UC Santa Cruz Runs Past Bearcats, 77-51

Bearcats Face La Verne Tomorrow at the Hampton Inn Classic III

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SANTA CRUZ, CALIF. -- Willamette University led the University of California Santa Cruz 29-28 with 6:48 remaining in the first half, but the Banana Slugs ended the half with an 18-5 run and never looked back, easing to a 77-51 victory over the Bearcats in the first game of the Hampton Inn Classic III on Monday, Dec. 16.

UCSC, the tournament hosts, improved to 6-4 on the season. Willamette fell to 1-6.

The Bearcats' Rebecca Josephson (Sr., G, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Campo HS) achieved her second double-double of the season, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead all players in both statistical categories. Katie Kalugin (Jr., G, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) added 15 points and seven boards for Willamette.

The Banana Slugs placed three players in double figures. Ryane Ortiz had 16 points to lead UCSC, while Sarah Mackey added 14 and Leah Parrish contributed 10.

WU controlled most of the game's opening 10 minutes, largely behind great play from Josephson and Kalugin.

Though UCSC scored the game's opening basket, Kalugin connected on a layup and a jump shot to give Willamette a 4-2 lead. Josephson then scored six straight points, pushing the Bearcats' lead to 10-4 at the 15:19 mark.

Willamette pushed its lead to 17-7 on a three-pointer from Kylie Towry (Fr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) with 13:36 remaining in the first half. When Savanna Steele (Fr., PG, West Richland, WA/Hanford HS) hit a triple of her own with 11:12 left, the Bearcats' lead stood at 20-11.

The Banana Slugs rallied with eight quick points before Josephson made a layup at 9:25 to stem the tide. The teams traded baskets over the following three minutes, with a pair of Josephson free throws giving the Bearcats a 29-28 lead at the 6:48 mark.

From there, UCSC put together 10-1 run, aided by two Willamette turnovers. Alex Wert (Fr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's School) made a layup to cut the Banana Slugs' lead to 38-32 with 4:37 left, but UCSC went on an 8-2 spurt to close the half, grabbing a 46-34 advantage at the break.

The Banana Slugs scored the first six points of the second half, and Willamette got no closer than 14 points the rest of the game.

UCSC's defense held the Bearcats to 35.3% shooting (18 of 51) during the game, including just 2 of 12 (16.7%) on three-pointers. The Banana Slugs shot 42.9% (30 of 70) from the field, including 6 of 23 (26.1%) from three-point range.

Willamette was forced by UCSC into 23 turnovers, resulting in 28 Banana Slug points. The Bearcats achieved 13 points off 12 Banana Slug turnovers. UCSC also led the Bearcats in points in the paint (44-24), second chance points (16-11), fast break points (12-2), and bench points (31-5).

Both teams shot well from the foul line, with Willamette at 72.2% (13 of 18) and UCSC at 91.7% (11 of 12).

The Bearcats will take on the University of La Verne in their second game at the Hampton Inn Classic III tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 1 p.m. (PST). Earlier this year at the Bon Appetit Tournament in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 15, the Leopards rallied for a 68-65 victory over Willamette.

BOX SCORE

U. of California Santa Cruz 77
Willamette University 51

Hampton Inn Classic III

Rebecca Josephson achieved her second double-double this year, leading all players with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Rebecca Josephson achieved her second double-double this year, leading all players with 22 points and 10 rebounds.