Santos breaks 20-year-old Crusader record

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Santos had a perfect game, scoring all eleven shots she took. Photo by UD Athletics.

In an exciting away game with Centenary College, University of Dallas freshman biochemistry major Kathleen ‘Kat’ Santos, otherwise known as #15 on the court, scored twenty two points and broke a twenty-year-old Crusader record. Santos had a perfect game and scored on all eleven of the shots she made.

Santos described her choice of UD for her athletic career and how she was drawn in by the people – and definitely not the facilities.

“I really liked the team when I came here to visit,” Santos said. “I know that they weren’t the best facilities to look at but it was really the team and the coaching energy [that won me]. I just felt like it was the closest thing that would make me feel at home.”

Thus, last fall, Santos came to UD and began her first collegiate basketball season with a great coach and teammates who continued to make her feel welcome. Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Brianna Sims, was impressed by Santos’ flexibility and eagerness to learn.

“[Santos is] really coachable,” Sims said. “She’s very motivated and passionate about basketball, so that makes it more fun, and because [she is] a freshman she’s really willing to learn and invested in getting better.”

This coachability, tied with a teamwork-based attitude was crucial for Santos in the Centenary v. Dallas game. She scored an incredibly high amount, but Sims also noted the importance of the whole team involved in the game.

“We just started to play fast and really push the ball on transition,” Sims said. “We had twenty-four assists, which is huge in basketball. We were sharing the ball a lot and [Santos] just ended up being in a lot of the right spots, and she couldn’t miss.”

Santos also emphasized gratitude for her team and their support which motivates her to continue improving on the court. Her team-based mentality was really the motivating factor for the incredible achievement.

“I just wanted the team to win and that was really what I was thinking about,” Santos said. “My mind wasn’t really on the fact that I had twenty [points] but just the fact that we were up by thirty.”

The knowledge that [Santos] had broken the record did not come up until long after the game. Impressed with Santos’ accuracy and large volume of points, Sims decided to research alongside the other coaching staff and check past game records, with astonishing results.

“On the bus on the way home our Sports Information Director, Pauly [Ulrich], reached out and said that he thought it might have been a record that was broken,” Sims said. “[Ulrich] didn’t think anybody with over ten field goal attempts shot one hundred percent. So, on the bus ride home, myself, Coach Ashlynn and Pauly were all going back to previous seasons and checking every box score to see if anybody had come close. We went back over twenty years, and no one had.”

The staff announced the achievement on the trip back to Dallas. Santos described her reaction as shocked and grateful for her team.

“I was kind of shocked because I definitely didn’t realize that I hadn’t missed a shot during the game,” Santos said. “In my mind, I had low expectations for myself. So, I didn’t realize that that’s what I was [doing] throughout the game.”

Santos credited her teammates and Coach Sims with helping her to believe in herself and to not let game-day pressures spoil a shot. Bringing practice levels of confidence to an away game was certainly a challenge, but Sims spoke on Santos’ improvement in this area:

“I think it’s challenging, especially when [Santos] has such a big role as a freshman on the team,” Sims said. “I do think she’s gained a lot of confidence from the beginning and that’s been huge.”

Santos’ advice to aspiring or current basketball players was in line with this personal improvement during the season and focused on mentality on the court.

“My biggest advice to people, who like basketball in general or on a competition level, is just to have fun,” Santos said. “I was having fun, focusing on the team goal, and just not worrying stat-wise and self-wise. Just enjoy the game, because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re playing.”

With her current degree plan, Santos is aiming to become an anesthesiologist in her future career. Armed with her evident great athletic and intellectual ability, the future looks bright for this new record-breaking student as she continues her basketball college career.

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