Ninth-Ranked Basketball Crushes Midd.
Issue   |   Tue, 02/18/2014 - 22:46

The Amherst women’s basketball team cruised past NESCAC rival Middlebury with an easy 79-41 win over the weekend.
The victory extended their win streak over the Panthers to 11, dating back to the 2002-03 season. Ending the regular season 9-1 in the NESCAC, the Jeffs secured the No. 2 seed heading into this weekend’s NESCAC Quarterfinals.

Amherst came out strong from the tip-off, building a 20-7 run over the first 10 minutes of the half. With a few three-pointers from first-years, Jaimie Renner and Ali Doswell, the Jeffs held the Panthers without a field goal for a stretch of 8:27 until Middlebury ended its dry-spell just before the end of the half.

Up 28 points at the half, Amherst did not slow down its domination. The Jeffs continued on a 17-7 run over a six-minute period, comfortably establishing a 41-point cushion.

Ali Doswell led all scorers with 20 points, just two points shy of tying her career high. The first-year also had seven rebounds and four assists. Sophomores Haley Zwecker and Marley Giddins each had 11 points and combined for 10 rebounds.

The Jeffs shot a strong 51.7 percent from the floor, while Middlebury only posted a 29.2 mark on field goals. Amherst also held a 41-31 rebounding edge and finished with an 18-2 margin in points off turnovers. The visitor’s bench did not even compete with the home team’s reserves, losing a 43-1 scoring edge in that category.

Heading into the postseason, the Jeffs are still missing junior co-captain Megan Robertson, who is out with a knee injury. Although she cannot contribute on the court, Robertson remains an important leader for the young team.

“It was awesome to have such a decisive victory to end the regular season,” Robertson said. “I think that we have made a lot of improvements throughout the season, and they can be seen by the way that everyone played. In the postseason, we have to focus one game at a time, because you have to win each game to advance. The playoffs are a different atmosphere, and I am excited to see how we perform.”

As the No. 2 seed, Amherst will host the No. 7 seed, Hamilton, in the NESCAC Quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m.