Women’s Hoops Eyes Regular Season Perfection
Issue   |   Tue, 02/07/2012 - 20:30
Rob Mattson
Jasmine Hardy ’13 looks to keep the Jeffs’ streak alive.

After sneaking by Colby last weekend to keep their perfect season alive, the women’s basketball team returned to their more dominant ways with two more double-digits NESCAC wins this week, beating Williams, 80-58, and Trinity, 66-44.

Despite a rowdy Williams’ student section and early full-court press from the Ephs last Wednesday, Amherst took the lead early on after a Shannon Finucane ’12 triple that put them up 7-6 just three minutes in.

Although the Jeffs would lead from that point forward, the Ephs kept it close for most of the first half. Unable to push the lead to more than five for the first 12 minutes, Amherst went up by 10 after senior tri-captain Caroline Stedman’s layup with 8:07 to go.

Back-to-back threes from Stedman and Kim Fiorentino ’12 quickly increased the Jeffs lead to 14, and a jumper and two free throws from Megan Robertson ’15 put the Jeffs up 24 at half.

Stedman tallied 13 first half buckets and Robertson added 10 and five rebounds, fueling a 30-7 run to close out the first half.
Williams came out stronger in the second half, mounting a 10-0 run early in the half that cut their deficit to 47-31.

Responding quickly, however, the Jeffs brought the lead back to 20 after a Stedman steal and layup with 15 to play.
Senior Lem Atanga McCormick then scored six straight points for the Jeffs, who cruised to the 80-58 win.

Stedman led all scorers with 22, while Roberston added 16 and 10 boards in another impressive double-double effort from the first-year. Fiorentino added 11 and junior Marcia Voigt tallied on 10.

That Saturday, the Jeffs faced off against Trinity in Hartford, Conn. Wasting no time, the Jeffs raced out to a 16-1 lead to open the game and never looked back. McCormick paced the Jeffs’ run with 10 of the team’s opening 16 points.

Leading by as much as 26 in the first half, the Bantams cut the Jeffs lead to 15 before the end of the half, trailing 33-18 at the break.

The Jeffs brought the lead back up to 20 early in the second half behind a layup from McCormick and cruised to their 19th victory of the season and 36th straight win.

Stedman again led the Jeffs, netting 16, while McCormick added 14, and Robertson posted 11 rebounds.

Last night, the Jeffs traveled to Wesleyan and posted another win, though the game wasn’t their best. Shooting only 22 percent from downtown, they managed to still cruise to the win, 68-48. Fiorentino paced the Jeffs with 16, while Voigt added 13 off the bench.

The Jeffs biggest remaining test of the regular season will be Tufts, who sits at 6-1 in league play and 17-3 overall.
After facing the Jumbos on Feb. 3, the Jeffs close out their season with home contests over Williams (17-3) and Middlebury (5-13).

Now sitting at 7-0 in NESCAC play and 20-0 overall, the Jeffs are only four wins from regular season perfection, though finishing 24-0 probably won’t mean much to the defending national champs if their dreams of a repeat are cut short.