Amherst Takes Down Baruch 79-59 in Amherst Classic

Caroline Stedman scored 18 points to earn
Tournament M.V.P. honors.

AMHERST, MA – The 2nd-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team played host to Baruch College this afternoon on day two of the 2009 Amherst Classic. The Lord Jeffs improved to 6-0 on the year with a 79-59 win over the Bearcats at LeFrak Gymnasium to go 2-0 in the Classic.

In day one of the tournament, Amherst rolled over RPI 74-36 in the opener, before Baruch pulled out a 74-61 win over Trinity College (CT). For their play this weekend, Baruch’s Kalea Davis and Monique Salmon were named to the All-Tournament Team alongside Amherst’s Jackie Renner (Newton, MA) and Tournament MVP Caroline Stedman (Walpole, MA).

The Lord Jeffs jumped out to an early 8-2 lead on four quick points by Stedman, before Baruch answered with back-to-back buckets by Davis. Amherst’s front line went to work over the next two minutes, with junior co-captain Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) and sophomore Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) each starting the game 3-for-3 from the floor. With 15:37 to play, Baruch was forced to call a timeout as the Amherst lead swelled to 18-7.

Coming out of the timeout, Baruch went on a 7-2 run to put a dent in Amherst’s lead, but with just over 11 minutes to play in the half junior Kristyn Dunleavy (E. Setauket, NY) came off the bench to hit a three from the left corner. After another layup by Stedman, Amherst first-year Marcia Voigt (Skillman, NJ) hit a three of her own from the left wing to open up a 28-14 lead.

As the first half ticked away, Stedman hit a three from the right corner to put the Lord Jeffs up 41-24 for the final points of the stanza. At the break, Stedman led all players with nine points, while Leyman added eight points. Megan Bouwens paced the Bearcats with seven points in the half.

Baruch started the second half on a 7-3 run, with Salmon scoring five quick points. After seeing its lead shrink to 44-31, Amherst looked inside to Atanga McCormick, who scored with ease on the right block.

With Amherst leading 50-36, Baruch went on a 7-0 scoring run to close the gap to 50-43 with 13:22 to play. Sophomore guard Kim Fiorentino (Holmdel, NJ) completed a three-point play the old fashioned way to push Amherst’s lead back to 10 points. The Bearcats closed the gap to 53-47 on a Bouwens jumper, before Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) finished a put-back and Stedman took a steal the distance for a layup.

At the 5:48 mark of the second half, Finucane picked Anika Sierk’s pocket and called for a timeout in the backcourt before the Bearcats could trap her deep in the corner. Coming out of the stoppage, Amherst extended its lead to 66-53 on a 1-for-2 trip to the free throw line by Daigneault.

Stedman scored Amherst’s next seven points on a three from the left wing, a runner in the lane and transition layup, as the Lord Jeff lead swelled to 75-55. Each team scored another four points, as the final buzzer sounded to close out a 79-59 Amherst win.

Stedman led Amherst with 18 points and six rebounds, while Atanga McCormick, Daigneault and Leyman added 12, 11, and 10 points, respectively. Bouwens paced the Bearcats with 13 points, with Salmon, Davis and Christina Kelly combining for another 32 points and 15 rebounds.