Women's Basketball Dunks Opponents en route to 4-0 Start
Issue   |   Wed, 11/30/2011 - 02:13
Rob Mattson
Kim Fiorentino ’12 has been stellar from three-point range this season, knocking down 7 of 16 attempts.

The top-ranked women’s basketball team is off to a fast start with four decisive wins in their opening games, asserting themselves as the team to beat coming off their first-ever NCAA national championship last season.

Opening play against Norwich Univ. in the fourth-annual Amherst Tip-Off, the Jeffs wasted little time against the Cadets. After Norwich scored the game’s first two points, tri-captain Kim Fiorentino ’12 sparked a 13-0 Jeff’s run, knocking down a three and assisting fellow captain and preseason senior All-American Caroline Stedman’s effort from downtown to put the Jeffs up 13-2 early.

After the Cadet’s cut the lead to nine, Jackie Renner ’12 and Fiorentino hit back-to-back threes to put the Jeffs up 15 early.
Amherst continued to dominate, mounting a 13-2 run to end the half with a comfortable 29-point lead.

The second half proved to be more of the same from the home team, led by Stedman’s game-high 19 points. Junior Bridget Crowley had 10 points and 11 rebounds to finish with a double-double and McCormick added 12 with two blocks. First-year Megan Robertson tallied 14 points and nine rebounds in what proved to be a stellar collegiate debut, as the Jeffs went on to win 90-39.

The next day, the Jeffs faced off against St. Lawrence Univ. in the finals of the Tip-Off. The Jeffs again jumped out to a quick lead when Shannon Finucane ’12 knocked down a three in the Jeffs first possession.

Amherst would open things up with 12 minutes left in the first half when Crowley, Fiorentino and Finucane combined for the game’s next 15 points. Entering the second half with a 45-24 lead, Amherst controlled the remainder of the game, never leading by less than 21 in its 93-63 rout of the Saints. The win increased the team’s home win-streak to 51 games.

The Jeffs went 11-16 from behind the arc to finish with a stellar 83.3 shooting percentage, including Stedman’s perfect three-for-three effort. Stedman was named to the All-Tournament team, as she and five other teammates finished in double figures in the rout.

McCormick, who tallied 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, three blocks and two steals against Saint Lawrence plus 12 points against Norwich, was named Tournament MVP.

The Jeffs returned to action after Thanksgiving, facing off against Pioneer Valley rival Mount Holyoke. The Jeffs led 7-2 early after Finucane connected from long range with 15:50 to play, but the Lyons would not go down easily, responding with a 10-1 run, quickly leading 12-8.

Robertson provided a necessary spark off the bench, hitting two quick jumpers to put the Jeffs back up by two. The teams would trade baskets for the remainder of the half, before McCormick scored five straight baskets to give the Jeffs a slim 21-18 lead heading into the break.

After shooting a meager 23.5 percent in the first half, the Jeffs settled down after the break behind Fiorentino and Finucane, who each netted seven second half points. Rookie Robertson continued her impressive start, leading all scorers with 16 points as the Jeffs earned their third victory of the season, 67-41.

Amherst extended its win streak on LeFrak to 52 games last night with another decisive victory, this time over Keene State.
Fiorentino proved to be the driving force early, knocking down a three to put the Jeffs up 9-2 before grabbing a steal and finding Robertson for the layup on the next play.

Later in the half, Finucane and Voigt hit consecutive threes, increasing the lead to 16. Stedman, backing up her preseason All-American nod, slotted 13 first half points and five rebounds.

Up 23 entering the second half, the Jeffs maintained their lead throughout to close out the Owls, 66-45. Stedman led the team with 13, while Fiorentino and Robertson each added 11.

The Jeffs’ LeFrak win-streak will be put to the test Sunday when they face off against Lehman College at home.