UC Santa Cruz hung close with fifteenth-ranked Transylvania for one half, but a 23-8 third quarter turned the game around and the Pioneers came back to win 74-61.
UCSC goes to 5-7, while the Pioneers improved to 8-1 in the final game of the Ninth Annual UCSC December Classic.
The Banana Slugs led 30-28 at the half, helped by a 19-15 rebounding edge. Kaylee Murphy got a steal and layup 48 seconds inside the third quarter to push the lead to 32-28. However, the Pioneers responded with a 23-6 run the rest of the quarter to gain a 51-38 lead at the end of the third.
Transylvania never trailed the rest of the game, and matched the Banana Slugs point for point in the last quarter to prevent a UCSC comeback.
Ashley Kowack led UCSC with 17 points, and center Maddy Miller in her first career start had a season-high 12 points on 6-10 shooting along with four blocks. Murphy had team-highs of nine rebounds, six assists, and three steals.
Shelby Boyle led four Pioneers in double figures with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Teammate Ashton Woodard also had a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists. Overall, the Pioneers shot 25-58 (43.1%) from the field, compared to 24-61 (39.3%) by the Banana Slugs. The Pioneers were also 17-20 (85%) from the foul line, while UCSC shot 8-12 (67%).
The Banana Slugs enjoy a break until December 28 when they play Pacific (Oregon) 4pm at Cabrillo College.