It has been 19 days since the Amherst College women's basketball team last took the floor, and after shaking off some rust in the opening quarter, the Mammoths defeated UC Santa Cruz 64-43 to open a West Coast road trip at the D3hoops.com Classic at South Point Arena.
No. 3 Amherst improved to 8-0 on the season, but the Mammoths trailed the Banana Slugs (2-9) by two points after the first quarter before surging back to take a nine-point lead into the halftime break.
Madeline Eck '20 and Hannah Fox '20 both scored in double figures for Amherst, with Eck leading the team with 15 points on 7-10 from the floor, and also grabbing six rebounds. Fox pitched in with 14 points, and shot 2-4 from downtown.
Amherst trailed 11-9 after the first quarter, just the second time this year that the Mammoths have failed to hit double-digits in a period. A Fox three-pointer pulled them to within a point at 6:36 of the second quarter, and they eventually took the lead for good on a layup by Emma McCarthy '19 to make it 16-15 midway through the second quarter.
The lead reached as much as 14 when Fox converted a layup with 1:09 to play in the third quarter.
Jackie Nagle '18 came off the bench and scored all seven points as Amherst ended the game on a 7-0 run to reach their 21 point margin of victory. Nagle ended the game with eight points, while Natalie Nardella '20 grabbed a game-high seven rebounds off the Amherst bench.
McCarthy finished with eight points in the Amherst victory.
Guard Kim Tom led UC Santa Cruz with 14 points, while CJ Catina had eight points and six rebounds. Kaitlin Stephenson dished out a game-high five assists.
Amherst returns to the court in Las Vegas on Friday afternoon with a marquee matchup against No. 6 Trine. Tipoff is set for 3:00 PM Eastern Time.