Women's Hoops to Face Ithaca in Sweet Sixteen
Issue   |   Tue, 03/11/2014 - 23:24

The Amherst women’s basketball team walked out of this past weekend with two NCAA wins under their belts, paving the way for Sweet Sixteen competition. Playing Springfield on Saturday and Hartwick on Sunday, sophomore Marley Giddins posted a double-double in both games, leading the Jeffs to victory.

In Saturday’s 63-49 win over Springfield, Giddins received help from first-year Ali Doswell, who also scored in double digits with 16 points. Haley Zwecker ’16 and Jaimie Renner ’17 added seven points and six points, respectively, while both Jeffs grabbed six boards.

Amherst controlled the play early on, but Springfield was able to find a way back into the game midway through the first half. However, an Amherst 18-6 run left Springfield behind by 11 points going into halftime.

The Jeffs carried the momentum into the second half, netting seven of the first nine points. After a pair of Springfield free throws, the lead was cut to 13. Zwecker then found the long range, igniting an 11-3 spurt for the Jeffs. Springfield made a last effort to shorten the deficit, which included points from five different players. Despite holding the Jeffs to one point and no field goals for the final nine-minute span, it was not enough for Springfield to walk away with the win.

Although Amherst’s bench was outscored 22-13, the Jeffs capitalized on Springfield’s 20 turnovers with 22 points.

“We didn’t play that well in our game against Springfield, but enough people made important plays at the right times to keep Springfield behind us for most of the game” Ali Doswell said.

In Sunday’s game against Hartwick, five different Jeffs scored in double figures to lead the Jeffs to the 82-61 victory. A. Doswell led the team with 15 points, while adding five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Twin sister Meredith Doswell ’17 ended the game with 14 points and five boards. Giddins posted her team-high seventh double-double, while Savannah Holness ’15 and Jaimie Renner ’17 added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Amherst jumped out to an early lead with an 8-4 run, but Hartwick would respond with five unanswered points just three minutes later. The Jeffs, however, set forth on another run, 8-0, in just over one minute’s time. Amherst held the Hawks to a 40-29 edge going into halftime.

Over the first five minutes of the second half, the Jeffs continued to dominate, mounting a 20-5 run. Hartwick continued to make efforts for a comeback, but Amherst’s final 13-9 run sealed the victory. Shooting just 33.9 percent from the field, Hartwick couldn’t hold up against the Jeffs’ 53.8 field goal percentage. Amherst also won the rebound battle, 37-32, and scored 22 points off of 13 Hartwick turnovers.

“Although we didn’t play quite as well as we wanted to against Springfield, we performed well against Hartwick,” Giddins said. “We were hitting most of our shots, and our defense was able to successfully contain a couple very talented Hartwick players. I think that these two wins, especially against Hartwick, are going to give us some great momentum going into the next round. We are all very excited to have made it to the Sweet Sixteen, and we are determined to make it to the Final Four.”

Along with the team’s success, the Jeffs have also seen individual players honored. Ali Doswell received NESCAC Rookie of the Year and hopes to continue to bring her best basketball for the remainder of the NCAA tournament.

“I feel extremely honored to have received rookie of the year,” Ali Doswell said. “There are lots of other players in the league who could have easily been selected for the award.”

Up next, the Jeffs will travel to Tufts to take on Ithaca College in the Sweet Sixteen on Friday, March 14 at 5 p.m.

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