SANTA CRUZ (11-10) –The Banana Slugs played their third game of the weekend as they took on Johnson and Wales University (CO) at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Banana Slugs would outscore the Wildcats by nineteen in the second half en route to a 63-52 victory.
In the first half, the Wildcats would start the game on a 12-4 run. The Banana Slugs would respond with a 14-8 run, capped by a Patrick Ramos layup with 7:24 left, to trim the Wildcats' lead to 20-18. The Wildcats would expand their lead again with a 10-4 run capped by a Jaerron Hunter three pointer with 2:29 left and led 33-25 at halftime.
In the second half, the Wildcats would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at ten, at 35-25, on an Andray Thomas Jr. layup with 19:36 left. The Banana Slugs would methodically work their way back into the contest and would take the lead at 47-46 on a layup and ensuing free throw by Treyson Keating with 10:20 left. After a layup gave the Wildcats the lead at 50-49 with 7:17 left, the Banana Slugs would go on a 11-0 run, capped by a Keating layup with 3:09 left, to give the Banana Slugs the lead for good at 60-50. Simon Mueller-Landsvik's free throw with sixteen seconds left was the final scoring and gave the Banana Slugs their largest lead of the ballgame at eleven.
Thomas Jr. had 17 for the Wildcats.
The Banana Slugs shot 48.2% (27-56) from the field, 11.1% (1-9) from the three-point line and were 53.3% (8-15) from the free throw line. The Wildcats shot 46% (23-50) from the field, 31.6% (6-19) from the three-point line and did not attempt a free throw. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced seventeen turnovers by the Wildcats, scoring fifteen points off the turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Johnson and Wales 36-27 and the Banana Slugs had twenty-four more points in the paint (52-28) than did the Wildcats.
The next game for the Banana Slugs will be Friday as they take on University of Puget Sound at West Field House. Tipoff is set for 6 pm.