Second Half Defense Thwarts Banana Slugs

SANTA CRUZ (11-21) – UC Santa Cruz played their second game in as many days as they took on Pacific University in Santa Cruz. The Boxers held the Banana Slugs to under 30% shooting from the field in the second half as they won 69-54.

Both teams lost their last contest. UC Santa Cruz lost 67-59 to University of Redlands yesterday in Santa Cruz. Pacific fell last night 101-97 in triple overtime to Menlo College in Atherton.

In the first half, the Banana Slugs jumped out of the gate with an 8-2 run capped by a Tyler Berkness jumper with 17:27 left in the half. The Boxers would get back into the game with a 6-0 run, capped by a Bobby Ahern three pointer with 16:05 left in the half, to tie the game at 8-8. The two teams would trade the lead back and forth through a majority of the half. The Banana Slugs would take the lead, at 25-24, on a Will Crain free throw with 3:16 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at seven, at 34-27, on a pair of Berkness free throws with seven seconds left. The Banana Slugs would lead 34-27 at halftime.

In the second half, the Boxers would jump back into the game with a 6-0 run, capped by a Michael Joseph free throw, to make the score 34-33 with 18:27 left. The Boxers would gain the lead for good, at 40-39, on a Bobby Ahern free throw with 14:29 left. The Banana Slugs would get as close as three, at 52-49, on a Adam Marlow layup with 8:37 left. The Boxers would expand their lead to double digits, at 61-50, on a Joseph three pointer with 5:35 left. Joseph would help the Boxers gain their largest lead of the ballgame, at 68-52, with 1:49 left. The Boxers won 69-54.

Sam Gabbard had ten points for the Banana Slugs. Joseph had a game high twenty points for the Boxers. Berkness had eight points in the loss. KC Harrison had sixteen points for the Boxers.

The Banana Slugs shot 36.8% (21-57) from the field, 13.6% (3-22) from the three point line and was 42.9% (9-21) from the free throw line. The Boxers shot 33.9% (19-56) from the field, 44% (11-25) from the three point line and 66.7% (20-30) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced eighteen Boxer turnovers scoring sixteen points off the turnovers while the Boxers' defense forced nineteen turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring twenty five points off the turnovers. Pacific outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 43-40 but, for the third straight game, the Banana Slugs had a double digit advantage in bench points (23-10) over the Boxers

The next game for the Banana Slugs will be tomorrow as they take on Lewis and Clark College at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Tip off is set for 1 pm.