Lord Jeff Teams Set to Host NESCAC Quarterfinal Games

MEN’S TEAM
No. 3 Amherst (21-2, 7-2) vs. No. 6 Bates (12-12, 3-6)
Saturday, Feb. 19, 2 p.m. * LeFrak Gymnasium (Amherst, MA)


NESCAC%20Championship%20LogoTicket Information: Amherst College will not be charging admission for Saturday’s game. Doors to LeFrak Gymnasium will open at 12:30 p.m.

Live Coverage: Saturday’s game will feature a free webcast and live statistics.

Game Preview: Amherst is 3-0 against Bates in NESCAC Championship history, having defeated the Bobcats in the 2005 title game (65-57), the 2006 semifinals (86-66) and the 2007 opening round (72-68). Amherst is 24-13 in conference tournament play and has been crowned champion four times, matching Williams for the most titles among the NESCAC schools. In four career starts in the tournament, Amherst’s Conor Meehan ’11 has averaged 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game while shooting 47.8 percent from the floor and 82.8 percent at the line.

Bates is 5-11 since Dec. 9 and has lost three straight games, but the Bobcats present a challenging first-round matchup for the Lord Jeffs. When these teams met on Feb. 15, Amherst used a 25-for-28 performance from the charity stripe to get past Bates, 74-68, but the Bobcats led for the majority of the game. Amherst would take the lead for good when Taylor Barrise ’12 buried a three from the wing with 4:14 to go, and Aaron Toomey ’14 hit four big free throws in the final minute to help the Jeffs hang on. The Bobcats held a 17-15 edge on the glass in the first half, but Amherst turned the tables by out-rebounding the visitors by a 26-8 margin in the second.

Maintaining consistency at the free throw line and getting contributions from its bench will be key for Amherst in Saturday’s game. In losses to Middlebury and Williams this past weekend, the Lord Jeff bench was a combined 12-of-46 (26 percent) for 37 points in the two games. Against Bates earlier this season, Amherst won the battle of the benches by a 39-24 margin. The Jeffs are 16-0 at home this year, averaging 91.0 points per game while shooting 51.6 percent as a team in LeFrak.

2011 NESCAC Championship Quarterfinals
No. 7 Conn. College @ No. 2 Middlebury – 1 p.m.
No. 8 Bowdoin @ No. 1 Williams – 2 p.m.
No. 6 Bates @ No. 3 Amherst – 2 p.m.
No. 5 Tufts @ No. 4 Trinity – 3 p.m.

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WOMEN’S TEAM
No. 1 Amherst (23-1, 9-0) vs. No. 8 Trinity (14-10, 3-6)
Saturday, Feb. 19, 4 p.m. * LeFrak Gymnasium (Amherst, MA)


NESCAC%20Championships%20LogoTicket Information: Amherst College will not be charging admission for Saturday’s game. Doors to LeFrak Gymnasium will open at 12:30 p.m.

Live Coverage: Saturday’s game will feature a free webcast and live statistics.  

Game Preview: Saturday will mark the first-ever meeting between Amherst and Trinity in NESCAC Championship history. The Lord Jeffs have won two of the past three titles and have made three consecutive appearances in the finals, while the Bantams are 1-6 all-time in conference tournament play, having advanced to the semifinals in 2009. Trinity is 3-7 in its past 10 outings but is coming off an 87-79 win over Baruch, a game that featured 22 points from Carly Napier and 19 from Michelle Royals.

Amherst has won four straight against Trinity, including an 81-45 result on Jan. 22. The Jeffs jumped out to a 14-0 lead and had six players score in double figures in that game, with Lem Atanga McCormick ’12 leading the way at 16 points. Kristen Fahey was the only player to finish in double digits (12) for the Bantams, who committed 21 turnovers and were held to 27.7 percent from the floor. The Jeffs have won their past 42 home games and are riding a 10-game overall win streak since their overtime setback to Kean University.

A different player led the Jeffs in scoring in each of last year’s three conference tournament games, as Caroline Stedman ’12 had 16 points in the opening round, Kristyn Dunleavy ’11 went 4-of-5 from long range for 17 points in the semifinals, and Shannon Finucane ’12 poured in 21 against Colby in the title game. Jaci Daigneault ’11 missed last year’s tournament due to injury but has a strong track record in the postseason, having averaged 22.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game during the 2009 NESCAC Championship. Daigneault has earned at least a share of the conference’s Player of the Week honor three times this season, as she currently leads the league in scoring (15.1 ppg) and field goal percentage (.627).

2011 NESCAC Championship Quarterfinals
No. 7 Middlebury @ No. 2 Colby – 3 p.m.
No. 6 Bates @ No. 3 Bowdoin – 3 p.m.
No. 8 Trinity @ No. 1 Amherst – 4 p.m.
No. 5 Tufts @ No. 4 Williams – 4 p.m.