Jeffs Win Defensive Battle at Eastern Connecticut, 53-34
Kim Fiorentino '12 recorded 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals in the win.
From an ECSU release
WILLIMANTIC, CT – In a defensive game that found both teams scoring 25 points below their respective season averages, Amherst College emerged with a 53-34 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Thursday evening at Geissler Gymnasium in Division III women's basketball action. The Lord Jeffs—ranked No. 2 in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll—improve to 8-0. The Warriors fall to 3-3.
Amherst has held its opposition to fewer than 40 points in five of its first eight games, as teams are averaging a mere 43.2 points per contest against the Lord Jeffs this season. Thursday night marked the lowest point total of the season for Amherst, which had scored at least 71 in each of its first seven outings.
The Jeffs shot 32 percent from the floor and made only three of their 16 attempts from beyond the arc (18.8 percent), but their defense made up for a sub-par shooting night. After holding 17th-ranked Emmanuel College to 38 points on 23 percent shooting on Tuesday—including a 3-for-30 performance in the first half—Amherst held the Warriors to 19 percent in Thursday night's game. Eastern Connecticut made one of nine three-point attempts and scored only five points in the final 12:23 of the game.
Eastern remained within striking distance throughout most of the game, cutting an 11-point gap to six when first-year Tanisha Carter sank two free throws with 12 minutes left in the second half. Amherst would score seven straight points over the next two minutes to take a 13-point lead, 42-29. The lead never fell below 11 the rest of the way. Amherst junior All-America forward Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) sparked that run by converting two free throws, grabbing two rebounds and contributing a block and steal.
Amherst’s Jackie Renner (Newton, MA) came off the bench for a team-high 12 points and was one of three players with seven rebounds. Sophomore Kim Fiorentino (Holmdel, NJ) had 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals in a solid all-around effort. Daigneault and sophomore Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) each had three of Amherst’s nine blocked shots. Junior Kristyn Dunleavy (East Setauket, NY) added six points, four rebounds and a career-high four steals.
First-year Lauren Kelleher of Eastern led the Warriors to a 49-41 advantage on the boards by pulling down 13 rebounds. Carter added nine rebounds for Eastern, while junior Amanda Pierlioni and Brittany Whiteley grabbed six each. Junior Jessica Moriarty was the only Eastern player in double figures. She had 12 points, but five came on six free throws as she missed 10 of 13 field goals.
The Lord Jeffs will return to action Tuesday, Dec. 15, when they head to Springfield College for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Pride. Amherst will then break for two weeks before hosting Lehman College Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 4 p.m. in LeFrak Gymnasium.