THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Tonight the Cal Lutheran men's basketball team tipped off in the Gilbert Arena where the Kingsmen defeated UC Santa Cruz 75-61 in non-conference action.
At the start of the game, the Violet and Gold got a quick lead when they went on a 9-0 run, led by Dan Wade as he scored seven of the nine points. However, after a set of turnovers from the Kingsmen, UC Santa Cruz was able to respond with back-to-back three-pointers and a couple of steals to keep their momentum going as they found themselves trailing by only two points at 16-14. The Banana Slugs continued to execute as they went on a 5-0 run of their own after Kyle Creighton drained a three from downtown, which allowed the visiting team to take the lead for the first time at 23-21. With 4:34 remaining, the teams exchanged leads six different times, which resulted in UCSC going into the second half with a 32-30 lead.
At the start of the second half, CLU was able to tie the game up at 32-32 on a steal by Coltrane Powdrill and a lay-up from Arik Smith. With the help of Jared Ponce and Ilan Zur, UCSC was able to regain the lead and expand the gap to 40-32. Together, defensively, Connor McGuire, Martin Flowers, and Guy Lynott, were able to turn an eight-point deficit into a 13-point lead. Aided by the defensive stops, the offense heated up and the Kingsmen finished the night with their second win in as many games.
One of the biggest differences in the game was play on the glass as Cal Lutheran came down with 28 rebounds and held UCSC to 19. The Kingsmen also shot better than 51 percent from the floor tonight, including a 15-for-18 showing at the charity stripe.
Overall, Wade led the Kingsmen with 17 points, followed by Smith with 16 points. Additionally, Flowers finished with 13 and in total five Kingsmen recorded double-figures. Flowers and Smith shared the game-high for rebounds with six apiece, while McGuire and Lynott matched one another with four rebounds and 10 points. Lynott also added a block and a pair of steals as the only CLU player with more than one.
UC Santa Cruz (2-8) was paced by Adam Marlow's 16 points while both Ponce and James Townsend tallied 10. Creighton led the team with four rebounds and Corey Cilia had two of the five Slugs' steals.
Cal Lutheran (3-2) will return to the Gilbert Arena on Friday, December 19 when they will face St. Katherine University at 7:00 p.m.