SAN DIEGO (12-17) In a game that had 8 Ties and 15 Lead Changes, Simpson College (Iowa) hit late free throws to edge UC Santa Cruz 84-83 in The X Invitational at San Diego City College.
UCSC fell to 5-7 after the close loss on Tuesday afternoon. The Storm improved to 7-4.
The Banana Slugs had a 34-33 lead at halftime, but the Storm led in the second half by as much as 13 at 57-44. UCSC rallied and tied it at 74 with under 5:30 left on Simon Mueller-Landsvik's three-pointer. The back-and-forth game never got settled until Simpson's Conor Riordan hit two free-throws with 23 seconds left for the final margin. Patrick Ramos's potential game-winning three before the buzzer hit the rim and Simpson escaped.
UC Santa Cruz outshot the Storm 33-64 in Field Goals (51.6%) compared to Simpson's 31-66 (47.0%), but Simpson had a 11-13 (84.6%) advantage from the line, compared to UCSC's 5-8 (62.5%).
The Banana Slugs return home to host the Holiday Classic December 20th-22nd at Kaiser Permanente Arena.