SANTA CRUZ- A thrilling back-and-forth game came down to the last shot, but UC Santa Cruz fell 74-71 to Oregon Tech in their home opener Friday evening.
Freshman Kaylee Murphy led UCSC (0-1) with a double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds. The 15 boards is believed to be a school record for a freshman in her debut. Savannah Henson added 13 points off the bench, going 4-for-6 from three point range. Ashley Kowack scored 11 and Jenna Sparks added 10.
"It felt like our upperclassmen led the way and our freshmen were able to step up and do some good things for us," said head coach Todd Kent after the game.
Nohea Waiwaiole led the Owls (2-1) with 16 points and nine rebounds. Oregon Tech had a 48-32 rebound advantage on the night.
"Their length gave us some problems early," Kent said. "There's some things we can work on rebound-wise and we can deal with people's length just by trying to outwork them positioning wise, but I was pleased with the effort."
UCSC shot 39% (25-64) from the field, including 11-33 from three-point range. The Banana Slugs however were just 10-15 (67%) from the line while the Owls were 25-38 (65.8%) on free-throws, including 14-23 in the second half while UCSC was 5-9 in the final 20 minutes.
UCSC regroups to play Cal Maritime on Sunday with tipoff scheduled for 4pm at Kaiser Permanente Arena.