LAS VEGAS - For twelve minutes, UC Santa Cruz held their own and led against the defending national champions. However, the Amherst Mammoths used a 17-4 run to seize a lead they wouldn't relinquish in a 64-43 win in the D3Hoops.com Classic at the South Point Hotel & Casino.
UCSC falls to 2-9 while Amherst won their 40th straight game and improved to 8-0.
"We had our opportunities, but some untimely turnovers and offensive rebounds were just to much to overcome,"said head coach Todd Kent.
"I'm proud of the effort and we will build on it for our game against Hamline."
In a close first quarter the Banana Slugs led 11-9 after Jenna Sparks hit her first three of the year with 0:38 left. Kim Tom's layup 1:20 into the second gave UCSC their biggest lead at 13-9 before Amherst started their run.
The Mammoths led 26-17 at half but UCSC wouldn't go away and cut the lead to six when Katie Young's three-pointer made it 36-30 with under 4 minutes remaining in the 3rd.
Amherst responded however with a 15-5 run that gave them a double-digit lead for good.
The Mammoths outrebounded UCSC 42-28 and shot 43.3% (26-60) from the field compared to the Slugs' 30% (15-50). Tom led UCSC with 14 points. CJ Catina had 8 points and a team-high 6 rebounds while Katilin Stephenson had team-highs of 5 assists, 2 steals and a block to go with 4 points and 5 rebounds.
Madeline Eck led Amherst with 15 points while Hannah Fox had 14.
The Banana Slugs finish their time in Vegas Saturday morning at 10:00am against Hamline University.