No. 1 Women End Regular Season Undefeated
Issue   |   Wed, 02/15/2012 - 00:42
Photo courtesy of Chloe McKenzie '14
Marcia Voigt ’13 scored 13 with seven assists against Williams.

On Saturday, the women’s basketball team closed out its perfect regular season with an 80-50 win over Middlebury after defeating Williams 70-55 on Friday night. The win against Williams marked the Jeffs’ 32nd consecutive win in conference play, setting a new NESCAC record.

Amherst (24-0, 10-0 NESCAC) jumped out to an early start on Friday evening with a 4-0 run, but the Ephs bounced back quickly to make it 5-4, which would prove to be their only lead of the game. A three-pointer from Shannon Finucane ’12 set off an 11-1 run that put the Jeffs up by nine with 12 minutes left to play in the half.

An offensive burst towards the end of the first half gave Amherst a decisive 18-point lead with just under a minute remaining. A fast-break layup from senior forward Jackie Renner beat the buzzer to secure a 20-point lead going into the break.

Williams dominated the first three minutes of play in the second half, putting up nine of the first 12 points. First-year forward Megan Robertson stole the momentum back, however, with a layup and a free throw to put the Jeffs up 48-31.

A jumper from forward Bridget Crowley ’13 finished a 10-0 run that gave Amherst a game-high lead of 25 points with just over five minutes left to play.

A three from guard Jasmine Hardy ’13 and a layup from Robertson were the only five points for Amherst before the final buzzer, but the Jeffs’ lead never fell below 20 en route to a 77-55 victory.

Robertson shined on the court for Amherst with 21 points and career-high 17 rebounds, eight of which were on the offensive glass. The rookie not only recorded a double-double by halftime, but she helped defensively with three of Amherst’s nine blocks. Guard Marcia Voigt ’13 added 13 points, five rebounds and a career-high seven assists.

The victory marked the Jeffs’ 10th consecutive win against the Ephs, a streak dating back to January 2008.

On Saturday, the Jeffs closed out their second perfect regular season in program history with a win against Middlebury, pushing their overall win streak to 43 and their home unbeaten streak to 60. The victory also marked the third consecutive year that Amherst has gone unbeaten in conference play.

Amherst raced out to a quick start, as a layup from senior forward Lem Atanga McCormick 15 seconds into the game ignited an 8-0 run for the Jeffs. The offense continued to shine, making six consecutive shots for a 21-6 lead with just over 12 minutes remaining.

Finucane buried her second three of the game at the seven-minute mark to put the Jeffs up 34-14. Amherst led by at least 20 in the remaining minutes of the half and went into the break with a 47-24 advantage.

Middlebury opened play in the second half with two consecutive baskets, but Rizzo fired back with a layup that sparked a 16-0 run. Finucane finished off the offensive burst with her third three pointer of the game, bringing the score to 63-28 with just under 14 minutes left to play.

The Panthers closed the Jeff lead to 26 points in the final minutes of play, but a jumper from forward Savannah Holness ’15 gave Amherst the 30-point victory with a final score of 80-50.

Robertson led the team for the second night in a row with 16 points, earning her second double-double of the weekend and fifth of the season. She managed 10 rebounds and five blocks in just 17 minutes off the bench.

Senior guard Caroline Stedman followed Robertson with 13 points, while Atanga McCormick scored 11 and Voigt posted 10. Atanga McCormick added six rebounds and four assists, while Renner tallied five points, five assists and two blocks.

Robertson was named NESCAC Player of the Week on Monday for her remarkable performance over the weekend. She averaged 18.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and four blocks in only 21 minutes per game off the bench. The rookie currently leads the conference in offensive rebounds per game, and she ranks second in field goal percentage.

Amherst will host eighth-seeded Trinity College next Saturday as the top seed in the NESCAC Championship. The last meeting between these two teams ended in a 66-44 win for the Jeffs. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. in LeFrak Gymnasium.