Willamette Falls to UC-Santa Cruz, 61-38, in Women's Basketball

Banana Slugs Build 35-13 Halftime Lead

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

PORTLAND, ORE. -- The University of California-Santa Cruz placed three players in double figures and held Willamette University to 31.0% field goal shooting, as the Banana Slugs defeated the Bearcats, 61-38, in the second round of the Bon Appetit Tournament at Lewis & Clark College on Sunday, Nov. 18.

Both teams were playing their second tournament game in two days and their third game overall in four days. UCSC improved to 1-1 in the tournament and to 2-1 overall. Willamette fell to 0-2 in the tournament and to 0-3 on the season.

The Banana Slugs built a 35-13 lead in the first half. Willamette never got closer than 17 points during the final 20 minutes.

UCSC scored the game's first four points and held a 12-4 lead with 14:15 left in the first half. Sarah Mackey scored eight of the first 10 points. The Banana Slugs were in front 22-11 with 7:22 remaining in the half following a 3-point basket by Melody Barooni.

The UC-Santa Cruz lead was 24-13 after Katelyn Nordlien (So., F, Salem, OR/North Salem HS) of Willamette scored on a layup with 2:59 to go in the half. UCSC tacked on an 11-0 run to extend the margin beyond 20 points at halftime.

An additional four points in the first two minutes of the second half gave the Slugs a 39-13 advantage. The Bearcats tallied the next six points on two 3-pointers by Sophie Wilson (Sr., G, Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) but couldn't sustain the rally, and UC-Santa Cruz built a 50-23 lead with 12:03 left in the game.

Willamette countered with nine consecutive points to start an 11-1 run that reduced the lead to 51-34 at the 6:11 mark. The only point for UC-Santa Cruz during that six-minute stretch was recorded by Mackey when she hit 1 of 2 free throws with 6:30 on the clock.

A layup by Rye Ortiz with 5:45 left, plus a layup and foul shot by Geena Giovannetti with 4:47 remaining, gave UCSC a 56-34 led and prevented WU from continuing the comeback.

Mackey paced the Banana Slugs with 15 points, six rebounds, five steals and two blocked shots. She was 6 of 8 on field goals. Mackey's five steals helped UCSC register a total of 19 steals, while forcing Willamette into 32 turnovers.

Ortiz and Giovannetti each finished with 12 points. Ortiz also grabbed five rebounds and provided three assists. Giovannetti was 4 for 5 from the field and 4 for 5 at the line.

Leah Parrish led UC-Santa Cruz in rebounding, as she hauled down seven boards.

For the Bearcats, Alexa Beeson (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) scored nine points, hit 3 of 4 field goals and made 3 of 3 free throws. She also hauled down five rebounds, helping the Bearcats achieve a 42-35 rebounding lead. Julia Brand (So., F, Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School) topped Willamette on the glass with six rebounds.

Mackenzie Lamson (Jr., F, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds for the Bearcats. Jojo DeLong (So., G, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) earned three points, four boards, four assists and two steals.

UC-Santa Cruz connected on 22 of 52 field goals (42.3%), but made only 3 of 14 from 3-point range (21.4%). Willamette shot 31.0% from the field (13 of 42), while hitting 3 of 9 three-point attempts.

In the final game of the tournament on Sunday, Lewis & Clark defeated Corban University, 82-54. L&C was 2-0 during the tournament, while Corban went 1-1.

Willamette will compete at the Capital City Classic, hosted by crosstown rival Corban, on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24. The Bearcats will open the tournament by taking on Western Oregon University on Friday at 12 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Univ. of California-Santa Cruz 61
Willamette University 38

Alexa Beesen hit 3 of 4 field goals and 3 of 3 free throws to score nine points against UC-Santa Cruz.

Alexa Beesen hit 3 of 4 field goals and 3 of 3 free throws to score nine points against UC-Santa Cruz.