Jeffs Set Program Records with 84-63 Win at Colby

Caroline Stedman '12 had seven rebounds, five steals, four assists and a career-high 26 points.

WATERVILLE, ME – With an 84-63 win at Colby College Saturday afternoon at Wadsworth Gymnasium, the second-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team (19-0, 5-0 NESCAC) set program records for longest winning streak and best start to a season. Caroline Stedman ’12 (Walpole, MA) capped off an exceptional weekend with seven rebounds, five steals, four assists and a career-high 26 points against the Mules (15-3, 3-2 NESCAC).

Amherst led by only two points at halftime and by four points with 6:13 remaining in regulation, but the Lord Jeffs closed the game on a 24-7 run to keep their perfect season alive. Colby became only the third team to register at least 60 points against Amherst, which entered the weekend leading Division III in scoring defense (44.4 ppg).

Last year’s Amherst team set program records by getting off to an 18-0 start, but their winning streak was snapped at home by Bowdoin College with a 63-61 result. After winning at Bowdoin for the first time ever yesterday, Amherst continued its strenuous seven-game road trip by leaving its mark in the program’s record book.

Colby trailed by 11 midway through the second half but cut Amherst’s lead to 57-53 when Rachael Mack nailed a short jumper with 7:38 to play. Amherst’s Kristyn Dunleavy (East Setauket, NY) hit a three-pointer 19 seconds later to ignite a 27-10 run for the Lord Jeffs.

Less than 24 hours after setting a career high with 21 points against Bowdoin, Stedman went 4-for-5 from three-point range and scored 17 first-half points to make a strong case for NESCAC Player of the Week. Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) was 8-for-8 from the foul line on the way to 14 points, with her five assists moving her into sole possession of 10th place on the school’s all-time list (183). Dunleavy had 11 points and was 3-for-4 from long range, while Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) finished with 10 points.

First-year guard Diana Manduca paced the Mules with 18 points and was 3-for-3 from behind the arc. Mack finished with eight points and seven rebounds, Jil Vaughan had eight points and five boards, and Aarika Ritchie and Alison Cappelloni each had 10 points.

With a 75-60 win at Middlebury, Williams College (16-4, 5-0 NESCAC) kept pace with Amherst in the conference standings. Tufts University (17-2, 4-1 NESCAC) cruised past Connecticut College to hold on to second place in the conference, with Colby close behind in sole possession of third.

The Lord Jeffs will go for 20 in a row when they continue their seven-game road trip Friday, Feb. 5, with a 6 p.m. game at Bates College.