record in the 2014-15 season. Claremont Mudd Scripps was coming off a 67-60 loss to NAIA opponent CSU Maritime Academy yesterday in Vallejo.

In the first half, the Banana Slugs jumped out to a 5-0 lead after a Jared Ponce three pointer and a Sam Gabbard tip in. The five point lead was the Banana Slugs' largest of the ballgame. The Stags would get back into the ballgame and take the lead for good at 8-7 with 16:23 left in the half on a Shelby Lane free throw. The Stags would expand their lead to double digits and take their largest lead of the half at fourteen, at 28-14, on an Evan Davis three pointer with 7:25 left in the half. The Stags would lead 32-21 at halftime.  

In the second half, the Stags would extend their lead and would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at nineteen on five different occasions; the fifth occasion coming at 57-38 on a Lane free throw with 9:56 remaining. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 9-2 run, capped by a Tyler Berkness layup with 7:03 left in the game, to make the score 59-47. Twelve would be as close as the Banana Slugs would come, however, as the Stags won 69-55.

Jared Ponce had sixteen points for the Banana Slugs. Lane had a game high twenty four points for the Stags. Berkness had eleven points in the loss. Joey Malgesini had twenty two points and Michael Scarlett had ten for the Stags.

The Banana Slugs shot 39.2% (20-51) from the field, 29.4% (5-17) from the three point line and was 62.5% (10-16) from the free throw line. The Stags shot 50% (25-50) from the field, 43.8% (7-16) from the three point line and 60% (12-20) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced fifteen Stag turnovers scoring eleven points off the turnovers while the Stags' defense forced fifteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring sixteen points off the turnovers. Claremont Mudd Scripps outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 35-28 but the Banana Slugs had thirteen more bench points (20-7) than did the Stags.

The Banana Slugs will have five days off before their next game. The next game for the Banana Slugs will be Friday as they take on University of Redlands. Tip off is set for 2 pm.