Lord Jeffs Finish Perfect Regular Season With Win Over Middlebury

The Amherst College women's basketball team made school history today with
a win over Middlebury to finish the regular season 24-0.

AMHERST, MA – The top-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team completed the first perfect regular season in Lord Jeff basketball history this afternoon with a 79-46 win over Middlebury College to improve to 24-0 (9-0 NESCAC).The victory ends Middlebury’s season at 10-14 (2-7) as they are eliminated from contention for a conference tournament bid.

After today’s result, the Amherst women were able to complete a perfect regular season, something no other Amherst basketball team has ever done. The 2006-07 Amherst men’s team went into the final game of the regular season at 23-0, but fell on the road to Trinity by three points. Since the formation of the NESCAC, only the 2003-04 Bowdoin women have posted a perfect 24-0 regular season en route to a 30-1 mark that ended with a loss in the National Championship game.

The Lord Jeffs opened up an 11-2 lead early on, but saw Middlebury respond with a 6-0 run to close the gap to 11-8. Just over seven minutes into the half, Middlebury kept the margin at three points on a Maddie Moreau layup, but that was the last time that the score would be that close. On Amherst’s next possession, Caroline Stedman (Walpole, MA) drilled a three-pointer to stretch the lead back to 17-11. Stedman scored eight of Amherst’s next 10 points as the Lord Jeffs opened up a 25-11 lead before Middlebury would score again.

A strong scoring play by Middlebury’s Tracy Borsinger and a pair of Lauren Sanchez free throws cut the Amherst lead to 11 points at 31-20 with 4:12 remaining in the half. Over the last four minutes of the frame, Amherst went on an 8-1 run to take a 39-21 lead into the locker room. At the half Stedman and Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) led all players with 10 points apiece, while Middlebury’s Sanchez and Stephany Surrette had five points each to lead the Panthers.

The second half started with four straight points from Middlebury, but Amherst head coach GP Gromacki called a timeout that sparked a 6-0 run. The game was never really in doubt, and by the 13:28 mark of the second stanza a three from Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) put Amherst ahead, 56-28. The Lord Jeff lead grew as large as 33 points late in the game, as the hosts cruised to a 79-46 win.

Rookie Marcia Voigt (Skillman, NJ) led the Lord Jeffs in scoring off the bench with 17 points and seven rebounds. Atanga McCormick and Stedman added 12 points each and combined for 15 rebounds, while Surrette and Kaitlyn Fallon paced the Panthers in scoring with a combined 23 points.

With last night’s win over Williams College, the Lord Jeffs had already wrapped up the top seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championship. Amherst will host eighth-seeded Wesleyan Saturday, Feb. 20, at 3 p.m. in the quarterfinal round.