SANTA CRUZ (12-22) –Avri Finch had eleven points to lead the Banana Slugs, but the Chapman Panthers rode a strong first half en route to a 71-48 victory in the final game of the UCSC Holiday Classic at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
Three players (Sam Barela, Hayden Moore and Alex Rogat) had a game-high twelve points apiece for the Panthers (8-1). The Banana Slugs fell to 5-9.
In the first half, the Panthers started the game with an 8-2 run capped by a pair of free throws with 15:56 left in the half. The Banana Slugs would respond with an 8-2 run, capped by a Simon Mueller-Landsvik three-point play, to give the Banana Slugs the lead at 10-8. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at 13-10, on a Rashard Thornhill three pointer with 10:36 left in the half. The Panthers took the lead for good, at 14-13, on a pair of free throws by Thomas Doyle with 10:01 left in the half and would gain a double-digit lead, at 31-21, with fifty-two seconds left in the half to lead 33-21 at halftime.
In the second half, the Banana Slugs would come as close as eleven, at 41-30, on a Ryan Silva three pointer with 16:12 left. However the Panthers would gain their largest lead of the ballgame at twenty-four, at 56-32, with 9:34 left.
Thornhill had eight and Haakon Ullrich had seven points for UCSC. Chapman outrebounded UC Santa Cruz 36-23 and the Panthers had twenty more points in the paint (38-18) than did the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs shot 34% (17-50) from the field, 26.3% (5-19) from the three-point line and were 60% (9-15) from the free throw line. The Panthers shot 55.8% (24-43) from the field, 18.2% (2-11) from the three-point line and 77.8% (21-27) from the free throw line.
The Banana Slugs open a three-game southern California roadtrip on Saturday as they take on NCCAA member West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster. Tipoff is set for 7 pm.
2019 Holiday Classic All-Tournament team