Jeffs Open Little Three Play With 80-53 Win at Wesleyan

Lem Atanga McCormick led Amherst with 15 points and 11 rebounds at Wesleyan this evening.

MIDDLETOWN, CT – The 2nd-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team traveled to Wesleyan University this evening to open up the 2010 Little Three schedule in the first of two meetings with the Cardinals this season. Amherst stretched an 18-point halftime lead into a convincing 80-53 win to improve to 11-0 on the year.

Amherst opened up a 9-4 lead with 15:12 to play in the first half on a nice high-low pass from Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) to junior co-captain Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT). After a Wesleyan timeout, Finucane found Daigneault cutting through the lane for a reverse layup to extend the Lord Jeff advantage. Amherst ballooned its lead to 17-6 by the 13:11 mark of the first half by scoring 10 points off six early Wesleyan turnovers.

With 10:10 to play in the first half and Amherst holding a 22-8 lead, the fire alarms in Silloway Gymnasium went off, causing a 45-minute delay. When play resumed, Wesleyan closed the gap to 11 points, before Caroline Stedman (Walpole, MA) nailed back-to-back three pointers to open up a 32-14 lead.

Amherst’s lead grew to 39-19 with 1:33 to play in the first half when junior co-captain Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) finished off a three-point play the old fashioned way off a feed from first-year Marcia Voigt (Skillman, NJ). The lead sat at 39-21 when the first half ended, with Stedman and Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) leading the Lord Jeffs with 10 and nine points, respectively. Leyman nearly had a double-double in the frame, scoring eight points to go along with 10 rebounds. Eileen Gaffney led the Cardinals with nine points and six rebounds in the half.

The Cardinals closed the gap to 42-30, before Amherst responded with back-to-back scores by Atanga McCormick. A Voigt pull-up jumper from the right side of the lane with just over 12:30 to play put Amherst up 51-36. Amherst continued to pour it on in the second half against its Little Three rival, going on a 10-2 run to take a 61-38 lead with just over eight minutes to play.

Down the stretch, Amherst played well and closed out the game with an 80-53 result. Atanga McCormick led the Lord Jeffs with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Leyman added 13 points and 10 boards. Stedman had a solid all-around game with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. Gaffney scored a game-high 20 points for the Cardinals on 7-of-13 shooting and added 10 rebounds for a double-double.