EAGLE ROCK (1-2) UC Santa Cruz took on Occidental College Thursday night to cap off their three-game SoCal trip. The Slugs and the Tigers traded baskets throughout the game, making it close till the final minute. Yet, the Tigers were able to finish the game with a 59-57 win over UCSC (5-12).
Patrick Ramos started strong for the Banana Slugs, hitting two 3-pointers within the first five minutes of the game, assisting UCSC in getting out to a quick 8-6 lead. There were 7 ties throughout the first half, including the 28-28 tie going into the second half.
Basketball is a game of runs, and the second half was full of them. The Slugs went on a 10-4 scoring run out of halftime for a 38-33 lead. Haakon Ullrich lead the way with the first 5 points of the half, and the run was capped by the 3-pointer from Rashard Thornhill, assisted by Treyson Keating. But the Tigers took advantage of their home court and went on a 13-3 run of their own, taking the lead, 44-52. UCSC stayed focus and came back to tie Occidental at 57-57, with two clutch free-throws by Thornhill. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the game, the Tigers had possession of the ball and wasted away the clock in order to try for the last shot. Occidental senior guard Ryan Kaneshiro was able to find an opening in the lane, putting in the short jumper to give the Tigers the 57-59 lead with :02.2 remaining on the clock. The Slugs had an opportunity to tie or win the game with a final shot that fell short at the buzzer.
Ullrich led the Slugs with 15 points and eight rebounds on the game and Ramos added 14. Jacob Adler added 15 points to lead four Tigers in double figures.
The Slugs next play on the road with an exhibition at Chico State on January 17.