Women’s Basketball Starts Season Strong with a Dominant 4-0 Showing
Issue   |   Tue, 11/29/2016 - 22:39

The Amherst women’s basketball team is off to a successful start to its 2016-2017 season. Ending last season with a NESCAC championship and a trip to the NCAA Final Four, expectations for this year’s edition of the purple and white are high.

Senior Ali Doswell ’17 was named a preseason D3 All-American. Last year, Doswell averaged 14.3 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, registered a 42.2 field goal percentage and hit on 36.7 percent of her shots from beyond-the-arc. The team returns both Ali Doswell and her sister senior Meredith in addition to several key newcomers, creating a recipe for success.

The team hosted three teams in a tip-off invitational tournament the weekend of Nov. 19-20. In the season opener on Nov. 19, Amherst faced Albertus Magnus. With a strong showing on all ends of the court, Amherst dominated, beating Albertus Magnus 94-38. The team finished with 61 rebounds and, showing off their depth, an extremely impressive 35 points off the bench.
Ali Doswell led the team in scoring with 27 points, including an Amherst record tying seven three-pointers. First-year Maddy Eck finished with 14 points in her collegiate debut. Overall, it was a solid showing from the entire team.

Amherst’s second game of the tournament on Nov. 20 was much closer than the first. The purple and white looked slightly sloppy in the opening quarter against Babson. Amherst played solid defense, but they weren’t able to finish simple give-and-go plays or layups. Trailing 41-34 at half, a combined team effort tied the game back up at the 5:57 mark in the third quarter.

In the end, Babson’s 19 turnovers were costly, resulting in an Amherst 67-62 win. Additionally, Ali Doswell and Jamie Renner ’17 were named to the Amherst Tip-Off Invitational All-Tournament Team, with Renner receiving MVP of the tournament.
The team’s first road game was at fellow NESCAC little three rival, Wesleyan on Nov. 22. The Cardinals scored the opening two points of the game, but Amherst went on a run and took the momentum to hold an impressive 12-3 lead after nine minutes of play. The lead was enlarged to 36-11 at half and Amherst managed to hold Wesleyan to a measly 19.6 shooting percentage, winning the game 56-30. Ali Doswell and Eck led the team with 10 points each.

On Tuesday night, the purple and white extended their impressive season-opening winning streak to four games with an away win over Emmanuel College. Once again, Amherst started off strong, racing to a 19-11 lead after one quarter.

Junior forward Hannah Hackley keyed Amherst’s offensive outpouring, contributing eight points, four rebounds and both an assist and a block in the first frame alone. First-year sensation Eck also poured in four points and three assists as Amherst opened an eight-point lead.

Amherst’s dominance continued in the second quarter, as the purple and white outscored Emmanuel 16-10. With another strong quarter from Eck and both Doswells, Amherst entered the half with a commanding 35-21 lead.

The floodgates truly opened in the third, with Meredith Doswell dropping 13 points in the quarter on 5-7 shooting as part of a 28-point barrage. Her two steals and a block also contributed to a stifling defensive quarter, which saw Emmanuel only muster eight points.

With the outcome no longer in doubt, head coach J.P. Gromacki played his bench in the fourth, giving every healthy member of the team playing time in the frame. When the final whistle blew, the scoreboard read 69-40 in favor of the purple and white, the team’s third win out of four games by a margin of more than 20.

Amherst looks to further its winning streak at home on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. when they take on non-conference foe Eastern Connecticut State.