BAKERSFIELD - UC Santa Cruz stepped up in competition and got overrun by Division I Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners.
The Banana Slugs, playing in Bakersfield for the third time ever, fell to the co-leaders of the Western Athletic Conference in a wire-to-wire 81-54 loss.
The Roadrunners opened the game with an 11-0 lead in the first 5:02 before the Slugs got settled. Consecutive three-pointers by Sam Gabbard and Simon Mueller-Landsvik kept UCSC close and made it a 30-21 game with 5:11 left.
However, Bakersfield closed the half on a 12-6 run for a 15 point halftime lead, and then had a 19-6 run to gain a 61-33 lead about eight minutes in to seize control. The lead grew to as much as 31 points (74-42) as the Roadrunners comfortably put the game away.
Mueller-Landsvik led UCSC with 14 points while Gabbard added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Tyler Klingenbeck scored 11 on 3-3 shooting from three-point territory. However, the Slugs couldn't keep pace with the hosts in committing 21 turnovers and being outrebounded 40-26.