Defensive "slugfest" ends in loss against the Lynx

SANTA CRUZ, CA -- The UCSC Banana Slugs look to ride their momentum into the Hotel Paradox Winter Classic after undergoing a two game winning streak.  They took on Rhodes College at the Kaiser Permanente Arena Friday night to begin the first of two game stints this weekend. A note to mention is Coach DuBois decision to replace starting forward Ilan Zur with Tre Weston, after Zur had started the previous three games. Despite it only being a 7 point halftime deficit, the Slugs ultimately couldn’t cut into the lead. Suffering a 49-36 defeat at home and snapping their winning streak at two.

The Slugs are coming off a 68-62 victory against Northwest Indian College last week. They hoped to continue their winning tradition in the first quarter but were held to 19 % (5 of 26) from the field. Jared Ponce led the team with 7 points at the half and Weston contributed with 6 rebounds. Despite their individual efforts, the Banana Slugs trailed 23-16 heading into the second quarter. They were beaten in about every category at the half as they were also out rebounded (24-18).

In the second half, the Slugs shooting woes continued as they went (6 of 24), just 25 % from the field. Their shooting struggles depleted their chances of a comeback as the game concluded with a score of 49-36 in favor of Rhodes College. They were held to a new season low 36 points. The Banana Slugs shot just 22% (11-50) for the game, which made if difficult to diminish the lead. They also turned the ball over 16 times, which Rhodes capitalized on for 19 points. J. Ponce finished the contest with a team high 12 points. Weston finished with a game high, 13 boards in a losing effort. This is also a career high for him after he was inserted into the line-up to begin the match.

The Slugs now have a record of 4-9 this season. They still have to play George Fox to finish up the Hotel Paradox Winter Classic this weekend. They square off on Sunday as the Slugs look to avoid back-to-back loses again this season.

By Javier Gutierrez (UC Santa Cruz, 2014)