SANTA CRUZ (1-12) – UC Santa Cruz opened the 2020 calendar year as they hosted Bethesda University at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Banana Slugs never trailed as they defeated the short-handed Flames 82-34.
In the first quarter, the Banana Slugs started the game on a 10-0 run capped by a pair of Savannah Powell free throws with 6:13 left in the quarter. The Banana Slugs gained their largest lead of the quarter at twenty-five on an Ashley Kowack three-pointer with eighteen seconds left in the quarter to lead 29-4 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Flames started on a 6-0 run, capped by Lakeia Brown's layup with 8:26 left in the half, to trim the Banana Slugs lead to 29-10. The Banana Slugs would respond with a 15-0 run, capped by a Kowack three-pointer with 1:54 left in the half, to take a 44-10 lead and led 48-12 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Banana Slugs would expand their lead to forty-five at 65-20 on a Zion Gabriel layup with 3:01 left in the quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Flames would trim the Banana Slugs' lead to thirty-eight at 70-32 with 7:22 left. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead at 82-34, on a Lilli Hammons layup with 1:23 left.
Kowack had a game-high twenty points for the Banana Slugs. Amanda Inserra had twelve points off the bench. Kaylee Murphy had a team-high 10 rebounds to become the 11th player in program history with 400 career rebounds.
Denshay Wallace had fifteen points for the Flames.
The Banana Slugs shot 46.9% (30-64) from the field, 53.3% (16-30) from the three-point line and were 40% (6-15) from the free throw line. The Flames shot 24.5% (13-53) from the field, 7.1% (1-14) from the three-point line and 87.5% (7-8) from the foul line. UC Santa Cruz's defense forced twenty-five Flames' turnovers while the Flames' defense forced sixteen turnovers. UC Santa Cruz outrebounded Bethesda 46-33 and the Banana Slugs had thirty-four more points off the bench (38-4) than did the Flames.
The next game for the Banana Slugs will be tomorrow as they take on California Lutheran University at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Game time is set for 1 pm.