SALEM, OR. (11-16) Down 11 after one quarter and by as much as 14 in the second half, UC Santa Cruz never stopped fighting against Willamette. The Banana Slugs forced overtime before succumbing 78-70 to start a road trip.
The Banana Slugs fell to 1-2 on the young year.
After being down most of the game, and down 54-41 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Banana Slugs slowly started coming back. With under two minutes left, a Maddy Miller block started a transition that allowed Maddie Brauer to tie the game at 63-all. Two more stops by UCSC-keyed by a pair of Miller blocks- gave UCSC the chance to win, but Kaylee Murphy's last-gasp shot fell short and led to the extra five minutes.
In overtime however, the host Bearcats opened with an 8-2 run for a 71-65 lead that forced a UCSC timeout with under three minutes left. The Banana Slugs however couldn't mount another comeback, going 0-6 from the field in the extra frame, while Willamette went 3-4 shooting and 9-10 from the line to survive.
Murphy scored a game and career-high 24 points for UCSC and had 2 steals. Ashley Kowack had a double-double with 17 points and a career-high 10 rebounds and CJ Catina added 13 points, including 3-6 from three-point range. Kassin Hopkins led the Bearcats (3-1) with 20 points, while Ava Kitchin added 14 points off the bench.
The Banana Slugs finish their Oregon weekend trip Sunday afternoon at George Fox.