Buoyed by a 14-0 run midway through the first half, UC Santa Cruz pulled off a gutty 48-34 win over Cal Maritime in their season opener Friday night.
The Keelhaulers stayed close early, opening a 10-6 lead in the first 8:37 capped by a pair of Elizabeth Martinez free-throws. That was their last lead however as the Banana Slugs started their run with made shots by sophomores Kaylee Murphy and Ashley Kowack to tie it at 10-all at the end of the first quarter.
UCSC then took a lead they would never relinquish, building it up to 20-10 before the Keelhaulers scored again with 4:52 left before halftime.
Cal Maritime cut the deficit to 24-16 before halftime, but the Banana Slugs pushed it to a 27-16 lead at the half and never led by less than ten again.
Kowack led UCSC with ten points. Murphy had 7 points to go with team-highs of 12 rebounds and three steals. Newcomer Maddy Miller had ten rebounds and two blocks in her UCSC home debut.
The Keelhaulers' Apollonia Ilalio led all scorers with 14 points to go with 12 rebounds.
Both teams shot 26% from the field, but UCSC enjoyed a 15-6 advantage in bench points. UCSC collected 11 steals as part of Cal Maritime's 19 turnovers.
The Banana Slugs continue their opening weekend by hosting Whittier College on Sunday afternoon.