SANTA CRUZ (11-8) –UC Santa Cruz played their first game of the 2019-20 season as they took on Pacific University in the first game of the UCSC Tipoff Classic at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Banana Slugs forced overtime but the Boxers won 115-111.
In the first half, the Boxers started the game on an 11-6 spurt and would gain their largest lead of the half at 30-22, on John Rigatti's jumper with 10:22 left. From that point, the Banana Slugs went on a 26-18 run, capped by a Haakon Ullrich layup with 3:02 left in the half, to take the lead at 48-47. The Banana Slugs took their largest lead of the half at 51-49 on Vinay Narayanam's three-pointer with 2:26 left and led 55-54 at halftime.
In the second half, UCSC would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at 57-54, on an Avri Finch layup with 19:49 left in regulation. The Boxers would then go on a 20-7 run for their largest lead of the ballgame at 75-64. The Banana Slugs responded with a 13-2 run of their own, capped by a Patrick Ramos jumper, to tie the ballgame at 77-77 with 8:58 left. The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the ballgame. After the Boxers made four free throws to give them a three-point lead, at 102-99, Ryan Silva hit the game-tying three-pointer with two seconds left. The Boxers had one final chance but Marcus Wallace's shot was missed and the game went into overtime.
In overtime, the teams would trade baskets, and the lead, for a majority of the extra frame. Pacific's Davis Holly made two free throws with 0:46 left to give the Boxers a 111-109 advantage. Ramos scored on the other end to tie the ballgame at 111-111. The Boxers would score the last four points – a jumper by Terrence Gilder and two free throws by Wallace – for the final advantage.
Ramos had a game-high twenty-five points and a career-high 10 assists to lead the Banana Slugs. Ullrich had 19 and Finch had 17 on a perfect 8-8 from the field in the loss. Wallace had twenty-four off the bench to lead the Boxers.
The Banana Slugs shot 47.6% (40-84) from the field, 39.4% (13-33) from the three-point line and were 73.3% (22-30) from the free throw line. The Boxers shot 65.1% (41-63) from the field, 54.5% (6-11) from the three-point line and 74.2% (23-31) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty turnovers, scoring twenty-one points off the turnovers while the Boxers' defense forced twenty-six turnovers by UC Santa Cruz, scoring thirty-four points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Pacific 40-37.
The Banana Slugs will have little time to rest before their next game Saturday at West Field House against Pacific Lutheran University. Tipoff is set for 3 pm.