Women’s Basketball Claims No. 1 Ranking After Win Over No. 3 Tufts
Issue   |   Tue, 02/07/2017 - 22:13

The Amherst women’s basketball team had an exciting weekend of NESCAC play. The team first traveled to Bates on Friday, Feb. 3.

Against the Bobcats, senior Ali Doswell became the program’s overall leading scorer as well as the purple and white’s career leader in made three-pointers.

The purple and white jumped out to an early lead in an impressive first quarter, tallying 33 points in just ten minutes of play. Leading the way for Amherst in this offensive explosion was senior Medith Doswell, who notched 14 points and four assists in the frame.

With the help of 12 points each from Jackie Nagle ’18 and Maeve McNamara ’19, Amherst used this early cushion to cruise to an easy 75-37 win.

The team then traveled to No. 1 Tufts on Saturday, Feb. 4. Amherst and the Jumbos both entered the game undefeated, with each team’s record standing at 21-0.

Last season’s two matches between these nationally ranked squads were split and each was decided by just one point, a trend that continued this game.

The opening quarter saw the Jumbos jump out to an early 12-3 lead, a margin that was extended to 18-8 at the end of the first.

In the second quarter, Amherst tightened up their defense. Tufts scored just three points in the quarter and shot 1-14 from the floor. This stingy defense helped the purple and white reduce the deficit to three; they entered the half trailing 21-18.

In the third, four players from Amherst contributed two points each, leaving the purple and white with a 30-26 deficit going into the final quarter of play.

Trailing 35-31 late in the fourth, two Amherst players hit free throws to make it 35-33. Jamie Renner ’17 came up clutch with a steal during Tufts’ next possession and hit Hannah Hackley ’18 for a layup. In the process, Hackley was fouled and converted the free throw to make it 36-35 Amherst with just 1:18 on the clock.

With less than one minute to play, both teams had scoreless possessions before Renner sealed the win for Amherst by forcing a turnover with just one second left on the clock.

With this victory, Amherst gave Tufts their first loss, while the purple and white stay undefeated, boasting a 22-0 record with just two regular season games left to play.

Additionally, Amherst now holds the No. 1 ranking in both the country and the conference. Amherst plays Middlebury at home on Friday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m., before hosting Hamilton the following day, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m. in what will be the purple and white’s senior game.