Quaranta fires in 16 for Hamline against Occidental

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For a long time Friday, it appeared the Hamline women's basketball team had a Tiger by its tail. The Pipers (2-8) grabbed a four-point halftime edge but Occidental (6-3) rallied for a 64-55 victory in their opening round game at the D3hoops.com Classic tournament in Las Vegas. 

Alaina Quaranta recorded her third straight double digit effort with 16 points and had a team high six rebounds. Reilly Geistfeld added a dozen markers for HU, playing its first game in 13 days. 

Occidental started quickly, scoring eight of the game's first nine points. Hamline recovered nicely to cut the margin to two points late in the opening quarter and pulled ahead early in the second session on a pair of Geistfeld free throws. The game went back and forth from there with the Pipers going on a 7-2 run in the final two minutes of the half for a 36-32 intermission edge. HU expanded the lead to seven in the third quarter before the California-based school rebounded for a 47-46 advantage after three. 

In the fourth frame, HU went back up by four points at 54-50 with 4:36 left in the game. OCC tied the game at 54 with 3:23 left and then used a basket and eight consecutive free throws to gain the win. 

The Pipers are back in action on Saturday, December 30 against UC Santa Cruz (2-9) at South Point Arena. Game time is 12:00 p.m. CST.