LAS VEGAS- Kim Tom scored a career-high 24 points and was named to the All-Tournament team as UC Santa Cruz overcame early shooting woes to defeat Hamline 71-51 in the D3hoops.com Classic at the South Point Hotel/Casino.
UCSC broke a seven-game losing streak and improved to 3-9.
The Pipers opened with a 17-9 lead 20 seconds into the second quarter, but UCSC responded with a 15-0 run over the next 4:59 to take a 24-17 lead. Hamline cut it the lead to two with under a minute left, but Tom hit two free-throws to give UCSC a 32-28 lead at the half. The Banana Slugs extended the lead to 49-36 in the third quarter by holding the Pipers to 1-10 shooting from the field while shooting 6-16 themselves, including 4-6 from long range.
UCSC opened the fourth quarter with Katie Young hitting a three for a sixteen-point lead. Hamline never got within 14 of the Banana Slugs again, who led by as much as 26 when Alaina Alvarez hit a three to make it 71-45 with 2:05 remaining.
"This was a must win for us to try and get back on track," said head coach Todd Kent after. "Senior leadership is so important and Kimmy made sure she did what she could on both ends of the court".
UCSC shot 41.4% (24-58) from the field for the game, including a season-high 48% (12-25) from long-distance. The 12 three-pointers set the Classic single-game team record. Tom shot 8-17 field goals and was a perfect 6-6 from the line. Young finished with 23 points including 6-11 on three-pointers. She was one away from the Classic's individual single-game record and passed Vicky Priuska and Geena Giovannetti on the school career list with 78 made treys. CJ Catina also reached double-figures with 10 points to go with 6 rebounds 3 assists and a steal.
Reilly Geistfeld had 15 points and 8 rebounds to lead Hamline. Alaina Quaranta added 12 points off the bench.
The Banana Slugs are back in action when they open a month-long road trip at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday January 5th.