Slugs show a winning resolve over Bruins
SANTA CRUZ, CA – After suffering a 49-36 loss against Rhodes College to begin the Hotel Paradox Winter Classic, the Slugs hosted George Fox on Sunday evening. An interesting note is Coach DuBois decision to give the starting nod to guard Marshal Arwine Jr –giving him his first start of the season. The rest of the starting line-up consisted of F-Creighton, F-Townsend, G-J. Ponce, and G-Marlow. The Slugs found themselves in a game of halves once again, something they’re not strangers too. They trailed 28-32 at the half but were able to fight their way back to obtain a 65-62 victory in the Kaiser Permanente Arena.
The game got off to a slow start for the Slugs as they turned the ball over three times under five minutes. George Fox used that to their advantage, jumping to a 7-2 lead. However, it was a pretty evenly contested first quarter as neither team seemed to be able to put together a scoring run. At the half, the score was 28-32. The Slugs had 16 rebounds while George Fox had 17. They also each had plus six turnovers. The difference for George Fox was their ability to move the ball around. They had 10 assist on 13 made field goals while the Slugs only had 5 assist on 9 filed goals, which probably contributed to their halftime deficit. Townsend led the team at the half with 9 points and 5 rebounds. Arwine Jr contributed with 5 points that included a 3-pointer. He went 2 of 2 from the field.
However, the Slugs were at it again as they stepped up their defensive tenacity in the second half. They were able to force 9 steals, aiding their comeback. They shot a solid 50 % (14-28) from the field, getting multiple contributions across the court. J. Ponce picked the shooting slack, going 4-6 from the field and giving him 11 points for the quarter. In addition, the insertion of Arwine Jr paid dividends in the second quarter as he had 4 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assist, 2 steals, and a block-filling up the stat sheet. The Slugs were also able to limit their turnovers to six, forcing 11 themselves. Their valiant effort on the court was enough to mount a comeback and propel them over George Fox, giving the Slugs a 65-62 victory in a tightly consisted match. This marks the Slugs 4th come from behind victory after trailing at the half this season. Meaning, most of the Slugs wins (4 out of 5) have come in the second quarter. Townsend finished with a game high 17 points and 7 boards as the comeback kids do it again in Santa Cruz.
The Slugs have won 3 of their last 4 games after undergoing a six game losing streak. They now sit with a record of 5-9 for the season. Their next game will be after Christmas as they hit the road and head into the Purple & Gold Poet Classic against Whittier. They hope to keep adding to their win column and look to end the year on a high note.
By Javier Gutierrez (UC Santa Cruz, 2014)