Wolves men rally down stretch, down visiting Banana Slugs

The Walla Walla University men's basketball team overcomes a 17-point defiit with 12 minutes left to take the 79-77 victory.

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COLLEGE PLACE — Walla Walla University fell behind University of Santa Cruz 60-43 with 12 minutes remaining on the game clock.


The Wolves turned up the pressure and outpointed the Banana Slugs, 34-19, down the stretch to eke out a 79-77 men’s basketball victory here Monday night.


Walla Walla Universty improved its record to 3-11 with the victory.


The Wolve’s Jonny Long led all scorers with 22 points.


The Wolves’ Ryan Spady grabbed eight rebounds to tie for game-high honors, and Gerard Dauphin dished out five assists to go with his 18 points.


Ryan Martsouka led Santa Cruz with 17 points.


"We didn’t shoot well in the first half (29 percent), and we allowed them to shoot too well (59 percent)," WWU coach Gerry Larson said. "Yet, we trailed by only five points at halftime.


"A key to the game was that we caused them to have 38 turnovers," Larson added. "And we made a lot of trips to the free-throw line because of the style of game we play."


The Wolves converted 23-of-38 attempts at the line, and Santa Cruz hit 12-of-17 free throws.


Santa Cruz finished the game at 29-for-52 from the floor (56 percent) and the Wolves hit 24-of-62 (39 percent) for the game.


The Wolves’ next play Southwesten College in Phoenix, Ariz., at 8 p.m. Thursday.

UC SANTA CRUZ (77) — Jacob 4-5 3-4 11, Mortezaie 4-8 2-4, Matsuoka 6-11 2-2 11, Konopwlski 1-3 0-0 3, Hunt 1-3 1-2 3, Palmer 2-3 2-2 6, Sanchez 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 1-1 0-0 2, Monson 3-6 1-1 7, Norton 3-6 0-0 6, Brennen 4-5 1-2 9. Totals 29-52 12-17 77.
WALLA WALLA UNIVERSITY (79) — Edwards 4-9 7-10 16, Dauphin 7-14 3-6 18, Long 7-16 3-4 22, Gupilan 1-6 2-4 4, Greenidge 4-7 5-8 14. Alemu 0-0 0-0 0, Urdahl 0-1 0-2 0, Sprenger 0-4 0-2 0. Stimmel 1-1 0-0 2, Spady 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 24-62 23-38 79.
Halftime score — UC Santa Cruz 35, WWU 30. 3-point goals — UC Santa Cruz 7-16 (Mortezaie 3-5, Matsuoka 3-4, Konopelski 1-3, Hunt 0-1, Sanchez 0-1, Monson 0-2), WWU 8-28 (Edwards 1-4, Dauphin 1-3, Long 5-10, Gupilan 0-5, Greenige 1-2, IUrdahl 0-1, Sprenger 0-3). Total fouls— UC Santa Cruz 29, WWU 20. Fouled out— UC Santa Cruz (None), WWU (Spady). Technical fouls— UC Santa Cruz (Matsuoka), WWC (None). Rebounds— UC Santa Cruz 32 (Palmer 8), WWU 27 (Spady 9). Turnovers— UC Santa Cruz 38, WWU 27. Assists— UC Santa Cruz 24 (Matsuoka 5), WWU 14 (Dauphin 5).

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