Women’s Basketball Advances to 11th Straight Sweet Sixteen
Issue   |   Tue, 03/06/2018 - 20:58
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Hannah Fox ’20 scored 18 points against Saint Joseph’s College.

This weekend, the women’s basketball team topped both Becker College and Saint Joseph’s College to reach the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament.

Amherst, the reigning national champions, entered NCAA action ready to play and defend their title.

The Mammoths jumped out to an early 19-2 first quarter lead in Friday’s game against Becker.

This momentum carried into the second half, as Amherst held the visitors without a field goal in the second half. In all, the Mammoths put on a dominant performance on both sides of the court, beating Becker by a score of 61-12.

Guard Emma McCarthy ’19E had a very efficient outing, going 5-5 from the field en route to scoring a game-high 11 points in just 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, sophomore Madeline Eck was dominant at both ends of court, posting 10 points and five steals.

Given its large lead from the start, Amherst relied heavily on its bench, with each non-starter playing over 20 minutes. This proved be a wise move on the part of coach G.P. Gromacki, who was able to rest some of his key players for Sunday’s match against St. Joseph’s.

Coming off of a Friday victory against Old Westbury, the St. Joseph’s Monks were eager to continue their winning ways in the Round of 32 matchup against the favored Mammoths.

The Monks were up to the challenge of facing Amherst right from the start, keeping the deficit to just one point at halftime.

However, the Mammoths relied on a big second half to power past the Monks, 53-47, and move on to the third round of tournament play.

St. Joseph’s relied heavily upon junior guard Kelsi McNamara, who put up a game-high 30 points on 11-21 shooting from the field.

In order to overcome the efforts of McNamara and the Monks, Amherst relied on stellar guard play of its own.

Hannah Fox ’20 had a huge night, logging 40 minutes and putting up a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Fox was especially effective in the fourth quarter, scoring nine of her 18 points in crunch time.

Classmate Eck was right by her side, also logging 40 minutes and totaling 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Along with these two standout performances, the Mammoths relied heavily upon solid defense and team rebounding to propel them to victory.

Amherst grabbed several big offensive boards down the stretch and used the resulting second-chance points to extend its lead.

Ultimately, the Mammoths emerged from the hard-fought battle with a win that earned them a place in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA DIII tournament.

In its next NCAA tournament match, Amherst will take on Montclair State, the winners of the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

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