No. 24 Menlo bounced back after a tough 76-72 loss to La Sierra Thursday night and came through with a 73-67, back-bounce victory over NCAA DIII UC Santa Cruz in their final tune up before California Pacific Conference.
The Lady Oaks (13-3) led by as many as 12 with just over eight minutes to go, before a late Banana Slugs charge knotted the score at 63-63 with 3:23 left.
Santa Cruz (10-5) officially captured the momentum with a 7-0 run to deadlock the score, but Menlo responded with six straight of their own, before holding off the Slugs for the six-point win.
Jolise Limcaco scored 11 points, Laurel Donnenwirth racked up eight, but it was Carly Tristao’s game-high 20 points and ten rebounds off the bench that really paved the way.
Tristao helped pad the Lady Oaks lead with ten in the first half, and another ten over the first eleven minutes of the second period.
With the score tied at 63-63 and 1:56 remaining, Donnenwirth began the key 6-0 spurt with a go-ahead jumper. On the Slugs’ next possession, Limcaco took over with a steal and a bucket to push the Oaks lead to 67-63. And then after a Santa Cruz miss on the next trip down the court, Donnenwirth scored again with another basket to extend Menlo’s margin to 69-63.