SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Cal Lutheran men's basketball team traveled north to compete in a pair of games for the Mission Inn Thanksgiving Classic, and lost a close battle to Whitman (Wash.) 74-68 in overtime on Saturday before righting the ship against UC Santa Cruz with a 65-61 win on Sunday.
WC def. CLU 74-68 (OT):
The first game of the two-day trip for the Kingsmen featured a tough matchup with the Missionaries (4-0) that would take overtime to decide. Whitman held a slight lead for much of the first half, but back-to-back three-pointers by Dan Wade and Adrian Francis put theKingsmen ahead by two, before a Missionaries lay-up tied the game 30-30 at the break.
Whitman opened the second half with a 9-2 run but CLU hung around and kept the game close. Down the stretch, Wade came through with a handful of clutch shots and a Connor McGuire lay-up with 26 seconds left sent the game into overtime.
In the extra period, the teams went-back and forth until a Whitman lay-up with 1:24 remaining gave them the lead for good.
The Kingsmen outshot WC from the field and from three-point range but were heavily out-rebounded 52-28, which led to multiple second chance points for the Missionaries.
Francisled CLU in scoring with 21 points, Wade added 20 with five assists and McGuire pitched in a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.
CLU def. UCSC 65-61:
In the Sunday afternoon matchup with the Banana Slugs, the Violet and Gold jumped out to a big lead in the first half and held on for the win.
CLU took a 12-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game before UC Santa Cruz got on the board with a free-throw. The Kingsmen extended their lead to 17-2 with a McGuire free-throw and the Banana Slugs hit their first field-goal of the game at the 10:43 mark in the first half.
Just minutes later, UCSC hit back-to-back three-pointers to cap off a 17-5 run and cut the Kingsmen lead to just three, 22-19. CLU closed out the half on a run of its own, and a Wade lay-up with six seconds left gave CLU a 39-28 advantage.
The Banana Slugs outscored CLU 33-28 in the second half, but the Kingsmen were able to maintain their lead throughout and secure the win.
Wade led the way with 23 points on 6-of-11 from the field and 10-for-12 from the charity stripe, while Jeremy Sulker-Hall had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. Lanaki Apele added 10 points and four assists as one of just two players to play off the bench.
Cal Lutheran (1-1) will battle the Banana Slugs once again when UC Santa Cruz (1-5) travels to Thousand Oaks for a game on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3:00 p.m.