Women's Basketball Drives Past Competition
Issue   |   Wed, 12/07/2011 - 01:34
Mark Idleman '15
Megan Robertson ’15 scored 26 points against Emmanuel.

The top-ranked women’s basketball team continued its dominant start with two more double-digit victories this week, rolling over Keene State, 88-33, and earning a hard-fought win over Emmanuel, 84-60. The wins pushed the Jeffs impressive home court win streak to 54 and consecutive victories to 30.

Senior Lem Atanga McCormick led the Jeffs against Keene State with 14 points and seven rebounds, while first-year Megan Robertson picked up her first collegiate double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Junior Bridget Crowley added 13 points for the Jeffs, while senior Shannon Finucane added 10 points, including two three-pointers.

After a quick jumper by McCormick to tie the game up 2-2, senior Jackie Renner stole the ball and drove to the give the Jeffs their first lead. Keene State’s Amanda de la Cruz would bring the Owls within two, 8-6, after her layup. As the Jeffs have done all season, they responded with an aggressive run.

Kim Fiorentino ’12 collected a layup and the foul before converting the free-throw for the three-point play to increase the home team’s lead, before a couple of jumpers from McCormick and Robertson stretched the score to 20-7.

Finucane connected from beyond the arc with 4:10 left to put the Jeffs up, 33-10, and Crowley added another triple with 1:41 to go to put them up 25.

Keene State was particularly aggressive against the Jeffs, committing 21 fouls that resulted in 21 points for the Jeffs.
Entering the second half with a comfortable 24-point lead, the Jeffs wouldn’t let up, scoring 48 total points compared to the 40 they netted in the first. The team also increased both their three-point and field goal percentages in the second half, up to 38.5 and 42.9 percent, respectively. And, demonstrating their depth as yet another weapon, the Jeffs’ 12 dressed players each contributed in the win.

The Jeffs returned to action yesterday against Emmanuel in what proved to be their biggest challenge of the early season. The Saints jumped out to an early lead, 8-4, and remained unfazed by multiple Amherst runs throughout the half. Finucane hit a triple to put the Jeffs up 23-20, and a jumper by Robertson two minutes later put the Jeffs up 25-22. Unlike other Amherst opponents so far this season, Emmanuel would respond, trading baskets with the Jeffs before scoring the first half’s last four points to cut the lead to 31-30.

Caroline Stedman ’12 led the Jeffs with eight points in the first half, while Emmanuel’s Fiona O’Dwyer led all scorers with 14.
Both sides came out swinging in the second half, but ultimately Megan Robertson proved again to be the difference, picking up 22 points and nine rebounds in the second half to propel the Jeffs to victory.

Robertson, the Jeffs’ sixth-man, has wasted little time settling into the national championship squad, providing a spark off the bench in each of the team’s opening six victories, earning a career high 26 points and 13 rebounds. Her 26 points also marks the most points scored by a Jeff this season.

Emmanuel put up a fight in the second half, fending off any major Amherst run before taking a four-point lead, 54-50, with 9:03 to play. But with the game tied, 56-56, Robertson and co. turned it up a notch, mounting a 19-0 run to effectively put the game away.

Robertson scored eight in the Jeffs 19-point run before Finucane knocked down a three to put Amherst up 75-56 with three minutes to play. Two more free throws from Robertson late in the game pushed the Jeffs ahead by 25 as they would go on to win, 84-60.

More than just increase the team’s impressive win streaks, last night’s game against Emmanuel demonstrated the Jeffs’ early season tenacity against a valiant upset bid and sent a message to the rest of their competition that they are the real deal.
The team returns to hardwood action Thursday, traveling south to take on East Connecticut State.